USA: Defeated in Virginia, Democrats Save New Jersey

Outgoing New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was narrowly re-elected on Wednesday by a much shorter lead over his Republican challenger than polls expected, allowing Democrats to save face after a defeat in Virginia that weakened Joe Biden.

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According to the results presented by the American media, which covered about 90% of the votes counted, Phil Murphy was re-elected with only 50.1% of the votes cast, compared to 49.1% for Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a progress of about 20,000 votes out of about 2.4. million votes in total.

“Polls have given Phil Murphy between 8 and 12 points, so it’s a surprise,” said Salahuddin Ambar, a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden won 58% of the vote, compared to Donald Trump’s 40%, while Phil Murphy won the state with 56% of the vote in 2017.

The political analyst sees it as a translation of local and national issues in the neighboring state of New York, where nearly nine million people live.

“It’s very difficult in a state where taxes, especially property taxes, are a big problem for Democrats, to stay in the governor’s office,” he told AFP, noting that the last time a Democratic governor held office there. It was in 1977.

But according to him, Governor Murphy was also a “victim” of Joe Biden’s unpopularity and why the US president, embroiled in endless negotiations to pass two massive investment plans, “was not able to perform in Congress.”

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In Virginia, Republican Glenn Yongkin defeated Terry McAuliffe, but the former governor (2014-2018) of that state was largely won a year earlier by Joe Biden against Donald Trump.

“National context remains important and will remain so in the 2022 midterm elections,” adds Mr. Ambar, seeing “a warning and a wake-up call for Democrats.”

On the US East Coast, Tuesday’s local elections also saw an unsurprising victory in New York City Hall for Democrat Eric Adams, the former police officer who on January 1 will become the second black mayor of the economic major city. . and cultural.

The winds of change also blew in Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, where Democrat Michelle Wu, 36, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, was elected mayor.

This attorney, who presents herself as an “immigrant mother and daughter,” succeeds Mayor Kim Janney, who was appointed this year to serve on a temporary basis following the departure of Marty Walsh to the US federal government.

Michelle Wu is the first woman and first person from a minority to be elected to this office in this city of over 600,000, one of the oldest in the United States.

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