Bottom Lines are our most up-to-date take on a race.

NEW JERSEY: In early June, Democrats nominated Phil Murphy, who spent the majority of his career at Goldman Sachs, retiring as a senior director after which he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Republicans tapped Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Despite the fact that this is an open seat, the primary contests were utterly dull and did little to define either candidate. Murphy, though, has a number of advantages in the general election, not the least of which is the solidly Democratic nature of the state. His other significant advantage is Christie’s standing with voters; he now has one of the lowest job approval ratings among the nation’s Governors. While Christie was elected in 2009 to help get the state back on track, he has had limited success. He has also been hobbled by the Bridgegate scandal, as well as voter unhappiness with his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and his close relationship with President Donald Trump, who took just 42 percent of the vote last November.

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