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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Murphy unfazed by growing disapprovals

By Nikita Biryukov, February 12 2019 11:51 am

Though he hasn’t seen them, Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t too worried about the results of a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday that shows voters’ disapproval for the first-term governor growing.

“We don’t run our government based on polling, so whatever it says — good or bad, whether it’s really good or challenging or somewhere in between — we try to call balls and strikes to do what we were sent here to do, and you’ve heard me say a thousand times, to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for everybody, and that’s the job we’re going to continue to do regardless of what the polling says,” Murphy said at an unrelated press conference Tuesday. “I look forward to reading it at some point.”

Murphy’s approval among the state’s residents was narrowly positive, 43%-40%, down from a glowing 44%-28% approval the group gave him in a Monmouth poll last April.

Though, likely more worrying for Murphy is that the poll’s respondents don’t seem to think his agenda of making the state stronger and fairer is showing dividends for the middle class.

A plurality, 39%, of respondents told Monmouth pollsters that they thought Murphy’s agenda was hurting the state’s middle class, while 18% said his agenda was helping the same. Another 27% said they thought his policies were having no impact on the group, and 15% said they didn’t know.

Respondents gave him higher marks for helping the state’s poor residents, but even those weren’t quite glowing. 27% said Murphy’s policies helped the state’s poor residents, while 28% said they hurt the same. Another 27% said his policies did not impact the group, and 18% said they didn’t know.

Murphy did get high marks on minimum wage. Residents approved of the recent minimum wage hike 66%-29%.

“We believe that minimum wage contributes both to a stronger and a fairer new jersey,” Murphy said, visibly pleased to learn that the residents liked the state’s $15 minimum wage law. “That’s a two-for-one shot, and I’m honored that we’re able to get that done.”

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