N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy wins a second term by a whisker in one of the nation’s most watched races

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has clinched a second term after defeating former state Assembleyman Jack Ciattarelli (R) in the state’s unexpectedly tight gubernatorial contest.

Murphy beat back Ciattarelli in a race that polls had shown slightly narrowed in the final few weeks of the campaign. While, New Jersey’s blue hue proved too deep for Ciattarelli to overcome, the former state lawmaker ran far ahead of expectations, holding a lead over Murphy for much of Tuesday night before falling slightly behind in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

Ciattarelli waged a surprisingly profitable marketing campaign within the closely Democratic New Jersey, his spending almost equaling the governor’s and outpacing the GOP’s efficiency 4 years in the past. However Murphy’s benefits, together with 1 million extra registered Democrats, proved an excessive amount of for the Republican to beat.