2017 United States gubernatorial elections

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2017 United States gubernatorial elections

← 2016 November 7, 2017 2018 →

2 governorships
  Majority party Minority party
  Scott Walker by Gage Skidmore 4.jpg Dannel Malloy 2016.jpg
Leader Scott Walker Dan Malloy
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Wisconsin Connecticut
Last election 33 governorships 16 governorships
Seats before 34[1] 15
Seats won 0 2
Seats after 33 16
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 1
Popular vote 2,031,268 2,524,613
Percentage 43.89% 54.55%

  Third party
Party Independent
Last election 1 governorship
Seats before 1
Seats won 0
Seats after 1
Seat change Steady
Popular vote 0
Percentage 0%

1989 Gubernatorial election map.svg
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 2017 in two states: Virginia and New Jersey. These elections formed part of the 2017 United States elections. The last regular gubernatorial elections for these two states were in 2013. Both incumbents were term-limited, so both seats were open.

Election predictions[edit]

Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look 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 assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate.

State CPVI Incumbent[2] Last
August 7,
October 27,
September 21,
New Jersey D+7 (Chris Christie) (R) 60.3% R Likely D Likely D Safe D Phil Murphy
Virginia D+1 (Terry McAuliffe) (D) 47.8% D Lean D Tilt D Lean D Ralph Northam

Race summary[edit]

State Incumbent Party First elected Incumbent status Candidates
New Jersey Chris Christie Republican 2009 Term-limited, Democratic victory

Phil Murphy (Democratic)[6]

Kim Guadagno (Republican)[7]

Seth Kaper-Dale (Green)[8]

Virginia Terry McAuliffe Democratic 2013 Term-limited, Democratic victory Ralph Northam (Democratic)[9]

Ed Gillespie (Republican)[10]

Cliff Hyra (Libertarian)

Term-limited Republican incumbent[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

Governor Chris Christie was re-elected to a second term with 60.4% of the vote in 2013.[11] Christie was term-limited in 2017.

Republican candidates[edit]

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was the gubernatorial nominee for the Republican Party.[12]

Democratic candidates[edit]

Goldman Sachs executive and former United States Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy was the Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee.[12]

Libertarian candidates[edit]

Peter Rohrman was the gubernatorial nominee of the Libertarian Party.

Green candidates[edit]

Seth Kaper-Dale was the gubernatorial nominee of the Green Party.[13]

Other candidates[edit]

There were also two independent candidates, Gina Genovese and Vincent Ross, and a Constitution Party candidate, Matthew Riccardi.[14]


Phil Murphy won the election, defeating Kim Guadagno, with 55.6% vote to 42.3%.

Term-limited Democratic incumbent[edit]


Governor Terry McAuliffe won election with 48% of the vote in 2013.[11] McAuliffe was term-limited in 2017. Virginia is the only state that prohibits its Governor from serving consecutive terms.

Democratic candidate[edit]

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam was the Democratic nominee for governor. Northam defeated former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello in the gubernatorial primary in June 2017.[15]

Republican candidate[edit]

Former chairman of the Republican National Committee and 2014 United States Senate nominee Ed Gillespie was the Republican nominee for governor. Gillespie defeated State Senator Frank Wagner, and Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2013 Corey Stewart. Gillespie was declared the winner of his primary in June 2017.[15]

Libertarian candidates[edit]

Cliff Hyra, a lawyer from Mechanicsville, won the gubernatorial nomination of his party.


Ralph Northam won the election, defeating Ed Gillespie, with 53.9% of the vote to 45%.


  1. ^ Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia changed party affiliation from Democratic to Republican, 4 August 2017.
  2. ^ Parentheses around an incumbent's name indicates that the incumbent is retiring, possibly due to term limits.
  3. ^ "2018 Governors Race Ratings". Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "2018 Gubernatorial Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "2017-2018 Crystal Ball gubernatorial race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  6. ^ "5 key things Phil Murphy says he'll do as governor of N.J." Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  7. ^ "Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno entering 2017 N.J. governor race". Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  8. ^ "Welcome to 2017 and the long list of gubernatorial candidates". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  9. ^ "Arlington legislative delegation likely to stick with Northam". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  10. ^ "Gillespie leads GOP field, but trails Northam in 2017 governor's race, poll finds - Roanoke Times: Politics". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  11. ^ a b "Election 2013". The New York Times. November 6, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Corasaniti, Nick (6 June 2017). "Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno Win Primaries in New Jersey Governor's Race". New York Times.
  13. ^ "N.J. pastor ready to take on the establishment in run for governor". www.nj.com.
  14. ^ Official List Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor For November 2017 General Election (PDF). New Jersey Department of State. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  15. ^ a b McLaughlin, Seth (June 13, 2017). "Gillespie ekes out GOP win in Virginia governor's race; Northam easily claims Democratic victory". The Washington Times. Operations Holdings. Retrieved June 30, 2017.