2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election

The 2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election was held on November 2, 2021, to elect the governor of New Jersey.

2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election

← 2017 November 2, 2021 2025 →
Turnout40.5%[1] (Increase2.0%)
  Phil Murphy for Governor (cropped 2).jpg FLD 4349 (2) (cropped).jpg
Nominee Phil Murphy Jack Ciattarelli
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Sheila Oliver Diane Allen
Popular vote 1,339,471 1,255,185
Percentage 51.2% 48.0%

2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election results map by congressional district.svg
Murphy:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Ciattarelli:      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Phil Murphy
Democratic

Elected Governor

Phil Murphy
Democratic

The Democratic incumbent, Governor Phil Murphy, who was first elected in 2017 with 56% of the vote, ran for re-election to a second term.[3] He formally announced his intention to run for a second term on October 1, 2020.[4] Primaries were held on June 8, 2021. Murphy, who won the Democratic nomination unopposed after his two primary challengers were disqualified, faced Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli, Green nominee Madelyn Hoffman, Libertarian nominee Gregg Mele, and Socialist Workers Party nominee Joanne Kuniansky in the general election.

Murphy led the polls ahead of the election and it was considered by many media outlets to be a safe or likely Democratic hold.[5] However, Murphy defeated Ciattarelli by a much smaller margin than expected.[6] Murphy is the first Democratic governor of New Jersey to win re-election since Brendan Byrne in 1977, as well as the first candidate of the same party as the incumbent U.S. president to win since Thomas Kean in 1985. This is also the first New Jersey gubernatorial election since 2009 where both the Democratic and Republican nominees received more than one million votes each.[6][7][8] Ciatterelli received the most votes out of any non governor-elect in a New Jersey gubernatorial election, and Murphy got the most votes for a New Jersey governor since 1989. It also was the first New Jersey gubernatorial election where the Green Party candidate placed third.

During the election, several technical problems with internet connections were reported across the state after newly installed voting machines were used for the first time, resulting in machine malfunctions that were eventually resolved. This caused a delay in the final results.[9][10][11] With 98% of the vote tallied, Ciattarelli conceded to governor Phil Murphy at a news conference on November 12, 2021.[12]

Democratic primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

NomineeEdit

DisqualifiedEdit

  • Roger Bacon, perennial candidate[13]
  • Lisa McCormick, candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018[14]

DeclinedEdit

FundraisingEdit

Primary campaign finance activity through June 28, 2021
Candidate Raised Spent Cash on hand
Phil Murphy $7,966,075 $7,752,229 $213,846
Source: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission[18]

ResultsEdit

Democratic primary results[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip Murphy (incumbent) 382,984 100.0%
Total votes 382,984 100.0%

Republican primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

NomineeEdit

Eliminated in primaryEdit

WithdrewEdit

DeclinedEdit

FundraisingEdit

Primary campaign finance activity through June 28, 2021
Candidate Raised Spent Cash on hand
Jack Ciattarelli $7,125,870 $7,045,692 $69,178
Brian Levine <$5,800 <$5,800 <$5,800
Phil Rizzo $678,619 $655,282 $23,337
Hirsh Singh $616,398 $615,931 $468
Doug Steinhardt (withdrew) $248,345 $221,819 $26,527
Source: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission[18]

EndorsementsEdit

Hirsh Singh
Individuals
  • Joseph Rudy Rullo, businessman, actor, and perennial candidate[25]
Phil Rizzo
State Legislators
Individuals

Lieutenant Governor nominationEdit

NomineeEdit

Potential candidates not selectedEdit

On May 4, 2021, the New Jersey Globe published a list of nine potential candidates for Lieutenant Governor after speaking with "more than two dozen Republican leaders, strategists and activists."[41] Diane Allen (who was selected as Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli's running mate) was one of the names on this list. The others were:

DebatesEdit

2021 New Jersey Republican gubernatorial primary debates
No. Date Host Moderator Link Participants
Key:
 P  Participant   A  Absent   N  Non-invitee   I  Invitee W  Withdrawn
Jack Ciattarelli Brian Levine Phil Rizzo Hirsh Singh
1[42] May 25, 2021 WKXW Eric Scott [1] P N N P

A second debate on NJ PBS featuring Ciattarelli and Singh and moderated by NJ Spotlight News reporters Briana Vannozzi, Colleen O'Dea, and David Cruz was planned for May 26, 2021,[43] but later cancelled on May 24, 2021,[44] after Singh announced that he would decline to participate.[45]

PollingEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Jack
Ciattarelli
Brian
Levine
Phil
Rizzo
Hirsh
Singh
Undecided
Public Policy Polling (D)[b] May 24–25, 2021 591 (LV) ± 4.1% 29% 2% 8% 23% 38%
Brad Parscale (R)[c] April 16–21, 2021 >1200 (LV) ± 3% 20% 3% 10% 22%

ResultsEdit

 
Results by county:
Ciattarelli
  •   60–70%
  •   50–60%
  •   40–50%
  •   <40%
Republican primary results[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jack Ciattarelli 167,690 49.46%
Republican Philip Rizzo 87,007 25.66%
Republican Hirsh V. Singh 73,155 21.58%
Republican Brian D. Levine 11,181 3.30%
Total votes 339,033 100.0%

General electionEdit

Five candidates appeared on the general election ballot, the lowest number of candidates for a New Jersey gubernatorial election since 1953, which also featured five.[46]

CandidatesEdit

WithdrewEdit

FundraisingEdit

General election campaign finance activity through November 19, 2021
Candidate Raised Spent Cash on hand
Phil Murphy $16,747,434 $16,393,069 $354,365
Jack Ciattarelli $16,361,174 $15,828,691 $532,483
Gregg Mele $6,000 <$5,800 N/A
Madelyn Hoffman $1,874 <$5,800 <$5,800
Joanne Kuniansky <$5,800 <$5,800 <$5,800
Source: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission[56]

DebatesEdit

Although New Jersey State Law gives until September 1, 2021, for independent gubernatorial candidates to fundraise $490,000 to qualify for the debates, the invitees of the first debate were definitively stated at around July 20, 2021, which was over a month before the deadline.[failed verification][57][58] Despite the third-party candidates being ineligible to debate in any debates that were sponsored by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the New Jersey Globe held another debate for third-party Lieutenant Governor candidates on October 11, 2021.[59]

2021 New Jersey gubernatorial debates
No. Date Host Moderator Link Democratic Republican Libertarian Green Socialist Workers
 P  Participant   A  Absent   N  Non-invitee   I  Invitee W  Withdrawn Phil Murphy Jack Ciattarelli Gregg Mele Madelyn Hoffman Joanne Kuniansky
1[60][61] September 28, 2021 NJPAC Sade Baderinwa
Brian Taff
[2] P P N N N
2[60] October 12, 2021 NJ PBS Briana Vannozzi [3] P P N N N
2021 New Jersey Lieutenant Governor debates
No. Date Host Moderator Link Democratic Republican Libertarian Green Socialist Workers
 P  Participant   A  Absent   N  Non-invitee   I  Invitee W  Withdrawn Sheila Oliver Diane Allen Eveline Brownstein Heather Warburton Vivian Sahner
1[60] October 5, 2021 New Jersey Globe David Wildstein
Shenell McCloud
Micah Rasmussen
[4] P P N N N
2[59] October 11, 2021 Joey Fox [5] N N P P W

PredictionsEdit

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[62] Solid D October 5, 2021
Inside Elections[63] Solid D November 1, 2021
Sabato's Crystal Ball[64] Likely D November 1, 2021

EndorsementsEdit

Phil Murphy (D)
Executive branch officials
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
County executives
Local officials
Individuals
Organizations
Labor unions
Newspapers
Jack Ciattarelli (R)
Executive branch officials
Governors
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Individuals
Newspapers
Trade associations
Declined to endorse
Labor unions
Organizations
Newspapers

PollingEdit

Aggregate pollsEdit

Source of poll
aggregation
Date(s)
administered
Dates
updated
Phil
Murphy

Democratic
Jack
Ciattarelli

Republican
Gregg
Mele
Libertarian
Madelyn
Hoffman
Green
Joanne
Kuniansky
Socialist Workers
Other/
Undecided
[e]
Lead
Real Clear Politics Oct 15–31, 2021 Nov 1, 2021 50.5% 42.7% - - - 6.8% 7.8%

Graphical summaryEdit

TableEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Phil
Murphy

Democratic
Jack
Ciattarelli

Republican
Gregg
Mele
Libertarian
Madelyn
Hoffman
Green
Joanne
Kuniansky
Socialist Workers
Other Undecided Lead
2021 NJ gubernatorial election Nov 2, 2021 2,614,886 - 51.22% 48.00% 0.30% 0.32% 0.15% - - 3.22%
Research Co. Oct 31 – Nov 1, 2021 450 (LV) ± 4.6% 50% 44% - - - 1% 5% 6%
The Trafalgar Group (R) Oct 29–31, 2021 1,085 (LV) ± 3.0% 49% 45% - - - 1% 4% 4%
Fairleigh Dickinson University Oct 23–28, 2021 823 (RV) ± 3.4% 53% 44% - - - 3%[f] 0% 9%
Rutgers-Eagleton Oct 21–27, 2021 901 (RV) ± 4.1% 50% 42% - - - - 8% 8%
Stockton University Oct 17–26, 2021 522 (LV) ± 4.3% 50% 41% - - - 6%[g] 3% 9%
Monmouth University Oct 21–25, 2021 1,000 (RV) ± 3.1% 50% 39% - - - 2%[h] 9% 11%
Emerson College[i] Oct 15–18, 2021 600 (LV) ± 3.9% 50% 44% - - - 0% 7% 6%
Schoen Cooperman Research (D) Oct 9–12, 2021 500 (LV) ± 4.4% 50% 41% - - - 0% 9% 9%
Stockton University Sep 17–25, 2021 552 (LV) ± 4.1% 50% 41% - - - 6%[j] 3% 9%
Monmouth University Sep 16–20, 2021 804 (RV) ± 3.5% 51% 38% - - - 3%[k] 9% 13%
National Research Inc. (R)[l] Sep 13–16, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 45% 42% - - - - 10% 3%
Fabrizio Lee (R)[m] Aug 24–29, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 43% 41% 2% 1% <1% - 14% 2%
46% 45% - - - - 9% 1%
Monmouth University Aug 11–16, 2021 810 (RV) ± 3.5% 52% 36% - - - 3%[n] 9% 16%
National Research Inc. (R)[l] June 17–22, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 49% 37% - - - - 14% 12%
Fairleigh Dickinson University June 9–16, 2021 803 (RV) ± 3.9% 48% 33% - - - 5%[o] 14% 15%
Rutgers-Eagleton May 21–29, 2021 493 (A) ± 5.4% 52% 24% - - - 13%[p] 12% 28%
467 (RV) ± 5.6% 52% 26% - - - 11%[q] 10% 26%
Change Research (D)[r] May 15–20, 2021 1,215 (A) ± 3.9% 47% 36% - - - - 17% 11%
National Research Inc. (R)[l] April 11–13, 2021 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 47% 30% - - - - 23% 17%
2017 NJ gubernatorial election Nov 7, 2017 2,147,415 - 56.0% 41.9% 0.5% 0.5% - 1.1% - 14.1%
Hypothetical polling
Phil Murphy vs. Generic Opponent
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Phil
Murphy (D)
Generic
Opponent
Undecided
Rutgers-Eagleton May 21–29, 2021 461 (RV) 42% 31% 27%[s]
Monmouth University April 29 – May 4, 2021 661 (RV) ± 3.8% 48% 44% 8%

General election resultsEdit

 
Results of the general election by municipality, darker colors indicate higher win percentage:
•Blue municipalities won by Murphy •Red municipalities won by Ciattarelli •Purple municipality (Loch Arbour) tied
2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election[134][1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Philip Murphy (incumbent) 1,339,471 51.22 -4.81%
Republican Jack Ciattarelli 1,255,185 48.00 +6.11%
Green Madelyn R. Hoffman 8,450 0.32 -0.15%
Libertarian Gregg Mele 7,768 0.30 -0.19%
Socialist Workers Joanne Kuniansky 4,012 0.15 N/A
Total votes 2,614,886 100.00% N/A
Turnout 2,648,814 40.47% +2.0%
Registered electors 6,545,250
Democratic hold Swing -5.78

Results by countyEdit

County Murphy Ciattarelli Others
Votes Percent Votes Percent Votes Percent
Atlantic 35,736 44.0% 44,977 55.3% 595 0.7%
Bergen 145,150 52.5% 129,644 46.9% 1,556 0.6%
Burlington 82,877 53.3% 71,772 46.1% 898 0.6%
Camden 92,162 61.7% 56,016 37.5% 1,214 0.8%
Cape May 14,183 36.7% 24,260 62.8% 218 0.6%
Cumberland 13,978 43.6% 17,794 55.6% 257 0.8%
Essex 132,520 74.0% 45,542 25.4% 1,105 0.6%
Gloucester 44,959 44.6% 54,976 54.6% 813 0.8%
Hudson 88,066 73.6% 30,443 25.4% 1,206 1.0%
Hunterdon 22,820 40.2% 33,459 58.9% 505 0.9%
Mercer 66,151 65.1% 34,617 34.1% 857 0.8%
Middlesex 116,352 55.9% 90,297 43.4% 1,498 0.7%
Monmouth 96,664 40.3% 141,100 58.8% 2,024 0.8%
Morris 81,915 44.1% 102,769 55.3% 1,239 0.7%
Ocean 68,615 31.8% 145,756 67.5% 1,439 0.7%
Passaic 57,812 51.5% 53,551 47.7% 961 0.9%
Salem 6,893 35.0% 12,620 64.1% 178 0.9%
Somerset 58,585 51.5% 54,264 47.7% 823 0.7%
Sussex 17,346 31.9% 36,310 66.8% 663 1.2%
Union 83,913 61.6% 51,279 37.6% 1,126 0.8%
Warren 12,774 34.6% 23,739 64.2% 444 1.2%

Results by congressional districtEdit

Murphy won 6 of 12 congressional districts. Ciattarelli, however, won the remaining 6, including four currently held by Democrats.

District Murphy Ciattarelli Representative
1st 56.8% 41.5% Donald Norcross
2nd 40.2% 58.9% Jeff Van Drew
3rd 42.5% 56.2% Andy Kim
4th 39.6% 59.6% Chris Smith
5th 45.9% 53.2% Josh Gottheimer
6th 51.3% 47.7% Frank Pallone
7th 46.5% 52.7% Tom Malinowski
8th 73.3% 25.8% Albio Sires
9th 57.9% 41.9% Bill Pascrell
10th 81.4% 15.6% Donald Payne Jr.
11th 46.4% 53.0% Mikie Sherrill
12th 62.3% 36.8% Bonnie Watson Coleman

[135]

Counties that flipped from Democratic to RepublicanEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear
  2. ^ This poll was sponsored by the Democratic Governors Association
  3. ^ Internal poll for the Hirsh Singh campaign
  4. ^ While the NJRTL recommended that voters choose Ciatarelli over Murphy, they refused to endorse him due to his support of abortion
  5. ^ Calculated by taking the difference of 100% and all other candidates combined.
  6. ^ "Someone Else" with 3%; "No One" with 1%
  7. ^ "Refused" with 1%
  8. ^ "Other candidate" with 1%; "No one" with 1%
  9. ^ This poll was sponsored by WPIX
  10. ^ "Refused" with 1%
  11. ^ "Other candidate" with 2%; "No one" with <1%
  12. ^ a b c Internal poll for the Jack Ciattarelli campaign
  13. ^ This poll was sponsored by Club for Growth Action
  14. ^ "Other candidate" with 2%; "No one" with 1%
  15. ^ "Someone Else" with 4%; "No One" with 1%
  16. ^ "Neither" with 7%; "Someone else" with 4%; "Would not vote" with 2%
  17. ^ "Neither" with 6%; "Someone else" with 4%; "Would not vote" with 1%
  18. ^ This poll was sponsored by Project Ready
  19. ^ "Consider voting for someone else [besides Murphy]" with 21%; Undecided with 6%

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Official campaign websites