With all the talk about the 2018 midterms, one can easily forget that two states will be selecting new governors in less than a month.
Virginians will choose between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democratic, current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam.
Meanwhile, New Jersey will choose between Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy.
NEW POLL: VIRGINIA GOV 2017 (LV)
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) October 17, 2017
A recent Monmouth Poll shows that Gillespie has taken a small lead over Northam as the race continues to make national headlines. The momentum continues to grow with both sides bringing in star power to stump for the candidates.
Vice President Mike Pence recently visited Virginia to campaign for Gillespie, adding that Trump is a friend to the former Republican National Committee chair. Pence also said the Trump administration will help cut taxes and support the coal industry in Virginia.
Former President Barack Obama has a rally planned later this week with Lt. Gov Northam in Richmond. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that voter turnout tends to drop after a presidential election, and Obama’s visit could be seen as a chance to solidify the Democratic base vote in the state’s capital. Hillary Clinton carried the state of Virginia in 2016 and Barack Obama carried the state during both of his presidential runs.
In New Jersey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is trailing Phil Murphy by fifteen points in a PublicMind Poll. Thirteen percent of the people surveyed remained undecided.
The poll also noted that a majority of Garden State voters aren’t satisfied with either of the major party candidates, with only a fifth of those surveyed believing that either can solve problems facing the state.
The Observer reports that Chris Christie’s 16 percent approval rating could be affecting Guadagno’s campaign, as it could be seen as a deciding factor in November. Other issues that could drive voters to the polls are property taxes and transit, as well as government transparency..
According to the Washington Post, the Virginia election is the most competitive race this cycle.
Both of these races could be seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump as well as a preview of the 2018 Midterm Elections.