With polls closed throughout the United States — and counting still underway in some areas — the surprise of the night was not so much that Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe in the race for Virginia governor, as polling suggested this was a possibility, but the results that are being reported out of New Jersey.
The governor’s race in the Garden State flew under the radar with all the attention on the Virginia gubernatorial race, with most expecting incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to carry the day. But Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli would have something to say about that after all, as the race remained too close to call early Wednesday.
What’s more, Ciattarelli is clinging to a razor-thin lead of 1,193 votes with 88 percent of the vote counted — 49.65 to 49.60.
Of course, as history informs, Democrats can find 1,200 votes in their sleep, so it’s too early to celebrate a GOP win in New Jersey.
However, win or lose, the results there may be an even greater sign than Youngkin’s win in Virginia that the Democratic Party and its radical left agenda is in serious trouble heading into the 2022 midterms. The incumbent party in the White House traditionally takes somewhat of a beating in the midterms, but 2022 could prove to be a bloodbath for Democrats.
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“We’ve sent a message to the entire nation. 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,” Ciattarelli told supporters late in the night.
The former accountant and businessman was up against a formidable opponent in Murphy, who was “leading in the polls, has a 1 million-voter registration advantage and had more cash in his campaign coffers than Ciattarelli in the final days of the race,” Fox News reported.
The governor held a comfortable lead in every recent poll being reflected on RealClearPolitics, the network noted, with the smallest advantage being 6 points in an Emerson poll conducted between Oct. 15-18.
Ciattarelli suggested on the campaign trail that he will oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and much like his GOP colleague in Virginia, he has been highly dismissive of the toxic critical race theory, saying “we are not going to teach our children to feel guilty.”
Just last week in an undercover sting, a senior advisor to Murphy said the governor was planning to implement a vaccine mandate if re-elected to office.
“He’s [Phil Murphy] going to do it [vaccine mandates], but he couldn’t do it before the elections,” advisor Wendy Martinez told an undercover Project Veritas reporter in Spanish.
Politico reported that Murphy told supporters he would wait until all the votes are in to comment, but Ciattarelli told a jubilant crowd at a Marriott hotel in Bridgewater: “I wanted to come out here tonight because I prepared one hell of a victory speech. I wanted to come out here tonight and tell you that we won. I’m here to tell you that we’re winning.”
The results offer a massive reality check for New Jersey Democrats, win or loss, Politico observed, adding that it “further deepens the damage done to the party nationally on Tuesday, when Republican Glenn Youngin beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe to flip Virginia red.”
The damage in New Jersey may extend to the state legislature, with every seat on the ballot Politico reported that the Democrat majority there could “take a big hit.”
“We’re going to wait for every vote to be counted and that’s how our democracy works,” Murphy said late Tuesday. “We’re all sorry that tonight could not yet be the celebration we wanted it to be … When every vote is counted, and every vote will be counted, we hope to have a celebration.”
In what could prove to be a repeat of what was seen in the 2020 election, there are still “an untold number of still-uncounted mail-in ballots” in the state, the political news outlet stressed. State law says any ballots that arrive by next Monday, Nov. 8, must be counted.
It’s clear that the New Jersey and Virginia races had national overtones, with NJ.com reporting that President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings “threatened to dampen Democratic turnout in New Jersey, a state the Democratic president won by 16 percent points last year.” Biden is underwater in the state, according to a recent Monmouth University poll.
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