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*** Live Results *** Virginia, New Jersey, Other Battles Set Tone in Biden Era

Americans in several states across the country – particularly in Virginia and New Jersey – vote Tuesday in the biggest election since last year’s presidential election and before the upcoming midterm congressional elections in November 2022. Voters in Virginia and New Jersey are voting on who they want to be their next governors, as well as on several important down-ticket offices.

Virginia’s gubernatorial race has gotten very competitive in the final weeks, as Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin has surged in polling, riding a focus on cultural issues like standing up for parents in battles with school boards and educators. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s former governor who is seeking a comeback as the state term limits governors to just one consecutive term, aims to keep the governor’s mansion in the Old Dominion in Democrat hands. McAuliffe handed the job off to outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam, another Democrat who has been plagued throughout his time as governor with scandals, particularly after old yearbook photos emerged of him in racist garb. While Northam originally claimed he was one of the two people in the picture – in Ku Klux Klan robes or in blackface – without specifying, he later claimed he was not either. Nonetheless, Northam held onto his job and weathered the scandal. Tuesday, voters will answer the question of whether McAuliffe can hang on for the Democrats and win back his old job or if the people of Virginia are ready to swing the pendulum back the other way after 12 years since the last GOP win statewide in the state.

Down-ticket, voters will also elect a new Lieutenant Governor and a new Attorney General in Virginia, and the majority control of the state House of Delegates is up for grabs as well.

Voters in New Jersey also will decide on whether Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy will get a second term or if Republican Jack Ciattarelli will unseat him. While polls did tighten a bit in the final weeks, Murphy is viewed as in a stronger position than McAuliffe down in Virginia.

In Ohio, a special election will again test former President Donald Trump’s strength in the rust belt as voters will elect a successor to former Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) in the 15th district. Democrats have been creeping in quietly here behind their candidate Allison Russo – President Joe Biden endorsed her in the final days – but this district has been reliably Republican. It remains to be seen if the last-second sneak attack from Democrats can flip this seat or if the GOP will hang on.

Elsewhere in America, interesting mayor’s races, ballot referenda, local elections, and more could prove particularly newsworthy as voters decide the fate of many major issues in Tuesday elections ahead of next year’s midterms.

Follow along here for live updates as America votes in the first regularly scheduled election since Biden took over the White House and for news and analysis about the results and trends and takeaways.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:

Youngkin keeps rolling, and just pulled off a surprise big victory in Radford, Virginia:

UPDATE 8:06 p.m. ET:

Youngkin seems to have the edge but it’s still early:

UPDATE 8:03 p.m. ET: 

The polls have closed now in New Jersey and results are expected there imminently.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Fairfax County’s issues because of a reported need to rescan ballots have everyone in the state on edge:

UPDATE 7:59 p.m. ET:

McAuliffe, who is not at an election night event but watching results from his home with his family, issued this statement to supporters:

UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET: 

With 33 percent reporting according to the New York Times, Youngkin still has a huge lead of 54.1 percent to McAuliffe’s 45.2 percent.

Both Virginia candidates are also seemingly hitting the margins they need to hit where they need to hit them for a close photo finish statewide:

But McAuliffe seems to have had problems in Northern Virginia’s Manassas:

UPDATE 7:45 p.m. ET:

There are some issues apparently in Fairfax County with reporting of absentee votes:

There is also some confusion in Loudoun County:

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET:

With 16 percent reporting now, Youngkin’s lead continues to grow–now at nearly 60,000 votes. It’s still too early to tell what this all means. But Youngkin’s 55.8 percent currently leads McAuliffe’s 43.6 percent.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m. ET: 

Breitbart News’s Ashley Oliver and Matt Perdie are at Youngkin HQ in Virginia for election night. Ashley sends this report along from the Youngkin event:

We’re here at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia, where the Youngkin campaign is spending election night. The second floor of the hotel is filling up fast with staff and supporters dressed up and preparing to watch the results roll in. Energy is high, and one Youngkin campaign staffer told Breitbart News they are feeling “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m. ET

Youngkin is crushing it in Loudoun County, where he focused his campaign on education issues:

UPDATE 7:33 p.m. ET

McAuliffe is crushing it with mail and early votes, especially in northern Virginia:

Nonetheless, Youngkin doing slightly better than expected according to the Times’ Cohn:

With 9 percent reporting, Youngkin’s 54.2 percent still leads McAuliffe’s 45 percent–by about 26,000 votes.

UPDATE 7:27 p.m. ET: 

With 5 percent now reporting in Virginia, Youngkin’s lead is down to just under 14,000 votes–with 54.3 percent, Youngkin still leads McAuliffe’s 45 percent. It’s still early so unclear what to make of it as this stage.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m. ET:

In New York–and in other places–some voters are being turned away from polling places over a lack of a mask. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the House GOP Conference chairwoman, is sounding the alarm–calling it “illegal voter suppression”:

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. ET:

The first votes are in from very red areas, and Youngkin has a huge lead–as expected–there.

According to the New York Times, with 1 percent reporting, Youngkin leads with 65.2 percent to McAuliffe’s 34.1 percent.

UPDATE 7:11 p.m. ET:

As first results are expected to come out soon, some experts are saying that the early voting numbers might get reported first–so it might play out differently than it has in previous recent elections where Republicans lead big first then Democrats close later:

Also, it appears as though the early vote is smaller than November 2020 in Virginia:

UPDATE 7:00 p.m. ET:

The polls have closed in Virginia, and results are expected to start pouring in soon. Polls close in New Jersey in an hour at 8 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 6:55 p.m. ET:

Exit polls in New Jersey, meanwhile, show taxes have emerged as a top issue there:

UPDATE 6:48 p.m. ET:

Some, like the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman, are suggesting before the polls close that turnout seems to favor the Republican, Youngkin, as it’s higher in redder areas of Virginia than in bluer areas:

It is as of now unclear whether this red surge will be enough for Youngkin to defeat McAuliffe though:

The New York Times’s Nate Cohn has a decent breakdown, too, of what to make of early voting:

UPDATE 6:40 p.m. ET:

Exit polls in Virginia show that Republican Glenn Youngkin has an 18-point favorability rating advantage among voters over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

But Democrats are expressing confidence before the polls close:

The exit polls also show the economy is the number one issue, followed by coronavirus and education:

This piece from John Carney, Breitbart News’s economics editor, has more on the exit polling in Virginia and the significance of the economy being the biggest issue.

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