Gov. Phil Murphy has an 11-point lead over Republican Jack Ciattarelli in next week’s race for Governor of New Jersey, 50% -39%, even with Covid falling to fourth on the list of issues facing them. New Jersey’s registered voters care the most and despite President Joe Biden got approval ratings upside down in a blue state, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.
Monmouth’s new poll challenges recent Stockton University and Emerson College polls in recent weeks, which reduced Murphy’s lead to 9 and 6 points, respectively.
But some electorate scenarios played out in the Monmouth poll also place the race between 7 and 14 points, depending on the scenario. Murphy has a 63% to 26% lead among New Jerseyans who have already voted or intend to vote early, but Ciattarelli had a lead, depending on the turnout scenario, of 5 to 12 points among voters on Day of the Day. ballot.
Murphy’s lead still represents a slight narrowing of the governor’s run from Monmouth’s last two polls, which put Murphy 16 points ahead of Ciattarelli in August and 13 points in September.
“We’ve had a few debates and a slew of publicity since the last Monmouth poll,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. Ciattarelli reduced Murphy’s lead but failed to pull off the knockout he needed.
Murphy’s favorable opinions remain high, 45% to 37%, and he has maintained a job approval rating of 52% to 39% – about the same he has been in since August.
Ciattarelli has also become better known and heads into Election Day with 37% to 25% favors. But with New Jerseyans already voting and just six days to go, 39% of the state still has no opinion on the Republican candidate for governor.
Perhaps the biggest news is that the Covid has lost its top spot as the number one issue for New Jersey voters. It is now eclipsed by taxes (27%), jobs and the economy (20%) and education and schools (16%), with the pandemic at 15%.
It could be Ciattarelli’s silver lining: the former Somerset County GOP assembly member has a 10-point lead that candidate voters are more confident about in taxes, 39% to 29%, but it may not not be enough.
Who they trust most for jobs and the economy, the two candidates are statistically tied: Murphy 34%, Ciattarelli 33%. Voters trust Murphy the most to handle issues related to the Covid pandemic: 45% -26%.
With a 42% to 27% margin, voters trust Murphy more for education and schools,
“Ciattarelli’s attack on Murphy as being out of touch with taxes resonated with some voters, but not enough to change the overall picture of the issue for this campaign. Even as concerns about the pandemic have abated, the shift to an education policy produces essentially the same benefit for Murphy, ”Murray said. He is considered the best candidate on both issues.
Biden’s approvals are underwater in New Jersey: 43% -49%. It is 58% -32% among the independents and 57% -38% in the south of Jersey.
In a state with a million more Democrats than Republicans, 75% of Democrats vote for Murphy and 16% for Ciattarelli. Among Republicans, Ciattarelli leads 75% to 14%.
Among independent voters – once the breastmilk of New Jersey elections but now the second fiddle of Democrats – the state now has 180,000 more Democrats than unaffiliated voters – the race is statistically tied: Ciattarelli 41%, Murphy 40%.
“Even though we are counting in the potential margins of error for these partisan group results, Ciattarelli cannot win this race based solely on registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters,” Murphy said. “This result would require a fairly significant collapse in Democratic participation.”
Murphy has an 83% to 6% lead among black voters and 63% to 22% among Hispanic, Asian and other minority voters.
As of Tuesday, 443,287 New Jerseyans had already voted – 52,445 of them using the state’s new early voting system which has polling stations in every county open for nine days until Halloween.
More voters (33%) think Murphy’s political views are in line with the state, while 24% say he’s out of step. Ciattarelli is just slightly in the opposite direction.
Murphy leads among women, 57% to 32%, and among college graduates, 56% to 35%. He also leads, 46% -42%, among voters without a university degree.
Ciattarelli leads the men’s race, 46% -42%.
Murphy has a 21-point lead in North Jersey (55% -34%) and 11 points ahead of Ciattarelli in central Jersey (50% -39%), but Ciattarelli leads in South Jersey 6 points (46% – 40%).
The Monmouth poll is considered the gold standard of independent New Jersey polls and has been essentially accurate in the last four governor’s races, starting in 2005.
This will be the last Monmouth poll for this year’s gubernatorial race. At least one more poll is expected: Rutgers-Eagleton is currently in the field and will release the results no later than Friday.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted October 21-25 with a sample of 1,000 registered voters in New Jersey and a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.