The governor’s race in New Jersey remains too close to call Wednesday between incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli.
Murphy and Ciattarelli have repeatedly taken the lead only to fall back into second, with the Republican currently leading by about 15,700 votes out of nearly 2.4 million cast with nearly 90% of the votes tallied. Murphy trailed most of Tuesday, and is hoping that ballots from the Newark area that have yet to be counted are enough to carry him to victory. If he wins, it will be by a far narrower margin than his 14-point win in 2017 and President Joe Biden’s 16-point win just a year ago.
If Murphy wins re-election, he would be the first Democrat to do so since former Gov. Brendan Byrne in 1977, and he would do so in a state where registered Democrats outnumber their Republican counterparts by around 1.1 million people.
Both candidates said that they expected to win early Wednesday.
“We’ve sent a message to the entire nation,” Ciattarelli told a crowd of supporters. “This is what I love about this state: Every single time it’s gone too far off track, the people of this state have pushed, pulled and prodded it right back to where it needs to be.” (RELATED: ‘No Democrat Is Safe’: House GOP Campaign Arm Adds 13 Democratic Seats To Target List)
“When every vote is counted, and every vote will be counted, we hope to have a celebration,” Murphy said.
In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin upset Terry McAuliffe late Tuesday, becoming the first Republican to win statewide since 2009. Youngkin centered his campaign around education in the final days before the election, pledging to give parents a voice in what their kids learn and rallying against critical race theory.