Home>Campaigns>New poll narrows Murphy lead to six points over Ciattarelli

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, right, and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli debate at Rowan University on October 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool).

New poll narrows Murphy lead to six points over Ciattarelli

Emerson College/PIX 11 News poll has Democratic governor ahead, 50%-44%

By David Wildstein, October 21 2021 4:32 pm

Republican Jack Ciattarelli now trials Gov. Phil Murphy by six points, 50%-44%, according to an Emerson College/PIX 11 News poll released on Thursday.

Among the glaring differences between this poll and New Jersey-based independent pollsters is on Ciattarelli’s name ID.  A Stockton University poll from more than three weeks ago said that 45% of New Jersey voters were unfamiliar with the GOP challenger.  The new poll says that number has dropped to 16%.

Murphy’s favorables of 49%-47%, with Ciattarelli at 40%-40%.   Among likely voters, Murphy’s approvals of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic are at 56%-38% — slightly less than other public polls.

Among undecided voters, the poll showed Ciattarelli with a 59%-41% advantage.  With leaners, Ciattarelli is just outside the margin of error, with Murphy ahead, 52%-48%.  Still, asked which candidate could best handle New Jersey’s Covid recovery, 52% picked Murphy and 48% named Ciattarelli.

Of those who have already voted — 339,622 mail-in ballots have already been returned — Murphy has a 76%-24% lead.

Voters somewhat likely to vote give Murphy a 45%-40% lead, but Ciattarelli jumps to a 48%-45% lead among very likely voters.

Ciattarelli is up 56%-32% among independent voters in New Jersey.

More than half of New Jersey voters – 51% — said taxes are their top issue.

This is the closest poll yet in the New Jersey governor’s race.  Murphy had a 9-point lead in the Stockton poll and was up 13 points in a Monmouth University poll – the gold standard of New Jersey polls — released on September 22.

Murphy leads among women, 57%-40%, with Ciattarelli ahead 50%-41% among men.

The poll was conducted between October 15-18 with a sample size of 600 likely New Jersey voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.9%.   The Emerson College poll has an A- rating from FiveThirtyEight, which grades polling organizations based on prior performance.

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