What governorship elections of New Jersey, Virginia, mean to Biden

Phil Murphy

On 3 November, Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, 64, narrowly defeated Republican former state lawmaker Jack Ciattarelli. He is now the first Democratic governor in 40 years to return to office in an election.
With enthusiasm, he delivered a brief victory speech at an Asbury Park convention hall to the electorate entitled, “Four more years!”
“If you want to be governor of all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey. And New Jersey, I hear you,” he told the crowd.
Murphy, during the campaigns, had to deal with issues like new taxes on millionaires, tougher firearms restrictions, a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave. He argued trenchantly to defend his public health measures to combat covid-19, a matter that became contentious during the campaigns.

Another example of the vexed issue was the Governor’s policy that school children should wear masks, a matter that the Republicans harped on. But Democratic Murphy aggressively campaigned. In the end, he won.
Another serious campaign matter was the state’s high taxes, making the Republicans accuse Murphy, a wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive, “of being out of touch with the electorate.”

Glenn Youngkin

What happened offered great hope for the Democrats and other Americans who thought that the victory of Glenn Youngkin, the Republican in Virginia on Wednesday was a setback for President Joe Biden. Without wasting time, Democratic former Governor Terry McAuliffe conceded to Youngkin, putting the matter to rest.

What helped Youngkin was that during former President Donald Trump’s swashbuckling reign, he remained aloof, not defending what people regarded of the latter’s excesses.

What many saw as a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency has now been reversed with the new development in New Jersey. There is hope now that Biden’s twin bills worth a combined $2.75 trillion to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, cushion the social safety net and contribute to fighting climate change can now sail through the Legislature.

Another plus to the profile of Biden is the victory of Democrat’s Eric Adams as mayor of New York City. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president since 2014, is now New York’s second Black mayor.

Republicans may need to work hard as the elections so far become a vote of confidence on the Democrats and Biden generally.