Phil Murphy is the new governor of New Jersey with CNN projecting his victory. The Democrat will now try to build on his successes in office, weathering skepticism from some establishment Republicans and rival Democrats who say he’s not progressive enough for their tastes.
New Jersey governor race polls 2021 Phil Murphy has been reelected. CNN projects the New Jersey governor race results, and Phil Murphy is declared the winner in a second term.
Murphy’s narrow win against Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli violated the state’s history of voting for the party out of power in governor elections during the off-year. Virginia, the only other state with odd-year governor elections, followed tradition on Tuesday, choosing Republican Glenn Youngkin in a resounding defeat for Democrats who had recently made advances in the state. However, the findings in New Jersey — another state that President Joe Biden won by double digits in 2020 — are causing concerns among Democrats who will be struggling to keep the suburbs in the midterm elections next year.
In the Garden State, Biden beat Trump by roughly 16 points. Although Murphy had more positive approval ratings in the state than Biden, polling in the gubernatorial race suggested the results could be closer. As Tuesday night progressed, it became clear that Murphy had dramatically underperformed the President, despite having more positive approval ratings in the state.
New Jersey Democrats and the Murphy campaign, like Democrats in Virginia, tried to link the Republican candidate to Trump, who remains unpopular in the state. However, several Democrats were concerned that Biden’s dwindling statewide support ratings would stifle such sentiments. (Prior to the election, he was 6 points behind in a Monmouth University survey.)
Republicans in New Jersey adopted the same script as Republicans in Virginia, with Ciattarelli, a businessman and former state politician, attacking Murphy on taxes and what he said were the disastrous impacts of the Democrats’ pandemic response on companies.
Murphy’s close win might be seen as a vote of confidence in his and other Democratic leaders’ vows to mask and vaccination regulations, which the governor has championed in a state where around 28,000 people have died from Covid-19.
While it is too early to identify the drop in Democratic excitement compared to his 2017 win, a Murphy advisor told CNN before the election that strong participation in regions hostile to some of the governor’s harsher policies may have hindered his approach.
“In areas like Ocean County, where people were up in arms on masks and vaccinations,” the advisor continued, “you had stratospheric attendance.” “What you observe is that individuals who are angry about vaccinations and masks are more inclined to vote on it than those who are pleased with his accomplishments.”
Murphy held leads ranging from 8 to 14 points in the final Monmouth University poll of the campaign, based on various models of who turned out to vote. Taxes, which Ciattarelli led on, were named as the top concern in those numbers, indicating a slight tightening of the race. However, Murphy’s lead was substantially larger, 45 percent to 26 percent, on the issue of who people trust the most to manage the epidemic, a disparity that has been mostly stable throughout the summer. The Democrat also had a 15-point advantage against Ciattarelli on an issue that roiled the Virginia race: education and schools.
However, the Monmouth poll revealed an enthusiasm difference that may have harmed Murphy, with 38 percent of self-identified Republicans indicating they were more excited than usual to vote this year, compared to just 24 percent of self-identified Democrats.
Murphy was ultimately saved by the large number of registered Democrats who outnumber registered Republicans in New Jersey (more than a million), even though voters there have shown a willingness to support moderate GOP candidates like two-term former Govs. Christie Todd Whitman and Chris Christie before Murphy’s 2017 election.
Throughout the campaign and on election night, Murphy’s advisers were sure that the governor’s popularity would carry him to a second term. In the Monmouth survey, he had regularly outperformed the President, with 52 percent of the vote versus Biden’s 43 percent.
Before the votes closed, a Murphy advisor told CNN, “We’re going to win reelected — or not — on our own weight here.” Despite this, the governor kept Biden close, welcome him on the campaign trail and maintaining in touch until the day before the election, when the President called and spoke with the governor while on a foreign trip, according to a source familiar with the exchange.
Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and ambassador to Germany who previously served as the finance head of the Democratic National Committee, campaigned with a who’s who of national Democratic power players. Biden, former President Barack Obama, and independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders all spoke at rallies for him in an attempt to sway Democratic voters.
When Obama spoke in Newark last month, he singled out Ciattarelli for speaking at a “Stop the Steal” demonstration before later claiming he had no idea what the event was about. “Apparently, Phil’s opponent claims that he was unaware that the demonstration was intended to upset the election results. Come on, brother, “Obama stated his position. “You know this isn’t a neighborhood BBQ when you’re standing in front of a banner that reads ‘Stop the Steal,’ and there’s a man in the crowd waving a Confederate flag.”
In response, Ciattarelli’s campaign cited his previous comments asserting that Biden won the election, remarks for which he was chastised by fellow Republicans during the governor contest.
Ciattarelli tried to discount Trump-fueled conspiracy theories about electoral fraud, at least as far as his own campaign was concerned.
“Don’t allow anybody stay home because they believe we can’t win or that it’s rigged,” Ciattarelli urged last week at an event. “In New Jersey, the game isn’t rigged. We have a chance to win this race.”
Ciattarelli did not mention Trump, who was not on the campaign trail in New Jersey, but his statement highlighted the tough balance Republican candidates must find in places like New Jersey. Biden succeeded because he was able to get Trump’s ardent supporters to the polls without alienating suburban swing voters who were put off by the former President’s actions and words. Youngkin’s triumph in Virginia and Ciattarelli’s close defeat in New Jersey may have laid the groundwork for GOP downballot candidates in the next election.
A moderator questioned Ciattarelli about his feelings toward Trump at their second discussion, which took place in mid-October, and if he would accept Trump’s endorsement and campaign alongside him. The Republican contender, who has been critical of Trump but endorsed him last year, said that he had no intentions to summon the former President.
Ciattarelli said, “I go out there and campaign on my own.” “I’m going to win this election on my own.”
Phil Murphy has won the New Jersey governor race, CNN projects. The Democrat will serve a second term in office after defeating Republican Kim Guadagno by 5 percentage points. Reference: new jersey governor race newsmax.
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