New Jersey gubernatorial election, 1997
Winning percentage by county:
|Elections in New Jersey|
The New Jersey gubernatorial election of 1997 was a race for Governor of New Jersey. It was held on November 4, 1997. In the Democratic primary state senator and Woodbridge Township mayor James McGreevey defeated pre-primary front-runner Rep. Rob Andrews by 9,993 votes. Although incumbent Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman had a comfortable lead in polls in the run up to the vote, on election night she prevailed over McGreevey by a narrow margin of 26,953 votes (1.05%), a similarly narrow margin to her previous election. Whitman won 46.87% of the vote, with Democratic nominee James McGreevey receiving 45.82% and Libertarian Murray Sabrin receiving 4.7%.
|Republican||Christine Todd Whitman (inc.)||147,731||100.00|
- Jim McGreevey, Mayor of Woodbridge Township and New Jersey State Senator
- Rob Andrews, U.S. Representative
- Michael Murphy, Morris County Prosecutor
- Frank C. Marmo, perennial candidate
|Democratic||Frank C. Marmo||6,189||1.67|
- James McGreevey (D), State Senator and Mayor of Woodbridge
- Murray Sabrin (L), Ramapo College professor
- Christine Todd Whitman (R), incumbent Governor
In June, a 60-second radio ad paid for by the New Jersey Republican Party focused on the 30% income tax cut and 180,000 new jobs. Whitman ads blamed McGreevey for the state's auto insurance rates. The Whitman campaign emphasized the drops in unemployment, violent crime and welfare rolls during her term. Other ads took aim at McGreevey's record on taxes, particularly his support for former Gov. Jim Florio's (D) tax increase. The RNC criticized former Gov. Jim Florio (D) in an ad October, calling his 1990 tax increase a result of electing "liberal Democrats".
In September, McGreevey unveiled two TV ads criticizing Whitman and focusing on property taxes, auto insurance rates, pension bond debts and education standards. The Democratic National Committee also spent $1 million during the home stretch of the campaign on television ads for Democratic candidates statewide.
|New York Times/CBS News||October 25–29, 1997||1,082||± 3.0%||33%||44%||8%||3%||12%|
|Quinnipiac College||October 14–20, 1997||1,120||± 2.9%||37%||45%||8%||1%||9%|
|Quinnipiac College||September 8–13, 1997||865||± 3.3%||37%||49%||-||4%||10%|
Three debates on October 18, 21 and 24, Whitman, McGreevey and Sabrin traded barbs on their dueling auto insurance plans, property taxes, state spending and the Atlantic City tunnel, a $215 million project for which a private investor gave $55 million.
|Republican||Christine Todd Whitman (inc.)||1,133,394||46.87%||-2.46%|
|Conservative||Richard J. Pezzullo||34,906||1.44%||+1.24%|
|Green||Madelyn R. Hoffman||10,703||0.44%|
|Independent||Michael Perrone, Jr.||6,805||0.28%|
|Socialist Workers||Robert B. Miller||2,816||0.12%||+0.07%|
|Natural Law||Lincoln Norton||2,540||0.11%|
|Independent||Nuncie A. Ripa, Jr.||2,240||0.09%|
Results by County
|County||Whitman votes||Whitman %||McGreevey votes||McGreevey %||Other votes||Other %|