2017 United States gubernatorial elections

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 2017, in two states: Virginia and New Jersey. These elections formed part of the 2017 United States elections. The last regular gubernatorial elections for these two states were in 2013. Both incumbents were term-limited, so both seats were open. Democrats held the governorship in Virginia and picked up the governorship of New Jersey. For the first time since 2008, Democrats won the total popular vote of the year's gubernatorial elections.

2017 United States gubernatorial elections

← 2016 November 7, 2017 2018 →

2 governorships[a]
  Majority party Minority party
Party Republican Democratic
Seats before 34[b] 15
Seats after 33 16
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 1
Popular vote 2,075,314 2,612,285
Percentage 43.58% 54.86%
Seats up 1 1
Seats won 0 2

2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election2017 Virginia gubernatorial election2017 United States gubernatorial elections results map.svg
About this image
Map of the results
     Democratic gain      Democratic hold
     No election

Election predictionsEdit

Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate.

State CPVI Incumbent Last
August 7,
October 27,
September 21,
New Jersey D+7 Chris Christie
60.3% R Likely D (flip) Likely D (flip) Safe D (flip) Murphy (D)
Virginia D+1 Terry McAuliffe
47.8% D Lean D Tilt D Lean D Northam (D)

Race summaryEdit


State Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
New Jersey Chris Christie Republican 2009 Incumbent term-limited.
New governor elected.
Democratic gain.
Virginia Terry McAuliffe Democratic 2013 Incumbent term-limited.
New governor elected.
Democratic hold.

Closest racesEdit

States where the margin of victory was less than 10%:

  1. Virginia, 8.90%

Blue denotes states won by Democrats.

Partisan control by stateEdit

Before election After election
State Governor Senate House Governor Senate House
New Jersey Rep Dem Dem Dem Dem Dem
Virginia Dem Rep Rep Dem Rep Rep

New JerseyEdit

2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election
← 2013 November 7, 2017 2021 →
Turnout38.5%[8] ( 1.1%)
Nominee Phil Murphy Kim Guadagno
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Sheila Oliver Carlos Rendo
Popular vote 1,203,110 899,583
Percentage 56.0% 41.9%

County results
Murphy:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Guadagno:      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Chris Christie

Elected Governor

Phil Murphy

The 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 2017. There were seven candidates.[9] Candidates for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey run on the same ticket and thus are elected at the same time. Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie was term-limited and could not run for a third consecutive term.

Primary elections took place on June 6, 2017. Kim Guadagno, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, won the Republican primary. Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo was her running mate. Phil Murphy, banker and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, won the Democratic primary. Former State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver was his running mate. Seth Kaper-Dale ran as the Green Party candidate; his running mate was Lisa Durden. Pete Rohrman ran as the Libertarian Party candidate; his running mate was Karrese Laguerre. Matt Riccardi ran as the Constitution Party candidate. There were two other independent candidates on the ballot.

Murphy was declared to be the winner when polls closed at 8 pm EST based on exit polling alone. He ultimately received 56.0% of the vote, winning with a 14.1% vote lead over his opponent.[10] This was similar to the results in the 2016 election with Murphy slightly outperforming Hillary Clinton by one percentage point. However, with just 38.5% of registered voters casting ballots, this would be the lowest turnout on record for a gubernatorial election in New Jersey.[11] This was the first gubernatorial election in New Jersey since 1989, in which the Democratic candidate won Somerset County.


New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2017[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Phil Murphy 1,203,110 56.03% +17.84%
Republican Kim Guadagno 899,583 41.89% -18.41%
Independent Gina Genovese 12,294 0.57% N/A
Libertarian Peter J. Rohrman 10,531 0.49% -0.08%
Green Seth Kaper-Dale 10,053 0.47% +0.08%
Constitution Matthew Riccardi 6,864 0.32% N/A
Independent Vincent Ross 4,980 0.29% N/A
Total votes '2,147,415' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic gain from Republican


2017 Virginia gubernatorial election
← 2013 November 7, 2017 2021 →
Turnout47.6% (of registered voters)[13]
Nominee Ralph Northam Ed Gillespie
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,409,175 1,175,731
Percentage 53.9% 45.0%

County and Independent City Results
Northam:      40–50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%
Gillespie:      40–50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%

Governor before election

Terry McAuliffe

Elected Governor

Ralph Northam

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe won election with 48% of the vote in 2013.[14] McAuliffe was not eligible to run for reelection due to term limits established by the Virginia Constitution.

The Virginia gubernatorial election of 2017 was held on November 7, 2017. Primary elections took place on June 13, 2017. Virginia utilizes an open primary, in which registered voters are allowed to vote in either party's primary election.[15] The Democratic Party nominated Ralph Northam and the Republican Party nominated Ed Gillespie. The Libertarian Party nominated Clifford Hyra by convention on May 6, 2017.[16]

In the general election on November 7, 2017, Democratic nominee Ralph Northam defeated Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, winning by the largest margin for a Democrat since 1985. Northam became the 73rd governor of Virginia, and assumed office on January 13, 2018.[17] The election had the highest voter turnout percentage in a Virginia gubernatorial election in twenty years with over 47% of the state's constituency casting their ballot.[13]


Virginia gubernatorial election, 2017[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ralph Northam 1,409,175 53.90% +6.15%
Republican Ed Gillespie 1,175,731 44.97% -0.26%
Libertarian Clifford Hyra 27,987 1.07% -5.45%
N/A Write-ins 1,389 0.05% -0.44%
Total votes '2,614,282' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic hold

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Alaska's governorship was held by an independent, so the number of seats held by Democrats and Republicans added up to only 49.
  2. ^ Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia changed party affiliation from Democratic to Republican in August 2017.


  1. ^ "2018 Governors Race Ratings". Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "2017-18 Gubernatorial Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "2017-2018 Crystal Ball gubernatorial race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "5 key things Phil Murphy says he'll do as governor of N.J." Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  5. ^ "Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno entering 2017 N.J. governor race". {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ "Arlington legislative delegation likely to stick with Northam". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  7. ^ "Gillespie leads GOP field, but trails Northam in 2017 governor's race, poll finds - Roanoke Times: Politics". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  8. ^ "Total Number of Registered Voters, Ballots Cast, Ballots Rejected, Percentage of Ballots Cast and the Total Number of Election Districts in New Jersey" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. November 29, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  9. ^ "Official List Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor For November 2017 General Election" (PDF). New Jersey Department of State. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Phil Murphy beats Kim Guadagno to succeed Christie as N.J. governor". Nj.com. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Symons, Michael. "NJ's governor's race cost $79 million but had lowest turnout ever". New Jersey 101.5. Retrieved 2021-10-24.
  12. ^ "Official List, Candidates for Governor For GENERAL ELECTION 11/07/2017 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. November 29, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Registration/Turnout Statistics". Virginia Department of Elections. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "Election 2013". The New York Times. November 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "Virginia gubernatorial election, 2017". Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "LP nominates Cliff Hyra for Virginia governor - Libertarian Party". LP.org. May 9, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Bloch, Matthew (November 7, 2017). "Live Election Results and Estimates: Virginia Governor Race". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "2017 November General". Results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2017.