Former Gov. Jon Corzine doesn’t think Gov. Phil Murphy should be overly concerned about a Monmouth poll released Tuesday that showed his disapproval rating rising by 12 points since a similar poll released by the university last April.
“I think that the ebbs and flows of polling are inevitable,” Corzine told the New Jersey Globe. “New Jersey is a place where almost everyone who governs ends up having challenges from time to time, and this sounds pretty good to me.”
New Jersey residents told Monmouth pollsters they approved of the sitting governor 43%-40%. Those figures put Murphy’s first-year approvals slightly below Corzine’s. A Monmouth poll released in February 2007 pegged Corzine’s approvals at 44%-34%.
Murphy’s approval rating in the Monmouth poll isn’t necessarily bad, but a larger chunk of residents say they disapprove of the governor than they did in the April poll, which pegged Murphy’s disapproval at 28%.
Corzine said Murphy’s political feuds, both with Republicans and members of his own party, may be wearing on residents’ views of the sitting governor.
“I know that the longer you get in, there are serious challenges back and forth with some in your own party,” Corzine said. “Political opponents do carry weight on the approval ratings of a sitting governor. I’m sure that’s happening, as there’s fairly well-known tensions there. I don’t think it’s unique with Democrats.”
But, he said, the poll numbers still aren’t anything to be concerned over, even if it is important for Murphy to take note of how his constituents across the state are feeling about his tenure.
“I think not having your head turned by a given poll or a given circumstance is very, very important,” Corzine said. “Keep your feet on the ground and look ahead.”