Tomorrow is Election Day and MultiState will be tracking election outcomes and updating the results in real-time via our Twitter and Facebook profiles. Although 2017 is an off-year for presidential and congressional midterm elections, the elections tomorrow are still consequential for a few states. While most media focus has been on the two governors races, there are also a number of important down-ballot races happening across the country.
Most notable are the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. In Virginia, voters will choose between two well-known candidates in state politics, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D) and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (R), in a face-off that has attracted national attention. In New Jersey, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy (D) and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) fight to see who will replace term-limited Chris Christie (R).
National political coverage will view the results of these gubernatorial elections as a reaction to Congress and President Donald Trump, but to voters in New Jersey and Virginia, these races have significant consequences on local affairs.
Lt. Governors & Attorneys General
In addition to the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, both states will be electing new lieutenant governors and Virginia will also vote on an attorney general.
Virginians Justin Fairfax (D) and Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) are closing their lieutenant governor campaigns with a slew of attack ads in a race that will be decided separately from the gubernatorial section of the ballot. A Fairfax win would continue an almost decade-long trend of Democratic lieutenant governors — a tradition Vogel is determined to end.
In New Jersey, the Lt. Governor is paired with the gubernatorial candidates and the winning gubernatorial candidate's running mate becomes the Lt. Governor. On the Republican ticket is Carlos Rendo and Sheila Y. Oliver is on the Democratic ticket. The winner will become only the state's second lieutenant governor. The position was created in 2010 and has since been held only by this year's Republican gubernatorial candidate, Kim Guadagno.
Additionally, Virginia's attorney general race has become the most expensive in state history, with interest groups queuing up to support the Attorney General candidates that are also potential gubernatorial candidacies in four years. Both incumbent Mark R. Herring (D) and challenger John Adams (R) have raised around $9 million for the race.
Voters in Virginia and New Jersey will also be deciding the makeup of Virginia's 100-member House of Delegates and all 120 seats in New Jersey's state legislature. Shifts in party control could impact these states' directions on a range of issues, especially if the majority aligns with that of the new governor.
Virginia's state legislator contests have generated their own national buzz as they represent the first test of the Democrats' ability to bounce back after becoming the minority party in the state legislature. Like the governor's race, politicos will view the outcomes of the delegate races as an early indication of voter attitudes towards the 2018 midterms.
With issues like Medicaid expansion in Virginia also hinging on the elections' outcomes, MultiState will be watching the delegate races closely tomorrow. MultiState will also be tracking the outcomes of special elections in Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Maine, Mississippi, New York, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Washington.
State Ballot Measures
Voters in six states will decide the fate of 19 statewide ballot measures tomorrow. We've already previewed a number of these ballot measures by issue area: taxes, health care, and governance. For a full overview of ballot measure procedures in the states, read our latest post on direct democracy in the states.
Finally, 36 of the top 100 most populous U.S. cities are holding mayoral elections this year, 21 of which will be decided at the polls tomorrow.
With the executive offices of cities like Seattle, Detroit, and Minneapolis in contention, these elections will help steer the direction of future policy proposals at the local levels. Consequently, we will be tracking the victors of these 21 races in cities like Atlanta and Charlotte where a political party shift in the mayor's office is most likely.
Be sure to tune in to MultiState's social media feeds for the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of tomorrow's election results, and keep an eye on the MultiState Insider for our post-election analysis.