Gov. Phil Murphy has statewide job approvals of 54%-36%, solid numbers going into his re-election campaign in ten weeks but slightly less than where he was three months ago and far behind the 72% job approvals at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Monmouth University poll released today shows.
Murphy earned high marks on his handling of the pandemic: 61% of New Jersey voters think he’s done a good job, while 28% say he’s done a bad job.
In comparison, that’s higher than the approvals New Jerseyans give President Joe Biden for his handling of the pandemic: 54%-31%.
Among New Jerseyans with children at home, 64% say he’s done a good job managing the state during Covid, while 27% say he’s done a bad job. He’s at 60%-28% among those with no children at home.
Murphy has job approvals of 85%-9% among Democrats, 48%-41% among independents, and 16%-73% among Republicans. He’s at 54%-36% among women, 47%-45% among men, and 75%-15% with Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other non-white New Jersey votes. But among White voters, he’s upside-down at 43%-47%.
His approvals are at 59%-30% in North Jersey, 56%-35% in Central Jersey, and marginally upside-down at 43%-46% in South Jersey.
Murphy gets high marks from young voters between the ages of 18 and 34, with a 60%-23% approval rating. He’s at 56%-36% among voters between the ages of 35 and 54 and has job approvals of 49%-43% with voters over the age of 55.
New Jersey voters vary by ten points on their view of Murphy’s performance based on their education: he’s at 59%-34% among those with a four-year degree and 49%-38% among those with no degree.
Murphy has a 16-point lead over a largely unknown Republican Jack Ciattarelli, according to a Monmouth poll released last week. He is seeking to become the first Democratic governor to win a second term since 1977.
The last Democratic governor who ran for re-election, Jon Corzine, had job approvals of 38%-54% in Monmouth poll released in August 2009. He lost by four percentage points.
An April 2020 Monmouth poll released about a month into the coronavirus pandemic put Murphy’s job approvals at a sky-high 72%-21%.
Murphy began his term in office struggling to be noticed: his job approvals in earlier Monmouth polls were at 43%-20% in April 2018, 42%-43% in February 2019, and 40%-41 in September 2019.