Democratic Incumbent Governor Murphy Squeezes Out Win in New Jersey

New Jersey incumbent governor. Phil Murphy (D) has seemingly won reelection to his post, narrowly defeating his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli in a race that wasn’t decided until mid-Wednesday morning.

As of 1:00 p.m. Eastern TimeMurphy had 1,199,614 votes or 49.94% of all votes. Ciattarelli got 1,184,723 votes which is roughly 49.32 per cent.

As of 1:00 p.m., only 89 percent had been reported. All of the counties Ciattarelli was leading in had reported at least 98 percent of their votes as of 1:00 p.m. Although most of the counties Murphy won had similar reporting figures, Camden County was considered a Democratic stronghold and had only reported 88 per cent of its votes.

Since most of the remaining votes were likely to go to Murphy rather than Ciattarelli, political pundits announced on Wednesday that Murphy was the winner, including the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman.

“I’ve seen enough: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) defeats Jack Ciattarelli (R) in the New Jersey governor’s race,” Wasserman wrote on Twitter10.23 a.m.

The turnout for this election was lower than for the presidential race last year in the state. around 2.4 million residents casting a ballot. 2020 more than 4.5 million votes were counted — but turnout was still higher than the last gubernatorial election in 2017, when just over 2 million ballots were cast.

Though Murphy’s narrow win may be contested, the state won’t do so on its own. Because New Jersey does not have automatic recounts for close racesRecounts are at the expense of anyone who requests one. That means if Ciattarelli wants to contest the outcome, he’ll have to pay for it out of his campaign coffers.

Along with the results of other races across the country, Murphy’s narrow win is being viewed as a warning sign for Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm races next yearMany blame Washington, D.C.’s party infighting for Republicans faring well throughout New Jersey and Virginia.

“In the war between Democratic progressives and Democratic moderates, the Republicans won,” said former New York Democratic congressman Steve Israel.

If the numbers hold true, Murphy’s win will be the first time an incumbent Democratic governor has won reelection in New Jersey since 1977. Murphy is also the first governor to be elected from the same party that the president to win the state in 1985.

Democrats are hoping to achieve a similar feat in next year’s midterms. Generally speaking, a president’s party fares poorly and loses seats in the first midterm race of their new administration. Polling currently shows that a plurality of voters prefer Democrats to control Congress rather than Republicans after next year’s races, but only time will tell whether those numbers hold up over the next 12 months.