*** Election Night Livewire *** Virginia, New Jersey Governor Races, Battles Across America Set Tone 10 Months into Biden Era

LEESBURG, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 01: Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks at a campaign rally at the Loudon County Fairground on November 01, 2021 in Leesburg, Virginia. The Virginia gubernatorial election, pitting Youngkin against Democratic candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, is tomorrow. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Americans in several states across the country – particularly in Virginia and New Jersey – vote Tuesday in the biggest election since last year’s presidential election and before the upcoming midterm congressional elections in November 2022. Voters in Virginia and New Jersey are voting on who they want to be their next governors, as well as on several important down-ticket offices.

Virginia’s gubernatorial race has gotten very competitive in the final weeks, as Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin has surged in polling, riding a focus on cultural issues like standing up for parents in battles with school boards and educators. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s former governor who is seeking a comeback as the state term limits governors to just one consecutive term, aims to keep the governor’s mansion in the Old Dominion in Democrat hands. McAuliffe handed the job off to outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam, another Democrat who has been plagued throughout his time as governor with scandals, particularly after old yearbook photos emerged of him in racist garb. While Northam originally claimed he was one of the two people in the picture – in Ku Klux Klan robes or in blackface – without specifying, he later claimed he was not either. Nonetheless, Northam held onto his job and weathered the scandal. Tuesday, voters will answer the question of whether McAuliffe can hang on for the Democrats and win back his old job or if the people of Virginia are ready to swing the pendulum back the other way after 12 years since the last GOP win statewide in the state.

Down-ticket, voters will also elect a new Lieutenant Governor and a new Attorney General in Virginia, and the majority control of the state House of Delegates is up for grabs as well.

Voters in New Jersey also will decide on whether Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy will get a second term or if Republican Jack Ciattarelli will unseat him. While polls did tighten a bit in the final weeks, Murphy is viewed as in a stronger position than McAuliffe down in Virginia.

In Ohio, a special election will again test former President Donald Trump’s strength in the rust belt as voters will elect a successor to former Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) in the 15th district. Democrats have been creeping in quietly here behind their candidate Allison Russo – President Joe Biden endorsed her in the final days – but this district has been reliably Republican. It remains to be seen if the last-second sneak attack from Democrats can flip this seat or if the GOP will hang on.

Elsewhere in America, interesting mayor’s races, ballot referenda, local elections, and more could prove particularloto y newsworthy as voters decide the fate of many major issues in Tuesday elections ahead of next year’s midterms.

Follow along here for live updates as America votes in the first regularly scheduled election since Biden took over the White House and for news and analysis about the results and trends and takeaways.

UPDATE 1:28 a.m. ET:

Here is a photo of a defeated Democrat President Joe Biden disembarking Air Force One upon his return from Europe amid crushing blows from American voters to his party:

UPDATE 1:24 a.m. ET

Now, Republicans have also been projected to retake a majority in the Virginia House of Delegates–a further embarrassment for Biden and the Democrats, whose deep losses in Tuesday’s elections keep getting worse.

Late-breaking votes pouring in in Chesterfield County seems to have pushed the GOP into the majority, another crushing blow to the Democrat Party:

So Republicans swept all three statewide races in the Old Dominion state, and now they have taken the House of Delegates in the state legislature as well.

UPDATE 1:19 a.m. ET

With Youngkin still giving his victory speech, Democrat President Joe Biden–whose agenda and party have been rejected heavily by voters coast to coast on Tuesday night–touched back down at Joint Base Andrews after a several day trip in Europe for a meeting with Pope Francis and a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Biden did not give any comments or remarks after American voters defenestrated his party at the polls on Tuesday. It remains to be seen what happens next for the president and his agenda–which is clogged in a congested Congress.

UPDATE 1:16 a.m. ET

GOP Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin took the stage before supporters at his election night victory party to Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky, a staple song from his campaign rallies.

“My fellow Virginians, we stand here this morning at this defining moment–a defining moment that yes started with two people on a walk and is a defining moment that is now millions of Virginians walking together,” Youngkin said…. “Together, we will change the trajectory of this Commonwealth. Friends, we are going to start that transformation on day one. There is no time to waste. Our kids can’t wait. We work in real people time, not government time. On day one, we’re going to work. We’re going to restore excellence in our schools.”

Youngkin laid out a series of education reforms he intends to implement across the board from the outset, including school choice. “We’re going to press forward with a curriculum that includes parents’ input,” Youngkin said, referring to his opponents Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s serious gaffe undercutting parents. “We are going reestablish excellence in our schools. We are fighting for parents and teachers and students in our schools.”

McAuliffe also pledge tax cuts, and regulation rollbacks to help veterans–and pledged public safety measures as well.

“On day one, we’re going to jumpstart our jobs and reinvigorate this economy,” Youngkin said.

“Virginia will be open for business,” he added. “It’s time for Virginia to be the place where everyone wants to live not leave.”

“We will not be a Commonwealth of low expectations, we will be a Commonwealth of high expectations,” Youngkin said, noting that his campaign has become a “movement” and that the “spirit of Virginia has come together like never before” also naming several of the Founding Fathers from Virginia like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

UPDATE 1:04 a.m. ET

Suzanne Youngkin, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s wife, spoke to the crowd to introduce her husband. During her remarks, the next First Lady of Virginia laid out the story of when her husband told her he intended to run for governor–and what kind of man he is and leader he will be.

UPDATE 12:59 a.m. ET

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears, the first black woman ever elected statewide in Virginia–and a Republican–spoke to supporters at Youngkin headquarters on Wednesday night to celebrate her victory.
“I’m at a loss for words at the first time in my life,” she said.

“I’m here because of you,” she said…. “That’s the only reason I’m here.”
Sears, a rising GOP star, earned huge cheers from the crowd. “I’m telling you what you are looking at is the American dream,” she said after introducing her husband.

Sears told the story of her father moving from Jamaica at the “height of the Civil Rights movement” to the United States to pursue the American dream. “Then he came and got me when I was six years old,” she said, noting when she got to the U.S. “I landed in a new world.”

Sears, who along with her husband served in the U.S. Marine Corps, noted she signed up when she was still a Jamaican and not even an American citizen yet. “I was willing to die for this country,” she said.

Sears also bashed leftists for race-baiting, noting that the United States has come a long way since the Civil Rights movement despite what Democrats would have the public believe. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m black and I’ve been black all my life,” she said.

Sears focused as well on education in her speech. “Education will lift us all out of poverty,” she said, noting that solid educational opportunities will “create generational wealth.”

“It’s a historic night but I didn’t run to make history–I just wanted to leave it better than I found it,” Sears said…. “Hold on, Virginia, help is on the way–the cavalry has arrived.”

UPDATE 12:48 a.m. ET

Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s whereabouts are unknown, and it is unclear if he will accept defeat and concede the race now that it has been confirmed by all major networks he lost the election for governor in Virginia. He did previously say he would accept the results of the election, but he also has hired Marc Elias–a Democrat attorney known for election law battles–in recent weeks. So it remains to be seen if McAuliffe will concede or challenge the results of the election.

Youngkin is expected to speak momentarily to celebrate his victory.

UPDATE 12:40 a.m. ET

Fox News has finally, after literally everyone else, called the Virginia governor’s race for GOP Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin. The embarrassing amount of time Fox News took to call the race all night cuts further into the network’s credibility issues after its problems in the 2020 presidential election as well. But the cable channel finally joined NBC, ABC, CNN, and even Politico–which called it before Fox News–in calling the race.

UPDATE 12:38 a.m. ET

Republican Jack Ciattarelli is giving remarks in Bridgewater Township in New Jersey projecting far more confidence he will be the eventual winner than Murphy had moments earlier. The New Jersey governor race, he says, will take time over the next “week or so” but is confident he will be able to “certify this win” soon.

UPDATE 12:32 a.m. ET

Democrat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey finally spoke long after midnight, while he still trails Republican Jack Ciattarelli in results with north of 75 percent reporting. In his remarks, he did not declare victory or concede defeat, but did project much more confidence than his Democrat counterpart Terry McAuliffe down in Virginia did earlier in the evening.

UPDATE 12:30 a.m. ET

CNN, ABC News and NBC News have finally projected that Republican Glenn Youngkin will win the Virginia governor’s race.

Fox News, embarrassingly, still has not called the race for Youngkin.

UPDATE 12:04 a.m. ET:

Democrats’ woes are spreading everywhere in America, as even in Seattle a Republican is surprisingly strong in a local race:

UPDATE 12:02 a.m. ET:

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, per exit polling, seems to have won Hispanic voters by a large margin:

UPDATE 11:38 p.m. ET:

Boston elects Democrat Michelle Wu as its new mayor:

UPDATE 11:29 p.m. ET:

New Jersey’s governor’s race continues to be close, and Republican Jack Ciattarelli’s lead continues to hold with more and more reporting:

UPDATE 11:27 p.m. ET:

Democrat Eric Adams has won the mayor’s race in New York City, and Republican Curtis Sliwa conceded the race and pledged his support to the incoming Adams administration.

UPDATE 11:19 p.m. ET:

This red wave nationwide is freaking out Democrats, especially those close to President Joe Biden. The New York Times’s Blake Hounshell reports that voices around Biden warning him to avoid the left are only going to get louder.

UPDATE 11:14 p.m. ET:

Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report projects that the Democrats will lose their majority in the Virginia House of Delegates as well. Republicans might not, however, do better than a 50-50 tie with the Democrats, which could gridlock the chamber:

UPDATE 11:01 p.m. ET: 

Despite the fact that McAuliffe refuses to concede his election loss at this stage, nobody is left at his election night “party” according to Fox News. Before she went off the air, Laura Ingraham showed images of a completely emptied out ballroom in Virginia for the former Democrat governor.

UPDATE 10:59 p.m. ET:

Things are getting “tense” at Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy’s New Jersey headquarters:

UPDATE 10:57 p.m. ET:

The left has just been crushed everywhere tonight, in Buffalo, New York now the incumbent mayor Byron Brown just declared victory in his historic write-in campaign against a devout socialist:

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis the loss for the left cannot be understated according to GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel:

UPDATE 10:51 p.m. ET:

The New Jersey governor’s race still has Republican Jack Ciattarelli leading with 60 percent of the vote in, and Republicans are cleaning up elsewhere in New Jersey too:

UPDATE 10:40 p.m. ET:

James Pinkerton has this article on five key takeaways from Youngkin’s victory in Virginia. In it, he suggests that 2022 is likely going to be a “landslide” win for Republicans in the midterm elections. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m. ET:

Republican Jack Ciattarelli continues to lead incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy in New Jersey, even with 52 percent of the vote in according to the New York Times. Ciattarelli’s 50.9 percent is more than 35,000 votes more than 48.3 percent. This is a shocking development, and it’s unclear if the GOP will hold this lead, but the fact it is at this point at this stage is debilitating for Democrats.

UPDATE 10:24 p.m. ET:

McAuliffe, speaking at an event in McLean, Virginia, does not appear to be conceding the election to Youngkin at this stage. He got up and spoke to supporters for just a few minutes and thanked his family, but did not concede the election.

UPDATE 10:06 p.m. ET:

Democrats and leftists lose yet again, this time in Minneapolis, as voters resoundingly rejected a ballot measure that would have replaced the Minneapolis Police Department with a “department of public safety.”

This is yet another huge loss for the radical left, as the people of the city in which George Floyd was killed just voted to stand by their local police department–a sharp turn against the left after riots all summer last year.

It is also an embarrassing loss for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a radical leftist socialist and “Squad” member, because she vocally endorsed voting for this ballot measure–which the people of Minneapolis just voted down.

UPDATE 9:58 p.m. ET:

Even though the networks–including Fox News–and AP still continue to refuse to formally call the race in Virginia for Youngkin, McAuliffe’s headquarters is reportedly growing increasingly depressing:

UPDATE 9:52 p.m. ET:

White women powered Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, per statistics some in establishment media are circulating.

UPDATE: 9:49 p.m. ET:

New Jersey’s governor’s race is shockingly close, as Republican Jack Ciattarelli has taken a lead over incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy with 32 percent reporting according to the New York Times. Ciattarelli, with 50.5 percent, leads Murphy’s 48.7 percent. If Ciattarelli pulls off a victory in New Jersey it would be even bigger of a shock than Youngkin’s victory in Virginia. The fact this is even close at this stage is devastating for Democrats.
UPDATE 9:42 p.m. ET:

Democrats should be very worried about these results nationwide tonight, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report says, warning that they could lose their majorities in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate as a result of this shift in the political environment next year:

UPDATE 9:38 p.m. ET:

Republican Mike Carey, Trump’s pick in Ohio’s 15th district in the special election, has officially won, per NBC News–another crushing blow to Biden:

Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus just called Virginia’s GOP governor-elect Glenn Youngkin a “happy warrior” during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s program on the Fox News Channel. Priebus’s use of that phrase, which was commonly used to describe Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart, is interesting–and accurate. Youngkin had appeared on Breitbart News radio multiple times throughout the year in the lead-up to his victory, including most recently this Saturday.

UPDATE: 9:35 p.m. ET:

Looks like Virginia represents a “red wave” statewide, with almost everywhere shifting to the right:

UPDATE 9:32 p.m. ET: 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is thanking Virginia for electing Youngkin:

And MSNBC is in meltdown:

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. ET:

McAuliffe surrogates who were scheduled to appear on MSNBC have bailed on their hits:

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has congratulated Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory:

Meanwhile, MSNBC admits what is really happening:

UPDATE 9:27 p.m. ET:

It appears Republican Mike Carey is cruising to victory in Ohio’s 15th congressional district’s special election as well, another crushing blow to Biden on Tuesday night as the Democrat president had just endorsed Carey’s Democrat opponent this week in the lead-up to the election. Stefanik, the House GOP conference chairwoman, has congratulated Carey on his victory already:

UPDATE 9:10 p.m. ET:

Former President Donald Trump congratulated Youngkin on his victory tonight too, saying “Glenn will be a great governor.”

More Republicans are congratulating him too, even though several networks including Fox News still refuse to call the race:

UPDATE 9:05 p.m. ET: 

Republican Governors Association (RGA) chairman Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) congratulated Governor-Elect Youngkin on his victory in Virginia:

“The RGA is thrilled to congratulate Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on winning a hard-fought race that many wrote off as unwinnable for Republicans,” Ducey said in a statement. “Glenn ran an excellent and inspiring campaign that raises the bar for candidates across the country. Unlike his opponent, Glenn didn’t need a cast of national surrogates to do his work for him; he connected directly with voters on issues that matter to Virginians. The RGA is honored to have worked with Glenn throughout the general election and we look forward to welcoming him to our ranks as Virginia’s next governor.”

RGA executive director Dave Rexrode added his congratulations as well.

“We are proud to have partnered with the Youngkin campaign over the last several months, working closely to execute an effective plan to win in a state Joe Biden carried by 10 points a year ago,” Rexrode said. “Together, we were able to define the race on our terms and provide the resources needed for all voters to hear Glenn’s vision for a safer, more prosperous Commonwealth. We are excited to have Governor-Elect Youngkin as our 28th Republican Governor.”

UPDATE 9:03 p.m. ET:

Congratulations continue to roll in for Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin:

Meanwhile, Democrats are infighting incessantly and bizarrely already:

UPDATE 9:01 p.m. ET:

Republican Winsome Sears has won the Lieutenant Governor’s race in Virginia, becoming the first black woman ever elected statewide in the Old Dominion’s history:

UPDATE 8:47 p.m. ET:

Donald Trump Jr. spokesman Andy Surabian has termed the red wave crashing across America on Tuesday night “the great wokelash”

Trump Jr. himself is also ripping Biden as the results keep pouring in crushing Democrats on Tuesday night:

UPDATE 8:44 p.m. ET: 

Decision Desk HQ has also called the race for Youngkin:

Republicans have also won the attorney general race in Virginia:

And the GOP has flipped several House of Delegates seats from Democrat control:

UPDATE 8:41 p.m. ET: 

Ashley Oliver sends along this update from Youngkin campaign HQ on Tuesday evening:

Enthusiasm is high at the Marriott in Chantilly as results continue to appear increasingly favorable toward Youngkin. Hundreds of supporters are buzzing around, and a Youngkin staffer said,  “Feeling good!” while they continue to await a final call.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m. ET:

Congratulations are rolling in for Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, with House GOP Conference chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wishing him well after his victory Tuesday night in Virginia. Stefanik issued this statement after Youngkin’s victory on Tuesday night:

“Congratulations to Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on his historic and electrifying victory tonight. Not only is this a win for the Commonwealth, but this is also a win for America.

Hardworking Americans are fed up with failed, Far-Left politicians who are destroying our economy with Socialist tax-and-spend policies and infiltrating our classrooms with their radical agenda.

Republicans, Independents, and Democrats undeniably united behind Youngkin’s message to support parents’ rights and reject dangerous tax hikes, and this is the same winning message that will propel Republicans to win the House majority next November.

Glenn Youngkin kicked off the 2022 Red Wave early, and Republicans are now more energized than ever to take back the House and fire Lame Duck Speaker Nancy Pelosi once and for all.”

UPDATE 8:31 p.m. ET: 

A huge night for Republicans nationwide as the GOP has now also flipped the mayor’s office in Rochester, New Hampshire, as well.

There are other races like this across America that Republicans are watching closely too. But with Virginia and now New Hampshire flips, this Election Day is shaping up as a very bad night for Democrats and for President Joe Biden.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m. ET:

Dave Wasserman from the Cook Political Report calls it for Youngkin:

UPDATE 8:20 p.m. ET:

The Times’s Cohn says that Youngkin is the heavy favorite to win now in Virginia:

UPDATE: 8:18 p.m. ET:

Youngkin keeps over performing in counties he wins, and McAuliffe keeps underperforming in counties he wins:

Youngkin seems to be over performing in Loudoun County, too:

UPDATE: 8:14 p.m. ET:

Unsurprising, but it’s official now: Democrat Shontel Brown has won the special election in Ohio’s 11th congressional district to succeed former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)–who is now Biden’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary:

UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:

Youngkin keeps rolling, and just pulled off a surprise big victory in Radford, Virginia:

UPDATE 8:06 p.m. ET:

Youngkin seems to have the edge but it’s still early:

UPDATE 8:03 p.m. ET: 

The polls have closed now in New Jersey and results are expected there imminently.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Fairfax County’s issues because of a reported need to rescan ballots have everyone in the state on edge:

UPDATE 7:59 p.m. ET:

McAuliffe, who is not at an election night event but watching results from his home with his family, issued this statement to supporters:

UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET: 

With 33 percent reporting according to the New York Times, Youngkin still has a huge lead of 54.1 percent to McAuliffe’s 45.2 percent.

Both Virginia candidates are also seemingly hitting the margins they need to hit where they need to hit them for a close photo finish statewide:

But McAuliffe seems to have had problems in Northern Virginia’s Manassas:

UPDATE 7:45 p.m. ET:

There are some issues apparently in Fairfax County with reporting of absentee votes:

There is also some confusion in Loudoun County:

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET:

With 16 percent reporting now, Youngkin’s lead continues to grow–now at nearly 60,000 votes. It’s still too early to tell what this all means. But Youngkin’s 55.8 percent currently leads McAuliffe’s 43.6 percent.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m. ET: 

Breitbart News’s Ashley Oliver and Matt Perdie are at Youngkin HQ in Virginia for election night. Ashley sends this report along from the Youngkin event:

We’re here at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia, where the Youngkin campaign is spending election night. The second floor of the hotel is filling up fast with staff and supporters dressed up and preparing to watch the results roll in. Energy is high, and one Youngkin campaign staffer told Breitbart News they are feeling “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m. ET

Youngkin is crushing it in Loudoun County, where he focused his campaign on education issues:

UPDATE 7:33 p.m. ET

McAuliffe is crushing it with mail and early votes, especially in northern Virginia:

Nonetheless, Youngkin doing slightly better than expected according to the Times’ Cohn:

With 9 percent reporting, Youngkin’s 54.2 percent still leads McAuliffe’s 45 percent–by about 26,000 votes.

UPDATE 7:27 p.m. ET: 

With 5 percent now reporting in Virginia, Youngkin’s lead is down to just under 14,000 votes–with 54.3 percent, Youngkin still leads McAuliffe’s 45 percent. It’s still early so unclear what to make of it as this stage.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m. ET:

In New York–and in other places–some voters are being turned away from polling places over a lack of a mask. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the House GOP Conference chairwoman, is sounding the alarm–calling it “illegal voter suppression”:

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. ET:

The first votes are in from very red areas, and Youngkin has a huge lead–as expected–there.

According to the New York Times, with 1 percent reporting, Youngkin leads with 65.2 percent to McAuliffe’s 34.1 percent.

UPDATE 7:11 p.m. ET:

As first results are expected to come out soon, some experts are saying that the early voting numbers might get reported first–so it might play out differently than it has in previous recent elections where Republicans lead big first then Democrats close later:

Also, it appears as though the early vote is smaller than November 2020 in Virginia:

UPDATE 7:00 p.m. ET:

The polls have closed in Virginia, and results are expected to start pouring in soon. Polls close in New Jersey in an hour at 8 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m. ET:

Exit polls in New Jersey, meanwhile, show taxes have emerged as a top issue there:

UPDATE 6:48 p.m. ET:

Some, like the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman, are suggesting before the polls close that turnout seems to favor the Republican, Youngkin, as it’s higher in redder areas of Virginia than in bluer areas:

It is as of now unclear whether this red surge will be enough for Youngkin to defeat McAuliffe though:

The New York Times’s Nate Cohn has a decent breakdown, too, of what to make of early voting:

UPDATE 6:40 p.m. ET:

Exit polls in Virginia show that Republican Glenn Youngkin has an 18-point favorability rating advantage among voters over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

But Democrats are expressing confidence before the polls close:

The exit polls also show the economy is the number one issue, followed by coronavirus and education:

This piece from John Carney, Breitbart News’s economics editor, has more on the exit polling in Virginia and the significance of the economy being the biggest issue.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.