In the New Jersey gubernatorial race, the Republican candidate, Jack Ciattarelli, still has yet to concede.
About six hours after the polls closed on Election Day, the Associated Press made a call in the close race for Virginia governor: Democrat Terry McAuliffe had lost. McAuliffe conceded Wednesday morning, when it became clear he had no realistic path to victory. The Atlantic takes up the story:
The same has not happened in New Jersey, where the Democratic incumbent, Phil Murphy, defeated Republican State Senator Jack Ciattarelli. Murphy’s margin was closer than expected, but as of Saturday morning, it was larger than Glenn Youngkin’s in Virginia. Like McAuliffe, Ciattarelli came close but has no path to victory. Unlike McAuliffe, however, Ciattarelli has not yet admitted defeat.
This points to a dangerous new dynamic now emerging, in which losing Democrats at the top of a ticket follow one set of rules and losing Republicans follow another. That double standard could put our democracy—and American lives—at risk.
To his credit, Ciattarelli has not—à la Donald Trump—falsely declared victory. Rather, he’s trying to walk a tightrope. Shortly after the race was called, he asked his supporters not to fall “victim to wild conspiracies or online rumors,” and yesterday, under pressure, he made clear that he was not alleging fraud or malfeasance. All the while, however, he has refused to admit defeat.
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