Gov. Phil Murphy took a brief virtual victory lap on a call with some of the state’s top Democrats early Wednesday afternoon.
Murphy touted Democratic likely Democratic wins in House districts three, five, seven and eleven as well as wins in Somerset and Burlington Counties. He also expressed hope for Democratic wins in Morris and Hunterdon, where freeholder races are too close to call.
“Our party is playing everywhere in New Jersey. That’s because the politics are progressive and the governing is progressive,” he said. “Not progressive for the sake of being progressive, in my humble opinion, our politics and our governing are pro-growth, smart progressive policies.”
Murphy expressed some optimism about former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid to oust president Donald Trump, saying trends suggested Biden would emerge the victor in that race.
“Nationally, things slowly but surely are going in the right direction for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I want to preach what we all should be preaching right now: patience. Let’s count every single vote, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” he said.
He had a less rosy view on his party’s prospects of taking back the U.S. Senate. Though that chance remained, Murphy said, it was far narrower than their chances at winning the presidency.
His comments there were made before Democrat Sara Gideon conceded her race against Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Murphy repeatedly stressed the need to count all ballots cast. The position puts him in direct opposition to President Donald Trump, who falsely claimed he had won the election early Wednesday morning and pledged to go the U.S. Supreme Court to stop ballot counts after election day.
Trump’s campaign has since launched state suit seeking to halt ballot counting in Michigan. The campaign also intends to file for a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden holds a lead of about 20,000 votes with no discernable path toward a Trump victory there.
“We want to make sure that every vote is counted, and we’ve got the patience and appropriate responsibility to see that, unlike some others on the other side of the aisle,” Murphy said. “But it looks overwhelmingly like we’ll be returning our entire Democratic House caucus to Washignton.”