Washington Post: “Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin and Trump repeatedly spoke by phone over the course of the campaign, according to people familiar with the conversations who were not authorized to speak publicly, allowing the two men to go the length of the contest without saying negative things about each other or clashing on strategy.”
Playbook: “According to exit polls, Biden was about as unpopular as Trump in Virginia. But Biden embraced the race as a referendum on his presidency and campaigned in the state while Trump, to his great annoyance, was persuaded to stay away.”
Punchbowl News: “This is all reminiscent of 2009, when Republicans swept both states on their way to massive victories in the 2010 midterms. They captured the House that cycle — ending Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s first run atop the chamber — and picked up seven Senate seats. The 2022 Senate map isn’t that good for Republicans, but they’re clearly the heavy favorites to win the House again next year. If the GOP does so, Pelosi would be the first speaker since Republican Joseph Martin to lose the majority twice (1948 and 1954). That’s not a list she wants to be on.”
Playbook: “History strongly suggests that the midterms will deliver the next big blow to the incumbent president. But the more immediate danger for Biden is his precarious legislative agenda.”
“In a shocker, the contest, once seen as a shoo-in for Gov. Phil Murphy, remained too close to call Wednesday, with results so far showing the Democratic governor and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli less than 1 percentage point apart,” NJ.com reports.
“Virginia voters chose Republican Glenn Youngkin as their next governor, dramatic reversal for a state that had appeared solidly Democratic in recent years and a significant loss for President Biden and the party’s establishment,” the Washington Post reports.
“Youngkin is now a bright new star for the GOP — a basketball-playing business tycoon who navigated the trickiest path in politics, appealing to moderate voters while still bringing out the most enthusiastic followers of Trump.”
Former President Donald Trump is gloating over Glenn Youngkin’s (R) likely win in the Virginia governor’s race, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “It is looking like Terry McAuliffe’s campaign against a certain person named ‘Trump’ has very much helped Glenn Youngkin. All McAuliffe did was talk Trump, Trump, Trump and he lost!”
He added: “I guess people running for office as Democrats won’t be doing that too much longer. I didn’t even have to go rally for Youngkin, because McAuliffe did it for me. Thank you to the MAGA voters for turning out big!”
This piece is only available to Political Wire members.
Your support makes this site possible. Join today for the complete Political Wire experience and get exclusive analysis, new features and no advertising.
Sign in to your account or join today!
“Eric Adams, a former New York City police captain whose attention-grabbing persona and keen focus on racial justice fueled a decades-long career in public life, was elected on Tuesday as the 110th mayor of New York, and the second Black mayor in the city’s history,” the New York Times reports.
Polls close in the New Jersey gubernatorial race at 8 p.m. ET.
NJ.com: “It’s the first truly competitive governor’s race in 12 years, with most polls showing Phil Murphy with a single-digit lead.”
“Murphy is looking to buck history. No Democratic New Jersey governor has won re-election since Brendan Byrne in 1977.”
Leave your reactions in the comments as the results come in.
Now trending on the political dictionary: “bellwether.”
Polls close in the Virginia gubernatorial race at 7 p.m. ET.
First Read: “If you’ve followed Virginia elections over the past decade like we have, it’s traditionally been a state that’s counted quickly, that’s had most voters casting ballots on Election Day, and that’s had rural counties reporting first and Dem-heavy Northern Virginia voting last.”
“But we know that more than 1 million Virginians have already voted early. We also expect different counties to report on their early votes vs. day-of votes at different times. And unlike in 2020, Dems believe many of their voters have returned to their pre-pandemic patterns of voting on Election Day, while the GOP has run an aggressive early-vote campaign.”
“So a bit caution: When the returns start coming in, they might not tell the whole story.”
Leave your reactions in the comments as the results come in.
Preliminary exit polls are floating around but everyone should beware of drawing conclusions from exit polling released while people are still voting.
In other words, they’re not worth much at this point.
After the election, they’ll be weighted to the final result and could tell us something interesting about the electorate.
“Curtis Sliwa (R) brought a special guest with him to vote on Tuesday: Gizmo, one of the 17 cats he lives with in a studio apartment,” the New York Times reports.
“But Gizmo was denied entry to the polling site, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and Mr. Sliwa, the Republican nominee for mayor, was irate.”
“More problems soon followed, and Mr. Sliwa openly quarreled with election officials, shouting: ‘Arrest me!’ when they asked him to take off a red jacket with his name on it — an apparent violation of electioneering rules.”
Newt Gingrich told Fox News that if the Virginia gubernatorial race comes down to a narrow margin, Democrats will try to “steal it.”
Said Gingrich: “First of all if it’s really tight they’ll steal it, so you can’t afford to have a really tight election. You have to win by a big enough margin that they can’t steal it.”
GOP pollster and strategist Frank Luntz predicted on CNBC that Glenn Youngkin (R) is likely to defeat Terry McAuliffe (D) in Virginia’s close gubernatorial race, setting up a shaky midterm season for President Biden and Democrats next year.
Said Luntz: “There’s about an 80% chance that the Republican nominee beats Terry McAuliffe.”
Youngkin has a one percentage point lead in the final FiveThirtyEight polling average.
In addition to the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, there are dozens of mayoral races, two special elections for House seats in Ohio and a special House primary in Florida.
Use the comments to discuss reports on these races.
“Win or lose in today’s Virginia governor’s race, Glenn Youngkin has created a new template for Republican candidates running in competitive races in the Trump era,” Axios reports.
“Republicans, with swing states set to dictate Senate control in 2022, are scrambling to strike a balance — when Full Trump is too hot in swing states like Virginia, but Never Trump is too cold for the former president’s rabid fans.”
Hugh Hewitt: “If Youngkin wins, every Republican in the country will study his playbook.”
NBC News: “A win Tuesday by Youngkin or anyone else on the GOP ticket — or even a close loss — would reset the electoral calculus. If Democrats are struggling here, what does that mean for other Southern states like Georgia and North Carolina, where the party has made gains by copying the Virginia playbook and where Democrats hope to defend or pick up Senate seats in 2022?”
“Virginia was barely contested in the last presidential election, but a Youngkin victory might put it back in play, squeezing Democrats by making them play defense with working-class white voters in both the upper Midwest and in more diverse Sun Belt states where the party had been making gains lately.”