A thread for discussion of today’s mini-mid-term elections in the United States, the most important of which is the gubernatorial election in Virginia, a crucial presidential swing state where the Democrats have their first opportunity for a meaningful win in the age of Trump. With Democratic incumbent Terry McAuliffe out of the picture, thanks to a particularly severe term limits regime that prohibits consecutive terms, the contest pits Democratic candidate Ralph Norman against Republican Ed Gillespie. Gillespie stands to benefit from the usual assemblage of voter suppression laws brought in after Republicans swept the field in the 2010 mid-terms. This also enabled aggressively gerrymandered new electoral boundaries that will make it very difficult for the Democrats to win control of the lower house of the state’s legislature, which is also up for election today (the Republican-controlled upper house is not). The RealClearPolitics poll average has Northam leading 47.7% to 44.4%, although the gap has narrowed late in the campaign.
Voters in New Jersey will also choose a successor to Republican Governor Chris Christie, with Democratic candidate Phil Murphy looking a shoo-in against Christie’s designated Republican successor, Kim Guandagno. RealClearPoliics has Murphy leading 49.5% to 35.1%.