CBS News projected that Republican Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s race against former Governor Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, a state President Biden won by 10 points in 2020.
In New Jersey, there were still a number of Democratic counties that had not reported their results as of 11:30 p.m., but incumbent Governor Phil Murphy had yet not locked down what was expected to be a relatively easy win over Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
McAuliffe campaigned on national issues, on abortion and voting rights, while Youngkin zeroed in on local issues, hitting McAuliffe hard on education and the economy.
Youngkin said in his victory speech that Virginians had arrived at a “defining moment.”
“Together, together, we will change the trajectory of this commonwealth,” he said. “And friends, we are going to start that transformation on day one. There is no time to waste. Our kids can’t wait, we work in real-people time, not government time. So on day one, we’re going to work. We’re going to restore excellence in our schools.”
Exit polls indicated that just over half of voters said parents should have “a lot” of say in what is taught in their child’s school. In the final weeks of the campaign, Youngkin capitalized on McAuliffe’s response during a debate on whether parents should be able to opt their children out of reading certain books if they disapprove of the content. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe said. Youngkin quoted McAuliffe repeatedly on the campaign trail and in ads. It resonated with Youngkin’s supporters — 8 in 10 think they should have “a lot” of say in their children’s schooling. Only a quarter of McAuliffe voters agreed. Pre-election polls found this issue energized many Republicans. Slightly more Youngkin voters selected education as their top issue, compared to McAuliffe backers.
Democrats could at least count victories in heavily blue New York City and Boston, although a Democrat had been guaranteed to win in Boston since both candidates on the ballot were Democrats. The Associated Press projected Michelle Wu won in Boston, making her the first Asian American and the first woman to lead the city. In New York City, Democrat Eric Adams gave a heartfelt victory speech, proclaiming “I am you” as he said “I want you to believe again. Let’s bring this city back.”
In Minneapolis, votersand created a new Department of Public Safety. In the city’s mayoral race, embattled incumbent Jacob Frey led in the first round of ranked-choice voting, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.
In Buffalo, incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, who lost the Democratic primary to Democratic Socialist India Walton, ran a write-in campaign against Walton. A poll last week by CBS Buffalo affiliate WIVB had Brown leading by 17 points, and he appeared to be leading by 10,000 votes as of Tuesday night, according to WIVB.
Clare Hymes, Adam Brewster and Aaron Navarro contributed reporting.