In central/southern New Jersey, Ocean County is the most Republican county in the state of New Jersey. It is really interesting to me as someone who lives in New Jersey to see that Ocean County is the most Republican county in New Jersey.

The reason it is interesting is that it seems like "tourist areas" tend to be Democratic-leaning. A few examples of such places I can think of are Teton County in Wyoming, Vermont and Traverse City in Michigan. Ocean County seems to buck this trend big time. This is especially notable given it is a suburban county.

What explains this gap between Ocean County (and other counties along the New Jersey beach such as Monmouth and Cape May County) and other places that attract visitors?

  • 1
    Cape May County is a mostly Republican county, Monmouth County has generally leaned moderately Republican in federal, state, and local races. So there isn't that much of a gap. I suspect the usual demographics of race, wealth, age will adequately explain this county
    – James K
    Feb 11, 2023 at 16:15
  • I don't know from New Jersey, but compare it to Orange County, California. It has been a center of the Republican party in California for a long time because it's where the money is, and the Republicans were historically the party that was most trusted to keep money in the hands of people who already have it.
    – The Photon
    Feb 13, 2023 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


Ocean County, New Jersey is classified as suburban, but a suburb of what? New York City is 70 miles to the north, Philadelphia, 50 miles to the west. The average commute time for Ocean County residents who work is 31 minutes, so that means they're not commuting to New York City or to Philadelphia. The county is not really a suburb of either. The county is 84.3% non-Hispanic white, and that alone explains much. Northern New Jersey is much more diverse. Ocean County is one of the least diverse parts of New Jersey.

Although Teton County, Wyoming is not as conservative as the rest of the state, it's still conservative. It just looks liberal compared to the rest of Wyoming. Those Teton County "liberals" would probably feel right at home with Ocean County Republican voters.

With regard to Cape May County, that county is a tourism-based area. It is small, is surrounded by water on three sides, and has more than one housing unit per permanent resident. Ocean County is much closer to normal, with less than one housing unit for every two permanent residents. While Ocean County does rely to some extent on tourism, tourism and tourism-related businesses are not anywhere close to the dominant source of employment in Ocean County. Tourism and tourism-related businesses are the dominant source of employment in Cape May County. Despite that industry difference, Cape May County is right up there compared to Ocean County in terms of lack of diversity, and Cape May County is almost as reliably Republican as is Ocean County.

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