State Democratic Chairman John Currie said he wasn’t worried by growing disapproval for Gov. Phil Murphy in a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday morning.
“As we know, polls are up and down,” Currie said. “Listen, I think the governor’s doing a great job trying to put this state on the right path — look out for working families and middle-class people — so I’m not concerned at all.”
New Jersey residents gave Murphy a 43% approval rating, a figure virtually unchanged from the 44% that approved of him in a Monmouth poll last April.
But, Murphy’s disapprovals jumped by 12 points, from 28% in April to 40% on Tuesday.
Those jump in his disapproval was driven mostly by falling ratings granted to Murphy by independents and Republicans. The former group gave Murphy and upside-down approval of 39%-43%, down from the favorable 41%-33% approval they gave him in April.
While Republicans never had a rosy view of the Democratic governor, their opinions of him have only worsened over time. In April, 17% approved of the governor, while 59% disapproved. That disapproval jumped to 85% in Tuesday’s poll, while his approval among the GOP declined to 11%.
State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt didn’t share Currie’s rosy view of Tuesday’s poll. Steinhardt took the opportunity to hit Murphy, saying the state was “weaker and poorer” than it was when he took office.
State Democrats responded by pointing to Murphy’s popularity among his own base.
“It shouldn’t be a shock that Republicans and conservative-leaning unaffiliated voters are hardening their opposition to Governor Murphy given his steadfast support for policies that benefit working families and the middle class,” New Jersey Democratic State Committee spokesman Phil Swibinski said. “More significant is the Governor’s massive popularity and practically nonexistent negatives among New Jersey’s constantly growing Democratic electorate.”
Democrats approved of Murphy 66%-9%, and New Jerseyans backed the $15 minimum wage bill that Murphy signed into law last month 66%-29%.
Update: This article was updated with Swibinski’s statement at 3:06 p.m.