Although there were a few close House races in New Jersey, at the end of the night 12 of the state’s 13 incumbents to the U.S. House still cozily occupy their seats. The only upset was the Tea Party victory in the 3rd District where Jon Runyan, formerly an offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, defeated Democratic incumbent John Adler.
Going into election day, it didn't look like there would be too many surprises in New Jersey's congressional races. As WNYC's Bob Hennelly reported, of the state's 13 House seats, five incumbent Republicans and five incumbent Democrats appeared to have their seats locked.
The races to watch were in Jersey’s 3rd, 6th and 12th districts — all held by Democrats until Adler’s defeat. Incumbent Democrats Frank Pallone of the 6th district and Rush Holt in the 12th did hold onto their seats, albeit narrowly for Holt.
Immigration attorney Anna Little ran with Tea Party support in the 6th district against Pallone, who eventually won by several points. Given that Little upset a GOP-favored candidate in the Republican primary — and that she did it with very little cash — she wasn't one to count out.
Otherwise, despite Runyan's victory, the Tea Party found few footholds in New Jersey. Other Republican nominees campaigned as political neophytes, but on the whole, deeply-entrenched incumbents seemed safe.