In the past 44 years, no Democratic governor has ever won reelection in New Jersey. Not until now. Phil Murphy has broken the supposed curse, becoming the first Democratic governor to be reelected in New Jersey since 1977. The election was not called until Wednesday morning due to the narrow margin, with Murphy squeaking by with just 1.5% more votes than his opponent.

Murphy only had 1.5% more votes than Republican Jack Ciattarelli. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes‘ noted the low voter turnout among Democrats in New Jersey, which likely contributed to Murphy’s close call. The Republicans of New Jersey came out in record numbers and flipping many areas that were previously blue. Despite Ciattarelli’s loss, he managed to get many Republicans out to vote, which was a feat in itself.

Ciattarelli and Murphy both gained national attention during this race, as Ciattarelli was labeled a “Trump Loyalist” early on, and Murphy, a progressive fighting to enforce COVID-19 protocols at the beginning of the pandemic, the two could not have been more polar opposites.

In the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden won New Jersey over former President Donald Trump by 20%, now Democrat Murphy managed to win by only 1%. This could signal something much larger than just Democrats’ lack of voter turnout,  possibly a changing of tides in the country’s political make-up.

The New Jersey gubernatorial race is just one of many close contests in this year’s midterm elections. The Virginia governor race between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin was the highest-profile contest, showing the same trend that was seen in New Jersey with more Republicans voting than Democrats.

All of these results follow Biden’s speech on Tuesday morning in Glasgow, reassuring to the press that, “Democrats are going to win.”

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