New Jersey Governor’s Race an Unexpected Nail-Biter: Ciattarelli Leads Murphy with over 80% in

BRIDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 02: New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli greets supporters in a hotel ballroom at his watch party on November 02, 2021 in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The race between Ciattarelli and his Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy was too close to call by the end of …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New Jersey’s governor’s race has shaped up to be an unexpected nail-biter as Republican Jack Ciattarelli leads Democrat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy by nearly two percentage points with over 80 percent of precincts reporting.

Although polls tightened as Election Day neared, many widely viewed Murphy as having the clear advantage in the gubernatorial race. All eyes remained on Virginia, where the race tightened exponentially in the final stretch as Republican Glenn Youngkin surged past his Democrat opponent Terry McAuliffe, who refused to concede Tuesday night.

Now all eyes have turned to the Garden State as Ciattarelli took the lead and has maintained it throughout the night. As of 1:31 a.m. Eastern, with 83 percent of precincts reporting, the former state lawmaker led Murphy 50.6 percent to 48.7 percent, per Politico’s tracker — a difference of over 42,000 votes.

Other figures are showing an equally tight race:

At this point in the night, the race remains too close to call. Notably, there are still outstanding votes in two blue counties, Essex and Passaic, which could bode well for Murphy. If the governor is able to pull off a victory, it would mark the first time a Democrat incumbent governor won reelection in over 40 years in the Garden State.

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