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

Murphy approvals at 58%, poll says

Biden approvals in N.J. at 53%

By David Wildstein, March 31 2021 12:18 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy has a 58%-36% approval rating, according to a Stockton University Poll released on Wednesday.

The poll also puts President Joe Biden’s approvals in New Jersey at 53%-37%, with a generic approval of Congress at an upside-down 40%-52%.  That number does not apply to individual members of the Senate and House.

Murphy’s 58% is the highest a Stockton Poll has put him at since he took office three years ago, according to Alyssa Maurice, a research associate at the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.

But just 49% of the state says that New Jersey is headed in the right direction, with 40% saying the state is going in the wrong direction.

“Racial and ethnic minorities, women, Democrats and lower income residents – all part of Murphy’s voting base – were more bullish on the state’s direction,” a Stockton statement on the poll stated.  “Men, wealthier residents, Whites and Republicans were more likely to say the state is going in the wrong direction.”

The poll also puts President Joe Biden’s approvals in New Jersey at 53%-37%, with a generic approval of Congress at an upside-down 40%-52%.  That number does not apply to individual members of the Senate and House.

Biden’s approvals are at 91% among Democrats, 12% among Republicans, and 42% among New Jerseyans not affiliated with the two major parties.

“The polarization we saw on presidential candidates in the 2020 election extends not only into the new presidency but to the major issues of the day,” said John Froonjian, executive director of the Hughes Center. ““Forget about being on the same page. They’re not even in the same book.  Joie Biden campaigned on a pledge to unify the country. He’s got his work cut out for him.”

By a 58%-40% margin, New Jerseyans support a move by Murphy and the legislature to expand vote-by-mail and early voting.

“Governor Murphy is focused on leading New Jersey through the COVID-19 public health crisis and charting a path forward for a stronger, fairer, and more-resilient state, not approval ratings,” said Jerrel Harvey, a spokesman for Murphy for Governor.

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