Home>Campaigns>Many races too close to call on an unusual election night

The New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Many races too close to call on an unusual election night

By Joey Fox, November 02 2021 10:48 pm

With polls closed for nearly three hours and more than a million votes already counted, many of the key races in New Jersey remain in flux.

The gubernatorial race, in which Gov. Phil Murphy was a favorite heading into Election Day, is too close to call. It may be that Murphy still wins by a decent margin over Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli, but he doesn’t seem to be hitting the percentage and turnout totals he would have wanted.

In the Democratic stronghold of Hudson County, for example, Murphy is only getting 64,080 votes so far. More votes may still come in, but he’s got a long way to go to hit the 88,271 votes he received there in 2017.

Moving to Gloucester County, Murphy is confronting a different problem. The governor won the county by 12 points last time around, but this time he seems to be losing it by around 10 points, which is having knock-on effects on state legislators and local candidates in the area.

Most of the state legislature’s most competitive districts are similarly up in the air. The 8th, 11th, 16th districts – generally considered among the most competitive in the state this cycle – all remain uncalled.

The 2nd district, meanwhile, is the first big Republican victory of the night, with Republicans retaining the district’s Senate seat and flipping its two Assembly seats. The 11th district, where Democrats were considered favorites but are narrowly losing at the moment, is also particularly concerning for them.

Given how close many races appear to be, there may be several elections that won’t be called for many more days. As long as they’re postmarked by today, absentee ballots can be received as late as next Monday – which could make all the difference in a tight race.

This story was updated at 10:57 p.m. to reflect the Globe’s race calls in the 2nd and 39th districts, and again at 11:04 p.m. to reflect a race call in the 21st district.

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