Lunchtime Links: It’s Election Day!

Time to vote
Time to vote.

Lunchtime links for Tuesday November 7th, 2017- Election Day:

— The most watched election in the country today will be the race between former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) for the right to become Virginia’s next governor. This battle has gotten particularly ugly in the final weeks, and if polling numbers are any indication, this one will go down to the wire.

— But will it be a “bellwether” for 2018? Political analyst Larry Sabato says no in a guest piece for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in which he provides some historical data to make his case.

— The other gubernatorial race being decided today is the one in New Jersey between Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) and Phil Murphy (D), a former US Ambassador to Germany. RCP’s final polling average shows Murphy in the lead by double digits. If those numbers hold, the state would be a rare and welcomed pick up for Democrats after a series of devastating and crushing losses at the state level across the country in the aftermath of the 2008 election of President Obama.

— The Associated Press provides a good round-up of both gubernatorial races here (via Memeorandum)

— Here in Charlotte, North Carolina, voters will go to the polls today to select the city’s next mayor, decide on several City Council reps, pick six school board members, and give the thumbs up or down to a nearly billion dollar school bond package:

Set to succeed [outgoing Democratic Mayor Jennifer] Roberts will be either Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles or City Councilman Kenny Smith. Lyles defeated Roberts in the Democratic primary, while Smith cruised to victory in the Republican primary.

In order to become Charlotte’s first Republican mayor since Pat McCrory finished his final term in 2009, Smith would have to overcome a huge gap in voter registration. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Charlotte by more than 2 to 1, although unaffiliated voters surpass Republicans and comprise 30 percent of the electorate.

The Democratic National Committee has also gotten involved in the mayoral race in a rare move, likely due to Smith’s fundraising advantage over Lyles and the fact that the race is surprisingly close.