New Jersey Governor’s Race Remains Too Close To Call As Murphy Inches Ahead

The governor’s race in New Jersey remains too close to call Wednesday morning between incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli.

Murphy now leads Ciattarelli by about 7,000 votes out of over 2.3 million cast, inching ahead with nearly 90% of the votes in after trailing for almost all of Tuesday as late-reporting, urban counties tally their votes. If Murphy 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. (RELATED: Youngkin Beats McAuliffe, Clinching First Statewide Win In Virginia For Republicans Since 2009)

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli prepares to speak at his watch party on Tuesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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.

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