The vote for New Jersey’s next Governor will take place on Tuesday, November 7, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find a polling location, all NJ citizens may go to voter.njsvrs.com.
With his second and last term officially ending on January 16, 2018, Governor Chris Christie will be giving up his post for a successor who will lead the state until the next election taking place in 2021. Potential successors include Phil Murphy (Democrat), Kim Guadagno (Republican), Peter Rohrman (Libertarian), Seth Kaper-Dale (Green Party) and Matt Riccardi (Constitution Party).
Other positions on the ballot include State Senators, Representatives, Freeholders, Sheriffs, Councilman, and member of the School Board. Most of those positions vary by county and town.
In Murphy and Guadagno’s final debate, Murphy spoke of his plans to raise taxes throughout New Jersey, focusing mainly on the wealthy. They found common ground on plans to invest in infrastructure throughout the state, but continued to differ in opinion on gun control, marijuana, and the minimum wage. Murphy wants stricter gun laws, legal marijuana, and a $15 minimum wage phased in.
Guadagno believes that law abiding citizens should not be further restricted from purchasing firearms, believes that marijuana should only be decriminalized, and feels that a $15 minimum wage would reduce the number of jobs available to the people for whom the minimum wage increase would help and would also raise prices for everybody else.
Most analysts expect Murphy to have a massive advantage over Guadagno as registered Democrat voters greatly outnumber registered Republican voters in New Jersey. On top of this, Governor Christie (who is a Republican) is historically unpopular, and state polls give Murphy a sizable lead. However, President Trump’s surprise victory last November keeps many hopeful for Guadagno’s chances.
Notably, Phil Murphy holds endorsements from several high-profile Democrats like former U.S. President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and both NJ Senators, while Kim Guadagno holds mostly state endorsements. In fact, Guadagno has repeatedly criticized and distanced herself from both President Trump and Governor Christie, likely due to their unpopularity in the state.
According to an article published by nj.com, there are roughly two million registered democrats and one million registered Republicans. Despite the advantage of having more registered voters, Donald Trump only lost NJ to Hillary Clinton by 14 points due to nine out of twenty-one counties voting for him.
Around the NJIT campus, the most common responses to the question, “What opinions do you have on the upcoming gubernatorial election?” include a lack of understanding of the word “gubernatorial” and the race in general. Freshman Resident Representative and Industrial Engineering major, Jeremy Bedient, said, “Kim seems like more of the same, and I don’t really want the same. On the other hand, Phil seems like an establishment candidate without any plans to back what he’s saying.”
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