- Initial exit polls for Virginia and New Jersey show a low approval rating for President Donald Trump.
- Virginia and New Jersey electing a new governor Tuesday.
As voters head to the polls for Tuesday’s state and local elections, pollsters have theorised whether President Donald Trump’s polarising term in office will affect voters on the local level now and ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
In Virginia, a critical battleground state that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 US presidential election, initial exit polls reportedly show Trump’s approval rating at 43%. FiveThirtyEight’s poll aggregator pegged Trump’s overall approval rating at 37.6% on Tuesday.
Although Trump’s endorsement of Republican candidate Ed Gillespie has been subdued compared to other elections, he has made statements asking voters to vote for the GOP candidate.
“The state of Virginia economy, under Democrat rule, has been terrible,” Trump tweeted Monday. “If you vote Ed Gillespie tomorrow, it will come roaring back!”
Despite Trump’s endorsement, Democrat Ralph Northram app pears to be in a slight lead. Four polls placed Northram’s lead ranging from 2 to 9 percentage points, according to CNN.
The race has recently turned into a bitter feud, drawing national attention with attack ads in which Gillespie accused Northam of supporting gun rights for pedophiles, while Northam labelled Gillespie a white supremacist.
Polls in Virginia closed at 7 p.m. ET.
In the race to replace New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Democrat Phil Murphy faces off against Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Trump has remained silent on Guadagno, who is stymied by her association with Christie, a wildly unpopular governor with an approval rating of 19%. Clinton, on the other hand, has tweeted in support of Murphy and asked voters to support him.
“New Jersey: you have the chance to elect @PhilMurphyNJ @SheilaOliverNJ and other great Dems today,” Clinton tweeted Tuesday. “Take it!”
That race has also turned bitter in the final days of the campaign, with the candidates hardening their dramatically different positions on policy issues ranging from the minimum wage to gun control.
Polls in New Jersey close at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Eliza Relman contributed reporting.
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