Eight days after Election Day, Gov. Phil Murphy now has a 72,758-vote lead over Republican Jack Ciattarelli, according to a Decision Desk HQ tally.
Murphy is now ahead by 2.85% — 1,303,263 to 1,230,505. Ciattarelli has opted to not concede defeat until all the votes are counted.
With election officials taking Thursday off in observance of Veterans Day, that number that is expected to remain fairly solid until Friday when most of the counting resumes.
Sluggish counts have drawn criticism from both political parties as election officials count vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. The deadline for voters to return cure letters to repair technical deficiencies with the mail-in ballot is Saturday.
Despite a likely unsuccessful bid, Ciattarelli is now 48,428 votes away from passing GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s total votes when he won 60.3% in his 2013 re-election bid.
Murphy is 76,675 shy of outpolling Democratic Gov. Jim Florio’s 1989 statewide total.
Murphy leads Ciattarelli by a narrow 2,153-vote margin in Passaic County, a Democratic stronghold that has voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in all but one election since 2001. His lead in Bergen County, which was nearly even on election night, is now up to 14,230.
Ciattarelli is up 75,963 votes in Ocean County, 43,519 in Monmouth, and 20,857 in Morris,
Murphy is ahead by 81,753 votes in Essex, 81,753 in Hudson, 32,236 in Union, 30,398 in Mercer, and 24,343 in Middlesex
In Somerset County, where Ciattarelli led on election night, Murphy is now up by 4,115. Ciattarelli is 10,642 votes over Murphy in Hunterdon, 10,819 in Warren and 18,766 in Sussex.
South Jersey went for Ciattarelli, who is ahead by 9,365 votes in Atlantic, 9,878 in Cape May, 3,692 in Cumberland, 5,724 in Salem, 9,990 in Gloucester.
But Murphy is in front by 34,900 in Camden and 10,737 in Burlington.