The New Jersey Governor election is certainly the undercard event of the 2021 election cycle, but it's tracking to be a much closer election than Democrats expected. Incumbent governor Phil Murphy was elected in 2017 by a margin of 17 points, and Joe Biden carried New Jersey by a similar margin in 2020. There is some evidence of a marginally competitive race, however, as Republican challenger Jack Ciaterelli is polling significantly better than expected. Murphy is having his progressive politics tested at the state level, as Ciaterelli is primarily focusing his campaign on New Jersey's high tax rates. He argues the tax rates are suffocating small businesses in New Jersey and causing residents to move out. It would still certainly be a surprising upset if Ciaterelli were to pull out the race, but our model has it as a single-digit affair.
Race Rating: Solid D