Trump Drags Down GOP Candidates in Virginia and New Jersey

Image: Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie Holds Election Night Event
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie speaks at an election-night rally on November 7, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Mark Murray

A year ago, Donald Trump shocked the world. On Election Night 2017, he helped weigh down Republican candidates in Virginia and New Jersey as Democrats captured the governor’s mansions in both states.

In Virginia, where Democrat Ralph Northam bested Republican Ed Gillespie, 57 percent of voters said they disapproved of Trump's job performance, according to exit polling in the state. And those voters broke for Northam, 87 percent to 11 percent.

By contrast, 40 percent said they approved of the president's job, with Gillespie winning those, 90 percent to 8 percent.

For comparison's sake, Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's approval rating in the exit poll was 54 percent.

Perhaps more importantly, half of voters in Virginia said that Trump was a factor in their vote, and they opposed the president by a 2-to-1 margin — 34 percent oppose, 16 percent support.

Among the 47 percent of voters who said that Trump was not a factor, Gillespie won them, 56 percent to 41 percent.

Related: Democrat Ralph Northam Wins Virginia Governor Race

Trump's standing was even worse in New Jersey, where Democrat Phil Murphy beat Republican Kim Guadagno in that state’s gubernatorial race.

Just 36 percent of Garden State voters said they approved of the president's job, while 63 percent disapproved, according to exit polls there.

And among the 39 percent of voters in New Jersey who said Trump was a factor in their vote, 28 percent said it was to oppose him, versus 11 percent who were supporting him – a nearly 3-to-1 margin.