Home>Campaigns>Murphy holds big lead over Ciattarelli in Rutgers-Eagleton poll

Gov. Phil Murphy, left. and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. (Photos: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.)

Murphy holds big lead over Ciattarelli in Rutgers-Eagleton poll

42% of New Jersey voters say they’ll definitely vote to re-elect governor, 31% indicate they won’t

By David Wildstein, June 08 2021 12:27 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy leads Republican Jack Ciattarelli by a 52%-26% margin in a head-to-head matchup in a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released on Election Day.

The 26-point lead is among registered voters, a sampling that is not as effective as likely voters but more accurate than New Jersey adults.

A total of 42% of New Jersey voters say they will definitely vote to re-elect Murphy, while 31% are committed to voting for someone else in the November gubernatorial election.

Among independent voters, 25% say they will definitely vote for Murphy and 34% indicated an attention to vote for someone else.

“New Jersey has seen some uncompetitive gubernatorial races the past couple of cycles, and this race does not seem to be the exception right now,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Murphy currently has a stronger lock on his base than Ciattarelli and beats him among independents right now by a double-digit lead.”

The poll puts Murphy’s favorables at 49%-37% among registered voters, while the still mostly-unknown Ciattarelli is at 12%-11% statewide, with 50% of New Jersey voters not yet knowing who he is.

Ciattarelli is the front runner for the Republican nomination, a race that should be decided later this evening.  He faces Hirsh Singh and Phil Rizzo, who have campaigned as strong allies of former President Donald Trump, and Brian D. Levine, a former Franklin mayor and Somerset County freeholder.

According to Rutgers-Eagleton, Murphy leads Ciattarelli by ten points among independents, 39%-26%.  Murphy is at 83%-3% among Democrats, while Ciattarelli leads 67%-12% among Republicans.

Just 22% of voters know that today is Election Day, the poll shows.  That number increases slightly to 26% among Republicans.

More than half of New Jersey voters (53%) say they will definitely vote in today’s primary – the number jumps to 65% among Republicans — despite not knowing when it is.  That number would shatter recent gubernatorial primary turnout numbers, especially in the absence of a contested Democratic race.

“Primaries are typically low-interest, low-participation elections,” Koning said. “We have found time and time again that most voters are unaware of various aspects of the political process outside of major offices and election days.”

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll was conducted between May 21-29, which means some of the data is 19 days old.  It included a sample size of 1,004 New Jersey adults and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.

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