New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) got a wake-up call this week from more than 1.2 million people, who voted against him leading the state for another four years. Though the Democrat will presumably serve a second term, the former Goldman Sachs executive says he hears his critics.
Murphy was a heavy pre-election favorite against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. The betting exchange PredictIt gave the 64-year-old a 95 percent chance of winning a second term.
“If you want to understand where America is heading, look to New Jersey. And, if you want to be governor for all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey. And New Jersey, I hear you,” Murphy said in his victory speech.
UK sportsbooks, which are able to offer political betting lines, something not yet the case in the US, had Murphy at -2000 prior to the November 3 Election Day. -2000, or 1/20, represents an implied chance of 95.24 percent.
On those odds, a bettor who risked $100 netted a measly $5 on the Murphy victory.
Though Murphy is moving forward with the presumption that he has managed to beat his Republican opponent, Ciattarelli has yet to formally concede. The former New Jersey assemblyman says the Associated Press declaring Murphy the winner is a rush to judgment.
As of this morning, votes continue to be counted in New Jersey. Murphy’s lead stands at 40,415 votes with nearly 99 percent of the state’s precincts reporting their tallies.
The Associated Press was the first major media outlet to call the razor-thin race in Murphy’s favor. The organization did so early yesterday evening.
With the candidates separated by a fraction of a percent out of 2.4 million ballots cast, it’s irresponsible of the media to make this call when the New Jersey Secretary of State doesn’t even know how many ballots are left to be counted,” a Ciattarelli campaign statement declared.
New Jersey does not have an automatic recount law. But candidates can request one, so long as they do so within 17 days of Election Day. In 2021, that means Ciattarelli has until November 20 to request a recount.
Murphy AC Relationship
Murphy is set to become the first Democratic governor in New Jersey to win reelection since 1977.
While he narrowly accomplished that feat, the governor faces an uphill battle in improving his reputation in Atlantic City. In Atlantic County, home to the casino beach town, Ciattarelli received 55.7 percent of the gubernatorial vote.
Many Atlantic City casino employees have become frustrated with Murphy for allowing indoor smoking on the gaming floors to resume last summer. Tobacco smoking inside casinos was temporarily suspended during the height of the pandemic on an executive order from the governor.
Murphy says he would sign legislation that comes to his office that seeks to end the clean indoor air loophole afforded to Atlantic City’s nine casinos. Not enough, argue some casino workers.
“I’m thankful for Murphy’s promise. But kind words and empty promises are not going to help us,” said Nicole Vitola, a Borgata table game dealer. “This needs to happen now.”
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