New Jersey Gubernatorial Primary Election: Final Voting Results

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Kim Guadagno listens as Chris Christie delivers an address on February 24, 2015. (Getty)

New Jersey has selected its candidates to replace Governor Chris Christie. In the state’s gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday, the winner on the Republican side was Kim Guadagno, the current lieutenant governor and secretary of state; she is a moderate who has distanced herself from Chris Christie and Donald Trump. On the Democratic side, the winner was Phil Murphy, former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany who spent over $18 million on the race, according to NJ.com.

Now, the general election campaign can begin, with New Jersey voters selecting their next governor on November 7th. Early polls have shown that Murphy has a significant advantage over Kim Guadagno, although there’s still plenty of time for the race to tighten. This general election will be largely impacted both by Donald Trump and by Chris Christie, with a potential Murphy victory having major nationwide implications.

Check below for the final results of the New Jersey election:


Final Results & Updates

The final results of the New Jersey election have been compiled by Decision Desk HQ. If the full results aren’t displaying on your device, scroll down the table to see more.



UPDATE JUNE 7th: Overnight, the final votes came in, with 100 percent of precincts now reporting. In the end, Kim Guadagno earned 46.7 percent of the vote, and Phil Murphy earned 48.2 percent. On the Democratic side, Jim Johnson ended up securing the second place win, outpacing John Wisniewski by less than two thousand votes. In the end, 740,000 people cast a ballot in one of the two primaries, which is equal to about 13 percent of the state’s registered voters.


UPDATE 11:50 p.m. EDT: Roughly 240,000 people participated in the Republican primary this year, which is down from 2009, the last time the position was contested on the Republican side. In 2009, 334,000 people voted in the Republican gubernatorial primary, according to the New Jersey Department of State, meaning there was a drop of nearly 100,000 votes this year compared to six years ago. On the other hand, in 2017, 493,000 people voted on the Democratic side, up from 200,000 in 2009.


UPDATE: 11:38 p.m. EDT:��With 99 percent of precincts reporting in both primaries, Kim Guadagno has gone down to 46.7 percent of the vote, with Phil Murphy also declining to 48.2 percent. Murphy looks set to win every county except for Salem, where Wisniewski narrowly edges out Murphy. Jim Johnson is on track to finish in second place with about 108,000 votes, while John Wisniewski earned about 107,000 votes.


UPDATE 11:13 p.m. EDT: The race is just about over, with 98 percent of precincts reporting in both primaries. It looks like neither Kim Guadagno nor Phil Murphy will wind up with over 50 percent of the vote, with Murphy getting the closest at 48.2 percent. Jim Johnson is currently on pace to finish in second on the Democratic side, while on the Republican side, Jack Ciattarelli had a strong showing with 31 percent of the vote.


UPDATE 11:04 p.m. EDT: With about 90 percent of precincts reporting in both primaries, Kim Guadagno is sitting at 47.8 percent, while Phil Murphy has 48.6 percent of the vote. Jim Johnson remains in second place with 21.8 percent of the vote compared to John Wisniewski’s 21.4 percent.


UPDATE 10:49 p.m. EDT: Chris Christie has issued a statement congratulating Kim Guadagno on her victory tonight.”Kim, we need a leader who will fight back against Goldman Sachs Democrats and I’m confident you are the person to do that,” Christie said in a statement. Guadagno has worked hard to distance herself from Christie, who is extraordinarily unpopular with voters.


UPDATE 10:24 p.m. EDT: On the Democratic side, about 430,000 votes have been cast so far with 80 percent reporting, which is a higher turnout than was expected. As of December 2016, New Jersey had a total of 2.07 million registered Democratic voters, according to the New Jersey Department of State. On the Republican side, about 198,000 votes have been cast so far. As of December 2016, New Jersey had 1.2 million registered Republican voters.


UPDATE 10:16 p.m. EDT: With 75 percent of the vote in in both primaries, neither of the winners has passed 50 percent. Murphy is closer to hitting 50 percent than Guadagno is, however. Jim Johnson remains in second place on the Democratic side, though the race for second is still tight, with John Wisniewski currently behind Jim Johnson by only about 300 votes.


UPDATE 10:02 p.m. EDT: 70 percent of the vote has now been collected, and both Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy are sitting at about 48 percent. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson remains in second place on the Democratic side, but John Wisniewski is closing in behind him, with Johnson and Wisniewski now only separated by about 2,000 votes. Although Guadagno is leading in most counties, Jack Ciattarelli is currently winning Hunterdon, Essex, Union, Somerset, Burlington, Gloucester, and Salem.


UPDATE 9:45 p.m. EDT: With over 60 percent of precincts now reporting, Jim Johnson remains in second place on the Democratic side. Murphy is ahead in every county, but Johnson is performing particularly well in Essex County, where he currently maintains 28 percent of the vote.


UPDATE 9:31 p.m. EDT: According to Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, turnout in the primary election is projected to be 14 percent, with 265,000 voters in the Republican primary and 450,000 in the Democratic primary. Murray notes that turnout on the Democratic side was a lot higher than expected.


UPDATE 9:28 p.m. EDT: The Associated Press has now called the Republican side of the race for Kim Guadagno.


UPDATE 9:25 p.m. EDT: Almost half of the precincts are now reporting on both sides of the race, and Guadagno and Murphy remain on top. The New York Times has now called the Republican race for Guadagno. On the Democratic side, Jim Johnson has squeaked into second place, now leading John Wisniewski by about 400 votes.


UPDATE 9:09 p.m. EDT: The Associated Press has now called the Democratic race for Phil Murphy. Murphy has also been declared the winner by The New York Times. Decision Desk has already declared Guadagno the winner on the Republican side, but The Associated Press and The New York Times have not yet offered a projection.


UPDATE 8:55 p.m. EDT: With about 15 percent of precincts now reporting, Kim Guadagno has won over half of the overall vote on the Republican side, while Phil Murphy is currently sitting at 46 percent on the Democratic side. In a distant second behind Guadagno is Jack Ciattarelli, while behind Phil Murphy is John Wisniewski with about 25 percent of the vote.


UPDATE 8:39 p.m. EDTDecision Desk has now called the Republican race for Kim Guadagno, noting that she is up everywhere she needs to be. Guadagno currently leads Jack Ciattarelli, her closest competitor, by over 20 percentage points.


UPDATE 8:31 p.m. EDT: With less than two percent of the vote now in, Decision Desk has called the Democratic race for Phil Murphy, who is leading all over the state and is ahead of his nearest rival by over 30 percentage points.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Kim Guadagno has jumped back into the lead, now capturing nearly 50 percent of the total vote. However, the race has not been called in her favor just yet.


UPDATE 8:20 p.m. EDT: Early in the night, with less than one percent of the vote now in, Jack Ciatterelli is leading in Somerset County and Hunterdon County. He has now passed Kim Guadagno in the overall vote, but with a lead of just 75 votes.


UPDATE 8:15 p.m. EDT: The polls are now closed in New Jersey, and the first results are coming in. With just a few thousand votes reported, Phil Murphy holds a significant early lead on the Democratic side, while on the Republican side, Kim Guadagno slightly edges out Jack Ciattarelli by less than 100 votes. All of these early results are coming in from Hunterdon County and Gloucester County.


Race Background & Polling

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Phil Murphy attends a press conference at Opel headquarters on April 10, 2013 in Ruesselsheim, Germany. (Getty)

Both Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy had their respective races pretty much locked up for months.

The first major poll related to the New Jersey gubernatorial election on the Republican side came in January from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This survey of 275 voters found that Kim Guadagno was in the lead with 18 percent of the vote. Both Jack Ciattarelli and Steven Rogers scored two percent of the vote. Since January, every single major poll that was released showed Kim Guadagno in the lead. In March, a poll from Quinnipiac University showed Guadagno with 28 percent of the vote, with the next closest candidate being Jack Ciattarelli, who still only scored three percent. A subsequent poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University showed Guadagno with 24 percent of the vote.

The final major poll on the Republican side prior to the election came from Stockton University in May, and this one showed Kim Guadagno earning 37 percent of the vote. However, 31 percent of voters were still undecided at that point.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Phil Murphy maintained a similarly healthy lead throughout the primary. The first poll came in November 2016 from Lake Research Partners, and it showed Murphy scoring 22 percent of the vote compared to John Wisniewski’s 10 percent. By March 2017, several more candidates had entered the race, but Phil Murphy maintained the lead, scoring 23 percent of the vote in a poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Recently, in a poll from Stockton University conducted in May, Murphy earned 34 percent of the vote, with the closest competitor being Jim Johnson at 10 percent. However, in this Stockton University poll, 33 percent remained undecided.

Murphy received the support of local New Jersey Democratic officials back in 2016, and the party quickly coalesced around him, with Murphy also recently obtaining the support of Joe Biden.

Although it’s a bit too early to get a sense of the general election, Murphy has a significant advantage in the polls. A recent poll from Quinnipiac showed that in a hypothetical matchup of Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy, Murphy captures 50 percent of the vote compared to Guadagno’s 25 percent.

Heading into the general election, Donald Trump will no doubt be a major part of the race. Although Kim Guadagno has distanced herself from Trump in some ways, saying in October 2016 that she would not vote for Trump following the Access Hollywood tape, Phil Murphy has painted himself as the anti-Trump candidate and has suggested that Guadagno isn’t tough enough on the president.

Chris Christie, of course, will also be a major part of the race. The governor’s approval rating is currently hovering around 20 percent, putting any Republican candidate at a major disadvantage this year, especially someone like Guadagno who worked alongside Christie for years.

The New Jersey gubernatorial election will take place on November 7th, 2017.

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