2021 United States gubernatorial elections

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2021 United States gubernatorial elections

← 2020 November 2, 2021
September 14 (California recall)
2022 →

3 governorships
(including a recall election in California)
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Republican Democratic
Seats before 27 23
Seats after 28 22
Seat change Increase1 Decrease1
Popular vote 2,918,691[a] 2,939,475[a]
Percentage 49.43%[a] 49.79%[a]
Seats up 0 3
Seats won 1 2

2021 California gubernatorial recall election2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election2021 Virginia gubernatorial election2021 United States gubernatorial elections results map.svg
About this image
Map of the results
     Democratic hold
     Republican gain
     No election

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 2, 2021, in two states, New Jersey and Virginia, and a recall election was held in California on September 14. These elections form part of the 2021 United States elections. The last gubernatorial elections for New Jersey and Virginia were in 2017, and the last regular gubernatorial election for California was in 2018. Going into the elections, all three seats were held by Democrats.

In Virginia, term-limited incumbent Ralph Northam was succeeded by Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. In New Jersey, incumbent Phil Murphy won re-election. In California, an unsuccessful special election to recall incumbent Gavin Newsom was held on September 14, 2021.[1][2]

Despite failing to flip the state, Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli had actually swung the state of New Jersey slightly more Republican from the 2020 presidential election than fellow Republican Glenn Youngkin did in the election in Virginia, where he managed to flip the seat. This was the first time since 1981, that every gubernatorial election in this cycle was won by single digits.

Election predictions[edit]

Several sites and individuals published predictions of competitive seats. These predictions looked at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assigned ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating a party's predicted advantage in winning that seat.

Most election predictors use:

  • "tossup": no advantage
  • "tilt" (used by some predictors): advantage that is not quite as strong as "lean"
  • "lean": slight advantage
  • "likely": significant, but surmountable, advantage
  • "safe" or "solid": near-certain chance of victory
State PVI Incumbent Last
race
Cook
October 5,
2021
[3]
IE
November 1,
2021
[4]
Sabato
November 1
2021
[5]
Result
California D+14 Gavin Newsom
(recall)
61.9% D Likely D Likely D Likely D Newsom
61.9% D
New Jersey D+6 Phil Murphy 56.0% D Solid D Solid D Likely D Murphy
51.2% D
Virginia D+2 Ralph Northam
(term-limited)
53.9% D Tossup Tossup Lean R (flip) Youngkin
50.6% R (flip)

Race summary[edit]

State Incumbent Party First
elected
Result Candidates
California
(recall)
Gavin Newsom Democratic 2018 Recall failed.
  • Red XN No 61.9%
  • Yes 38.1%
New Jersey Phil Murphy Democratic 2017 Incumbent re-elected.
Virginia Ralph Northam Democratic 2017 Incumbent term-limited.
New governor elected.
Republican gain.

Closest races[edit]

States where the margin of victory was under 5%:

  1. Virginia, 1.94%
  2. New Jersey, 3.22%

Blue denotes states won by Democrats. Red denotes states won by Republicans.

California (recall)[edit]

2021 California gubernatorial recall election

← 2018 September 14, 2021 2022 →

2021 California gubernatorial recall election referendum results map by county.svg
County results

Governor Gavin Newsom was elected in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. In 2020 and 2021, a recall petition gained momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic in California and Newsom's responses, eventually triggering a recall election.[10][11] The ballot featured two questions, whether to recall Newsom and who would have replaced him if he had been recalled. Newsom was ineligible to run as a candidate for the second question.

A large number of candidates announced their intention to replace Newsom. Among the most prominent Republicans in the race included 2018 Republican nominee John H. Cox, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, media personalities Caitlyn Jenner and Larry Elder, in addition to former U.S. representative Doug Ose.[12][13][14][15][16]

The recall failed, and thus Newsom remained in office for the rest of his term, which expired on January 2, 2023.

2021 California gubernatorial recall election
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 7,944,092 61.88
Yes 4,894,473 38.12
Valid votes 12,838,565 99.58
Invalid or blank votes 54,013 0.42
Total votes 12,892,578 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 22,057,154 58.45
Source: California Secretary of State

New Jersey[edit]

2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election

← 2017
2025 →
  Phil Murphy for Governor (cropped 2).jpg Jack Ciattarelli December 2021 (cropped 2).jpg
Nominee Phil Murphy Jack Ciattarelli
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Sheila Oliver Diane Allen
Popular vote 1,339,471 1,255,185
Percentage 51.2% 48.0%

2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
County results

Governor before election

Phil Murphy
Democratic

Elected Governor

Phil Murphy
Democratic

Governor Phil Murphy was elected in 2017 with 56% of the vote.[17] He ran for re-election to a second term and was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Republican Jack Ciattarelli was the earliest to announce his candidacy for the governorship in February 2018.[7] He was followed by New Jersey Republican Party chairman Doug Steinhardt, who announced his campaign in December 2020 and withdrew his candidacy the next month.[18][19] Pastor Phil Rizzo and businessman Hirsh Singh ran for the nomination.[20][21] Ciattarelli won the Republican primary.[22]

The Libertarian Party announced activist Gregg Mele as their nominee in March.[23] The Green Party nominated their candidate Madelyn Hoffman at a convention in April.[24] Other minor candidates included Socialist Workers Party nominee Joanne Kuniansky and perennial candidate Ed Forchion of the Legalize Marijuana Party[25] who ran as a write-in after challenges to signatures from the Murphy campaign.

Murphy won re-election after several media outlets called the race for him over Ciattarelli on November 3, 2021.[26] Murphy's close election was surprising given he had the lead in every poll leading up to the election day. Moreover, Murphy trailed Ciattarelli from early voting at the start of the ballot count, taking the lead early Wednesday morning.

Democratic primary results[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip Murphy (incumbent) 382,984 100.0%
Total votes 382,984 100.0%
Republican primary results[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jack Ciattarelli 167,690 49.46%
Republican Philip Rizzo 87,007 25.66%
Republican Hirsh V. Singh 73,155 21.58%
Republican Brian D. Levine 11,181 3.30%
Total votes 339,033 100.0%
2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic
1,339,471 51.22% –4.81
Republican 1,255,185 48.00% +6.11
Green
  • Madelyn R. Hoffman
  • Heather Warburton
8,450 0.32% –0.15
Libertarian
  • Gregg Mele
  • Eveline Brownstein
7,768 0.30% –0.19
Socialist Workers
  • Joanne Kuniansky
  • Vivian Sahner
4,012 0.15% N/A
Total votes 2,614,886 100.00%
Turnout 2,648,814 40.47% +1.97
Registered electors 6,545,250
Democratic hold

Virginia[edit]

2021 Virginia gubernatorial election

← 2017
2025 →
  Glenn Youngkin Headshot (cropped 2).jpg Terry McAuliffe 2020 (cropped 2).jpg
Nominee Glenn Youngkin Terry McAuliffe
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,663,158 1,599,470
Percentage 50.6% 48.6%

2021 Virginia gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
County and independent city results

Governor before election

Ralph Northam
Democratic

Elected Governor

Glenn Youngkin
Republican

Governor Ralph Northam was elected in 2017 with 53.9% of the vote.[29] He was term-limited in 2021, as the Virginia Constitution does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms.

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, former governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe, state senator Jennifer McClellan, state delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, and state delegate Lee Carter announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination for the governorship.[30][31][32] Virginia attorney general Mark Herring previously announced his intention to run for the governorship but withdrew from the race to seek reelection as attorney general.[33] McAuliffe won the Democratic primary by a wide margin despite the large field of candidates.[34]

State senator Amanda Chase announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the governorship in February 2020.[35][36] After initially indicating a brief attempt at an independent run because of the state Republicans' decision to hold a convention instead of a primary,[37] Chase later returned to seek her party's nomination once more.[38] Kirk Cox, the former Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, filed the paperwork to run for the governorship in September 2020.[39] Businessman Glenn Youngkin won the Republican nomination after six rounds of voting at the convention.[40]

Princess Blanding, a teacher and sister of the late Marcus-David Peters, was the newly-founded Liberation Party's gubernatorial candidate.[41]

In the general election on November 2, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat and former Governor Terry McAuliffe, making him the first Republican to win a statewide election in Virginia since 2009. Republicans also flipped the lieutenant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates races that were held concurrently.[42]

Democratic primary results[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Terry McAuliffe 307,367 62.10%
Democratic Jennifer Carroll Foy 98,052 19.81%
Democratic Jennifer McClellan 58,213 11.76%
Democratic Justin Fairfax 17,606 3.56%
Democratic Lee J. Carter 13,694 2.77%
Total votes 494,932 100.00%
Virginia GOP Convention, Governor Nominee[44]
Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
Glenn Youngkin 4131.80 32.9% 4140.55 33.0% 4148.91 33.0% 4331.93 34.5% 5311.43 42.3% 6869.22 54.7%
Pete Snyder 3241.61 25.8% 3243.84 25.8% 3249.71 25.9% 3502.91 27.9% 4078.25 32.5% 5684.78 45.3%
Amanda Chase 2605.89 20.8% 2611.54 20.8% 2619.83 20.9% 2859.39 22.8% 3164.32 25.2% Eliminated
Kirk Cox 1693.58 13.5% 1698.13 13.5% 1705.90 13.6% 1859.77 14.8% Eliminated
Sergio de la Peña 805.35 6.4% 812.44 6.5% 829.65 6.6% Eliminated
Peter Doran 42.28 0.3% 47.50 0.4% Eliminated
Octavia Johnson 33.48 0.3% Eliminated
2021 Virginia gubernatorial election[45]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Glenn Youngkin 1,663,158 50.58% +5.61%
Democratic Terry McAuliffe 1,599,470 48.64% -5.26%
Liberation Princess Blanding 23,107 0.70% +0.70%
Write-in 2,592 0.08% +0.03%
Total votes 3,288,327 100% N/A
Turnout 3,296,705 55.39%
Registered electors 5,951,368
Republican gain from Democratic

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d This excludes the result of the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election, where voters were asked whether to keep or recall Gavin Newsom instead of voting for him or a different candidate. If the no votes are presumed to be and are counted as votes for the Democratic and yes votes are counted for Republican Party, the total number of votes would account to 10,883,567 (58.07%) votes for Democrats and 7,813,164 (41.69%) for Republicans.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kounalakis, Eleni (July 1, 2021). "Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Declares Special Election". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of California. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Korte, Lara (July 1, 2021). "Gavin Newsom recall election date set: California voters to cast ballots in September". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "2022 Governor Race ratings". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  4. ^ "Gubernatorial Ratings". Inside Elections. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "2022 Gubernatorial race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  6. ^ "Gov. Phil Murphy to begin process of running for a second term". News 12 New Jersey. October 2, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Republican Says He Plans to Run for NJ Governor in 2021". U.S. News & World Report. February 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Fordham, Evie (18 February 2021). "Gov hopeful Glenn Youngkin says Virginia wants an outsider: 'I'm tired of the Republican Party losing'". Fox News. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  9. ^ Brown, Bob (December 8, 2020). "Terry McAuliffe to announce run for governor Wednesday". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Martichoux, Alix (February 3, 2021). "Why do people want to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom? We explain". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  11. ^ Wilson, Reid (March 19, 2021). "What's next in the California recall". The Hill. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  12. ^ Phillips, Morgan (January 30, 2021). "John Cox says he'll challenge California's Newsom if recall effort succeeds". Fox News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  13. ^ Marinucci, Carla (February 1, 2021). "Former San Diego mayor to officially launch GOP challenge to Newsom". Politico. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  14. ^ Markay, Lachlan; Treene, Alayna; Swan, Jonathan. "Caitlyn Jenner files paperwork to run for governor of California". Axios. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  15. ^ Blood, Michael R. (March 16, 2021). "Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose enters California recall election". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 17, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  16. ^ Siders, David; White, Jeremy B. (February 12, 2021). "Grenell lays groundwork for California gubernatorial run". Politico PRO. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  17. ^ "New Jersey Governor race results 2017". CNN. November 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Doug Steinhardt will run for governor against Phil Murphy". New Jersey Globe. December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "Steinhardt drops out of GOP gubernatorial race". New Jersey Globe. Sea of Reeds Media. January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  20. ^ D'Auria, Peter (February 15, 2021). "Phil Rizzo, pastor at conservative Hudson County church, announces bid for governor". The Jersey Journal. NJ.com.
  21. ^ Wildstein, David (November 9, 2020). "Singh launches bid for Governor against Murphy". New Jersey Globe. Sea of Reeds Media.
  22. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results".
  23. ^ Mele, Gregg (March 21, 2021). "(Instagram post)". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Today Greg accepted the NJLP nomination for Governor.
  24. ^ "Madelyn Hoffman announces her intention to seek nomination for governor of New Jersey in 2021". Weekender NJ. April 7, 2021.
  25. ^ "Joanne Kuniansky, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New Jersey governor, files over 1500 signatures on May 20th at the Office of Elections in Trenton". Insider NJ. May 27, 2021.
  26. ^ Rankin, Sarah. "Murphy ekes out win in NJ, GOP's Youngkin upsets in Virginia". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Official List, Candidates for Governor For PRIMARY ELECTION 06/08/2021 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. July 13, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  28. ^ "Official List, Candidates for Governor For GENERAL ELECTION 11/02/2021 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  29. ^ "Virginia Governor race results 2017". CNN. November 7, 2017.
  30. ^ Mattingly, Justin. "Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy files paperwork to run for governor". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  31. ^ Irby, Sarah. "Delegate Lee Carter announces run for Virginia governor". NBC 12. Gray Television Inc. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  32. ^ "Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe enters governor's race". AP News. December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  33. ^ Vozzella, Laura. "Mark Herring to run again for Virginia attorney general, skipping governor's race". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  34. ^ "Virginia Primary Election Results".
  35. ^ Vozzella, Laura. "Gun-toting state senator expected to announce bid for Virginia governor". Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  36. ^ Tyree, Elizabeth (February 17, 2020). "'I can't take it anymore'; Republican senator announces her bid for governor". WSET. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  37. ^ Oliver, Ned (December 5, 2020). "Chase promises to run as independent for governor after Va. GOP opts for convention over primary". Virginia Mercury. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  38. ^ "Amanda Chase changes course, says she will participate in a Republican convention". VA Scope. December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  39. ^ Vozzella, Laura. "Former speaker Cox takes another step toward a 2021 bid for Virginia governor". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  40. ^ "Virginia GOP Convention, Governor Nominee Ranked Choice Voting Election Results Visualization". rcvis.com. RCVis. May 11, 2021.
  41. ^ Rockett, Ali (December 29, 2020). "Princess Blanding, sister of Marcus-David Peters, announces run for governor". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  42. ^ "2021 November General". Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  43. ^ "2021 June Democratic Primary". Archived from the original on June 9, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  44. ^ "Virginia GOP Convention, Governor Nominee Ranked Choice Voting Election Results Visualization". rcvis.com. RCVis. May 11, 2021. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  45. ^ "2021 November General". results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved November 3, 2021.