TRENTON – Nearly one of every seven municipalities in New Jersey switched their party allegiance in this year’s gubernatorial election, mostly though not exclusively abandoning Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in favor of Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.

Murphy won re-election by about 3 percentage points, after winning by 14 points in 2017. But between the two elections, he actually improved his margins in 121 of the state’s 565 municipalities, en route to winning in 210 cities and towns in 2021.

Gov. Phil Murphy (AP file)
Gov. Phil Murphy (AP file)
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Murphy won by more than 70 percentage points in 15 places: Camden, East Orange, Irvington, Lawnside, Maplewood, Montclair, Newark, Orange, Paterson, Plainfield, Roselle, South Orange, Trenton, Union City and Willingboro.

Ciattarelli improved on 2017 GOP nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s margins in 443 municipalities, on his way to winning in 354 of them.

He won by 50 points or more in 19 places: Alloway Township, Bass River, Colts Neck, Deal, Eagleswood, Fairfield, Harmony, Lacey, Lawrence (Cumberland), Lower Alloways Creek, Mantoloking, Montague, Pine Valley, Plumsted, Stow Creek, Upper Pittsgrove, Walpack, Wantage and Woodland.

Jack Ciattarelli (AP file)
Jack Ciattarelli (AP file)
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The vote in Pine Valley was exactly the same in each election – two for Murphy, six for the Republican. That town is disappearing on Jan. 1, merging into neighboring Pine Hill.

In three other towns, the margins were almost identical in the two elections, differing by just hundredths of a percentage point. Murphy again won Ewing by almost 43 points and Bound Brook by 1 point, and he lost Millstone by 9 points twice.

Murphy won in 270 of the 565 municipalities in 2017, but Ciattarelli flipped 68 of those in the Republicans’ favor in 2021, including 37 towns in South Jersey (such as 10 in Atlantic and 12 in Gloucester) and 20 in Bergen and Passaic counties.

Towns that flipped for Ciattarelli

Here those are in order, with the vote percentages shifting more as you scroll along.

Neptune City: From a 2 percentage point win for Murphy to a 1 point win for Ciattarelli.

Florence: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 1 point win for Ciattarelli.

Tinton Falls: From a 2-vote squeaker for Murphy, 3,196 to 3,194, to a 5 percentage point win for Ciattarelli.

Phillipsburg: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Lake Como: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Cinnaminson: From a 5 point win for Murphy to a 2 point win for Ciattarelli.

Waldwick: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 7 point win for Ciattarelli.

Hillsdale: From a 4 point win for Murphy to a 4 point win for Ciattarelli.

Sayreville: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 7 point win for Ciattarelli.

Norwood: From an 8 point win for Murphy to a 1 point win for Ciattarelli.

Aberdeen: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 6 point win for Ciattarelli.

Medford Lakes: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 6 point win for Ciattarelli.

Hasbrouck Heights: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 10 point win for Ciattarelli.

West Caldwell: From a 2 point win for Murphy to a 9 point win for Ciattarelli.

Garwood: From a 3 point win for Murphy to an 8 point win for Ciattarelli.

Rochelle Park: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 9 point win for Ciattarelli.

East Rutherford: From a 13 point, 261-vote win for Murphy to a narrow 5-vote win for Ciattarelli.

Ventnor: From a 6 point win for Murphy to an 8 point win for Ciattarelli.

Hawthorne: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 13 point win for Ciattarelli.

Carneys Point: From a 9 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

North Arlington: From a 2 point win for Murphy to a 12 point win for Ciattarelli.

Margate: From a 4 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Paramus: From a 4 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Ringwood: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 12 point win for Ciattarelli.

Saddle Brook: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 14 point win for Ciattarelli.

Pemberton Township: From a 13 point win for Murphy to a 3 point win for Ciattarelli.

Woolwich: From a 7 point win for Murphy to a 10 point win for Ciattarelli.

Woodbury Heights: From a 16 point win for Murphy to a 0.5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Northvale: From a 2 point win for Murphy to a 14 point win for Ciattarelli.

Berlin Borough: From a 6 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Woodland Park: From a 13 point win for Murphy to a 4 point win for Ciattarelli.

Wood-Ridge: From a 12 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Riverside: From a 12 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Little Falls: From an 8 point win for Murphy to a 9 point win for Ciattarelli.

Pitman: From a 13 point win for Murphy to a 5 point win for Ciattarelli.

Somers Point: From a 7 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Nutley: From a 13 point win for Murphy to a 6 point win for Ciattarelli.

Winfield: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 16 point win for Ciattarelli.

Absecon: From a 3 point win for Murphy to a 16 point win for Ciattarelli.

Mount Ephraim: From a 17 point win for Murphy to a 2 point win for Ciattarelli.

East Greenwich: From a 2 point win for Murphy to an 18 point win for Ciattarelli.

West Deptford: From a 20 point win for Murphy to a 1 point win for Ciattarelli.

Galloway: From an 8 point win for Murphy to a 13 point win for Ciattarelli.

Lyndhurst: From a 7 point win for Murphy to a 14 point win for Ciattarelli.

Elmwood Park: From a 19 point win for Murphy to a 4 point win for Ciattarelli.

Egg Harbor Township: From a 9 point win for Murphy to a 13 point win for Ciattarelli.

Washington Township in Gloucester County: From a 6 point win for Murphy to a 17 point win for Ciattarelli.

Greenwich in Cumberland County: From a 4 point win for Murphy to a 19 point win for Ciattarelli.

Northfield: From a 10 point win for Murphy to a 14 point win for Ciattarelli.

Carlstadt: From a 5 point win for Murphy to a 19 point win for Ciattarelli.

Lakewood: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 23 point win for Ciattarelli.

Hamilton Township in Atlantic County: From a 13 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Egg Harbor City: From an 18 point win for Murphy to a 7 point win for Ciattarelli.

Millville: From a 13 point win for Murphy to an 11 point win for Ciattarelli.

Newfield: From a 1 point win for Murphy to a 24 point win for Ciattarelli.

Woodstown: From a 15 point win for Murphy to a 10 point win for Ciattarelli.

Vineland: From a 22 point win for Murphy to a 4 point win for Ciattarelli.

National Park: From an 11 point win for Murphy to a 15 point win for Ciattarelli.

Wildwood: From a 6 point win for Murphy to a 20 point win for Ciattarelli.

Monroe Township in Gloucester County: From an 18 point win for Murphy to a 9 point win for Ciattarelli.

Mantua: From a 10 point win for Murphy to a 17 point win for Ciattarelli.

Greenwich in Gloucester County: From an 11 point win for Murphy to a 17 point win for Ciattarelli.

Westville: From an 11 point win for Murphy to a 17 point win for Ciattarelli.

South Hackensack: From a 28 point win for Murphy to a 2 point win for Ciattarelli.

Woodbine: From a 28 point win for Murphy to a 2 point win for Ciattarelli.

Buena Vista: From a 6 point win for Murphy to a 28 point win for Ciattarelli.

Commercial Township: From a 4 point win for Murphy to a 30 point win for Ciattarelli.

Teterboro: From a 13 point win for Murphy to a 45 point win for Ciattarelli. This is a small town in which the vote went from 9 to 7 in Murphy’s favor in 2017 to 8 to 3 in Ciattarelli’s favor.

Despite that, there were seven towns in New Jersey where Ciattarelli got fewer votes than Guadagno did in 2017: Tavistock, 1 fewer; Walpack, 1; Loch Arbour, 2; Pennington, 6; Rocky Hill, 8; Bay Head, 24; and West Windsor, 265.

Murphy’s vote totals dropped in 95 of the 565 municipalities. That included drops of more than 1,000 votes in seven places: Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Hoboken, Newark, North Bergen, Paterson and Trenton, headlined by a nearly 5,500-vote reduction in Newark, which he won by 80 points – but had won by 90 points in 2017.

Guadagno won in 295 of the 565 municipalities in 2017. Murphy flipped eight of those to his column during his 2021 re-election:

Towns that flipped for Murphy

Randolph: Moved 1.7 points toward Murphy, from a 49.3% to 48.9% Guadagno win to a 50.3% to 49% Murphy win

Woodcliff Lake: Murphy’s 1.3 point win mirrored his 1.3 point loss four years earlier.

Harvey Cedars: Murphy got 50.2% of the vote this year, as did Guadagno in 2017. Add in third-party votes and he improved his margin by 3 points.

Dunellen: Murphy lost here by 9 votes in 2017 but won by 45 this time. It’s a 3.2 point gain.

New Providence: After losing by nearly 1 percentage point in 2017, Murphy won by almost 6 points.

Mountain Lakes: Guadagno had narrowly won here in 2017 – 713 to 708, or 0.3 points. Murphy won in 2021 with over 53% of the vote, 976 to 840.

Cape May: Murphy improved by almost 8 points, getting 50% and a 6-vote win after pulling 45% in losing by 66 votes in 2017.

Tavistock: In 2017, all three votes in the golf-course community went to Guadagno. This time, Murphy got three votes to Ciattarelli’s two.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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