This wasn’t supposed to be competitive. It wasn’t supposed to be even a race. Joe Biden heavily carried the state in 2020. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was supposed to cruise to re-election. I’m sure the Murphy camp hoped to have a result by the end of last night. It’s not over yet. Yes, Dave Wasserman of The Cook Political Report has called it—but it’s not official yet. It’s a close one. And even if King Murphy avoids regicide by the voters in the Garden State, there’s still a lot of bad news to glean from this race.
I've seen enough: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) defeats Jack Ciattarelli (R) in the New Jersey governor's race. #NJGOV— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 2021
Had the Lakewood Vaad endorsed Ciattarelli (R) instead of Murphy (D), we could be looking at a very different #NJGOV race right now. Results in Lakewood, NJ:— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 2021
2020: Trump (R): 30,648, Biden (D): 6,397
2021: Ciattarelli (R): 11,644, Murphy (D): 7,112 https://t.co/S8FAUY4Wtd
Even though Murphy (D) eked out a statewide win, Dems' collapse in blue-collar parts of South Jersey is breathtaking - including State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) currently trailing a truck driver who spent $153. #NJGOV— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 2021
The silver lining for Ds is this: Ciattarelli came close to Christie's 2013 showing in Passaic, (when Christie won by 22 statewide), but likely loses. Ds are holding on to a lot of their Trump-era gains in the wealthier suburbs. E.g., much smaller swings in Morris from 2017.— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) November 3, 2021
suggesting that Trump's '20 gains among Hispanic are potentially sticking. Swings from 2020 are in working class townships, suggesting continued movement for voters there. If there's a silver lining for Ds, its that the wealthier townships in the northwest didn't move as much.— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) November 3, 2021
I’d make the case the #NJGOV results are more alarming for Dems than #VAGOV.— Dave Catanese (@davecatanese) November 3, 2021
Virginia was fully formed, both candidates known. T-Mack a flawed, uninspired candidate. Youngkin fresh. Race was engaged.
Ciattarelli was largely unknown. People just walked in and voted R.
Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics noted that Democrats held onto their gain in affluent suburbs which appears to be enough to save Murphy. Still, the count swings are huge, large enough that Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a top New Jersey Democrat, could be picked off. As Leah wrote this morning, one analyst noted that Republican Jack Ciattarelli was virtually unknown this cycle. Hordes of people voted for him anyway.
The early vote was double-counted in Hudson County. It has now been fixed, bringing Murphy's total down by 10,732 and Ciattarelli's by 2,842. Ciattarelli goes back up in the statewide tally:— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) November 3, 2021
Ciattarelli (R): 1,177,803 (49.6%)
Murphy (D) 1,177,108 (49.6%)
It is extremely difficult for me to understand how states/localities can still proceed with multi-day election counts *and* not have high quality, transparent reporting on exactly what kind of votes have or have not been countedhttps://t.co/uQXdGLr6v8— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 3, 2021
And while it seemed like Murphy was pulling away, we learn that Hudson County double-counted their ballots that artificially boosting Murphy’s vote total. What sort of fugazi operation do we have going here? Also, if Democrats and the media don’t know already, this is how election conspiracy theories start.
UPDATE: 56 voting machines were shut down in Essex County. Clerk warns against jumping to conclusions.
VOTE 2021: The Essex County clerk is asking #NewJersey residents not to jump to conclusions as to why the 56 voting machines were shut down last night without being counted first. https://t.co/m5OcJ0vmV1— News12NJ (@News12NJ) November 3, 2021