AP: Chris Christie Wins New Jersey Governor's Race

BlogHer Original Post

UPDATE: At 10:07 pm, the Newark Star-Ledger announced over its live stream that the Associated Press has called the New Jersey Governor's race for Chris Christie.

The polls are closed in New Jersey, and the news is favorable for the Republican challenger, former US Attorney Chris Christie. With 70 percent of the precincts reporting, just under half of the votes are going to Christie, versus 43.8 percent for incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine, according to a 10 pm update from the New York Times and the Newark Star-Ledger below. Independent Chris Daggett is polling at 5.4%.

According to the Star-Ledger's exit polls, voters were motivated primarily by concerns over high property taxes and dim economic prospects. Both the Star-Ledger and the New York Times' exit polls suggest that Corzine failed to carry moderate and independent voters. Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com reports that Corzine's showing across the state was significantly weaker than in his successful 2005 bid.

In the end, heavy campaigning by Pres. Barack Obama had no effect on voter's decisions, according to exit polls.

Via twitter, Princeton University politics professor Melissa Harris Lacewell observed that property tax rates are set by municipalities, not the Governor. However, conservatives have been blaming the state's property tax rates on New Jersey Supreme Court decisions requiring that school funding be equalized between wealthier and poorer school districts. It's likely that Christie will face pressure to cut aid to urban schools - a prospect that led Harris Lacewell to tweet: "Keep eyes on the racial achievement gap in the next 4 years."



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