Home>Governor>Murphy approvals at 43%, Rutgers-Eagleton poll says

Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy approvals at 43%, Rutgers-Eagleton poll says

40% of NJ voters haven’t formed opinion of new governor

By David Wildstein, November 15 2018 12:01 am

Gov. Phil Murphy continues to be popular among New Jerseyans with a 43%- 28% approval rating, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this morning.

While most New Jerseyans view Murphy favorably – 33%-24% — four out of ten people still haven’t formed an opinion of him ten months into his governorship.

“New Jerseyans’ continued uncertainty toward Gov. Murphy one year into his tenure is somewhat of a new phenomenon compared to past New Jersey governors,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University– New Brunswick. “This indecision on Murphy is an especially stark contrast to Chris Christie – a governor about which virtually everyone had an opinion. Residents are in fact more uncertain about Murphy’s job performance and likability than they have ever been about almost any other governor besides Governors DiFrancesco and Florio.”

Among Democrats, Murphy’s approvals are at 64%-10% and his favorables are at 52%-5%. He’s got 37%-26% favorable and 27%-25% favorables among Independents.  Among Republicans, the governor has upside-down approvals of 22%-60% and favorables of 15%-55%.

Murphy is most popular among non-white voters (53%-15%) and voters ages 18-29 (46%-12%).

On issues, Murphy does best on transportation and infrastructure: 46% approve and 28% disapprove.  His worst numbers come on health care: 37%-30%.

“These partisan divisions are no surprise given the hyper-partisanship that has taken hold of the country,” said Koning. “In this era, it is hard to find much on which partisans of all stripes agree, including their governor.”

New Jerseyans are split on whether the state is on the right or wrong track, 46%-45%.

“Even before Murphy took office last January, New Jerseyans began to have a more positive outlook about the state at the end of 2017,” said Koning. “Not only did Murphy’s election signal the end of Chris Christie but also a change in party leadership. Only time will tell if Murphy can continue to foster more positivity about the state now that he is well into his first term.”

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll was conducted from October 12 to 19, 2018, with a scientifically selected random sample of 1,006 New Jersey adults, 18 or older. The sample contains a subsample of 896 registered voters and 496 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll - NJ Ratings - Nov 15 2018 - FULL FINAL PDF (003)
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