Table of Contents
The United States elections day 2021
The United States elections of 2021 will take place in major part on November 2, 2021. The regular gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia are held in this off-year election. In addition, state legislative elections in New Jersey and the Virginia Chamber of Delegates (the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly) will be held, as well as several state legislative special elections, citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and other local elections. Due to deaths or vacancies, two of the six special elections for the United States House of Representatives will be held on November 2 or earlier. The first one took place on March 20.
On Tuesday, voters throughout the country will go to the polls to decide a series of races that will put the national political environment and the Democratic Party’s direction to the test a year after Joe Biden’s election.
In Virginia, Democrats are hoping to keep the pendulum of American politics from swinging back in their favor in a governor’s race that will serve as a barometer of the national climate — both as a referendum on Biden’s presidency and as a test of whether Democrats’ efforts to keep their opposition to former President Donald Trump at the forefront of their campaigns will pay off.
Meanwhile, in intra-party mayoral elections pitting progressives against establishment politicians in major cities around the country, Democrats will make judgments about the party’s direction.
In Minneapolis, the progressive push to “defund the cops” will be put to the test.
Here’s a rundown of the big games to watch on Tuesday:
Governor’s race in Virginia
The governor race in Virginia between Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin will be the most carefully watched of the night, serving as a vital barometer of national sentiment heading into the midterm elections in 2022 and beyond. Despite the fact that Virginia has shifted toward Democrats over the previous decade, McAuliffe and Youngkin are tied in a tight contest, according to polls, with more than 1.1 million votes cast during early voting.
A win for McAuliffe would be a vote of confidence in President Joe Biden and his agenda, while a win for Youngkin, who has tried to tread a fine line in handling support from former President Donald Trump, would give Republicans a boost and provide a roadmap for dealing with Trump for Republicans running in competitive states.
Referendum on police in Minnesota.
Nearly a year and a half after the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis voters will decide whether to accept or reject a referendum that will substantially restructure the city’s policing. The referendum is being closely followed across the country as a test of the “defund the cops” movement, a divisive slogan that gained traction among progressives following Floyd’s death and has since been used against Democrats across the country.
If the initiative passes, the city will create a Department of Public Safety, remove a mandate for the number of police the city must have, and divide administration of the new department between the mayor and the city council.
The governorship of New Jersey is up for grabs.
Gov. Phil Murphy appears to be far ahead in his effort to become New Jersey’s first Democratic governor to be re-elected since 1977. The streak will be broken unless GOP candidate Jack Ciattarelli pulls off a stunning upset, giving Democrats proof that an executive who championed mask and vaccine regulations will be rewarded by voters.
Murphy’s victory will also highlight how difficult it is for even moderate Republicans to distance themselves from former President Donald Trump, particularly in blue areas. Ciattarelli has kept his distance from Trump, and Trump has kept his distance from Ciattarelli. On his appearance at a “Stop the Steal” rally last year, Murphy slammed Ciattarelli, whose major emphasis is on taxes, which voters have dubbed the state’s most critical issue. (Ciattarelli said that he was unfamiliar with the event’s concept.)
The race for mayor of New York is on.
Eric Adams, the Democratic Party’s mayoral contender in New York City, scored a razor-thin victory. On Tuesday, his race will be less dramatic; the Brooklyn borough president is a shoe-in to become the next mayor of New York. His rise, though, is about more than just the city; senior Democrats have hailed Adams and his campaign as a model for how the party should move ahead.
Former police captain Adams has attempted to present himself as a working-class contender. While he has been contemptuous of, and at times aggressive with, the party’s left-wing activists, Adams has also adopted certain progressive ideals about preventive and early intervention on matters such as public safety, which was the focus of his campaign.
Mayoral elections in other cities.
Boston: For the first time in a city long ruled by White men, Boston is about to create history by electing a woman of color as mayor. According to polls, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, a proponent of progressive ideas, has opened a significant lead over her more moderate opponent Annissa Essaibi George, who is also a Boston city councilor-at-large.
Buffalo: In June, Democratic Socialist India Walton upset four-term Mayor Byron Brown in Buffalo’s Democratic primary, claiming a shock triumph for the progressive left on her way to becoming the first socialist mayor of a major American city in almost 60 years. But she’ll have to fight Brown once more if she wants to be mayor. The incumbent mayor is running for re-election as a write-in candidate.
Atlanta: A total of fourteen candidates are trying to succeed Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is not seeking re-election. The competition is taking place amid concerns about an increase in violent crime, as well as debate over a plan by residents of Buckhead, a rich neighborhood in Atlanta, to secede from the capital and form their own city. Although polls show that a sizable portion of the electorate remains undecided, the prominent contenders, including former Mayor Kasim Reed, City Council President Felicia Moore, and Councilman Andre Dickens, have made Atlanta’s crime rate a central theme in their campaigns. If no candidate receives at least 50% plus one, a run-off election will be held on November 30 to determine the winner.