Gov. Phil Murphy has a 9-point lead over Republican Jack Ciattarelli, 53%-44%, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released on Friday.
“Both candidates are about where you’d expect a generic Republican and a generic Democrat to be,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Executive Director of the poll. “But to win in New Jersey, a Republican has to do much better than that.”
According to the poll, independent (unaffiliated) voters have swing toward Murphy in the last week. Nearly one-quarter of independents (24%) said they were voting for Murphy in Monday’s sample, but by yesterday, 54% indicated support for the governor’s second term. Still, Ciattarelli still leads 56%-39% among independents.
Both candidates are at their highest percentages yet among independent polls for the New Jersey Governor’s race.
Independent candidates are receiving a total of 3%, the poll shows.
“It’s not impossible to close a nine point gap in the polls,” Cassino said. “But partisans are remaining stable, the independents are moving against Ciattarelli, with many people already having voted, it seems like it is too late to turn things around.”
Murphy had an 8-point lead in a Stockton University poll released on Thursday — slightly closer than an 11-point Murphy lead in Wednesday’s Monmouth University poll.
Ciattarelli, a former three-term assemblyman from Somerset County, has favorables of 34%-32%, but 34% of voters have still not heard of him with four days to go until the November 2 general election.
“If voters don’t know who you are, it doesn’t matter how good your attacks are,” stated Cassino. “New Jersey is an expensive state to campaign in, and Ciattarelli just hasn’t been able to match Murphy’s visibility.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll was conducted between October 23-28 and has a sample size of 823 registered voters and a margin of error of +/-3.4%