Phil Murphy exudes the same kind of confidence in his own political future as most New Jersey Governors do when they’re about to take office. (One exception was pre-hubris Chris Christie, who initially believed New Jersey would only give him a single term.) But Governors of both parties typically struggle to win the early approval of voters who just recently elected them.
Here’s a line I’ll use on this site so often you’ll soon have it memorized: New Jersey is one of the bluest states in America, yet Democrats haven’t re-elected a Governor in forty years. There are a few theories about why New Jersey has re-elected three Republican Governors since Brendan Byrne surprised everyone by winning a second term. I pledge to address mine soon. In the meantime, here’s a little cheat sheet on early approval ratings of New Jersey chief executives since Byrne took office in 1974.