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Former Gov. Jim Florio. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Murphy disapprovals sign of volatile times, Florio says

By Nikita Biryukov, February 12 2019 2:57 pm

Former Gov. Jim Florio think Gov. Phil Murphy’s rising disapproval ratings in a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday are more a sign of the times than they are a reason for worry.

“Generally, these are volatile times, and almost on a day-to-day basis, things can move very, very dramatically,” Florio said. “He’s done a fairly good job dealing with a whole lot of problems, and I’ve been impressed.”

Tuesday’s poll pegged Murphy’s approvals at 43%-40%. Those aren’t bad numbers by any means, but a Monmouth poll released in April pegged his approvals at 44%-28%, and the 12-point jump his disapproval rating has taken in the interim could be cause for concern.

But Florio said that jump could be caused by growing pains as the state adjusts to Murphy’s style of governing.

“I think what he’s doing, which is a bit different than people have done in the past, is getting out there, talking to people like adults rather than pandering,” Florio said. “That’s going to take a little bit of getting used to, but I think it’s probably a wise path.”

Florio took a similar route during his tenure as governor, and while it led to his losing reelection in 1993, the former governor had few regrets.

“Gov. Murphy seems to be willing to talk to people about the hard parts of what has to be done. My own bias is that, in the long run, that’s the better approach,” Florio said.

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