What to Know
With more than a year under his belt leading New Jersey, the public is split on Gov. Phil Murphy’s job performance, according to a poll
Currently, 43 percent of New Jersey adults approve of the job Murphy is doing as governor, the Monmouth University Poll says
The latest poll numbers show that Murphy’s current rating is less positive than his two predecessors at the same point in their terms
With more than a year under his belt leading New Jersey, the public is split on Gov. Phil Murphy’s job performance, according to a Monmouth University Poll.
Currently, 43 percent of New Jersey adults approve of the job Murphy is doing as governor, which is similar to the 44 percent rating he earned in April 2018, the poll found. However, his current 40 percent disapproval rating is higher than the 28 percent negative rating he received last year.
The latest poll numbers show that Murphy’s current rating is less positive than his two predecessors at the same point in their terms.
Additionally, the poll found that Murphy’s rating among political independents has flipped since last year – being that he currently holds a 39 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval rating compared to a 41 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval rating in April of last year.
Republicans have become even more negative, according to the poll, with 11 percent approving and 85 percent disapproving of Murphy’s job performance, compared with 17 percent – 59 percent in 2018.
Meanwhile, among Democrats, Murphy’s job performance is considered generally positive but a sizable percentage say they still have no opinion of Murphy’s job performance after one year on the job. Currently, Murphy has a 66 percent approval and 9 percent disapproval rating from his fellow Democrats — almost identical to his 65 percent approval and 7 percent disapproval rating in April 2018.
“Murphy started his term with greater public goodwill than his recent predecessors, but he has now fallen behind them. The most troubling result may be the large number of his fellow Democrats who continue to take a wait-and-see attitude. It seems he has yet to score a defining win with his base despite spending a significant amount of energy pushing a progressive agenda,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said.
The data obtained finds that the public tends to think more negatively about Murphy’s agenda on property taxpayers and the middle class, with views divided on whether he has helped poorer residents in the state.
Meanwhile, the poll, released on Tuesday, finds widespread support for the minimum wage hike with a 66 percent approval rating.
While Murphy has cast focus on building a “fair economy” for those left behind, he currently gets mixed reviews for how his policies have affected poorer residents, according to the poll.
The poll also shed light on some of the issues New Jerseyans consider the most important. Nearly half of the public — 46 percent — name property taxes as the most important issue facing the state. Additionally, 16 percent view the cost of living and 11 percent see jobs as the most important issues. Meanwhile, 10 percent views transportation and infrastructure as major issues.
In a statement regarding the poll results, New Jersey Democratic State Committee spokesman Phil Swibinski said: "It shouldn't be a shock that Republicans and conservative-leaning unaffiliated voters are hardening their opposition to Governor Murphy given his steadfast support for policies that benefit working families and the middle class."
"More significant is the Governor's massive popularity and practically nonexistent negatives among New Jersey's constantly growing Democratic electorate," Swibinski's statement continued. "Governor Murphy's +56% favorability rating among Democrats in this poll and the strong support it shows for the landmark $15 Minimum Wage law that the Governor championed shows that his agenda is being well received by Democratic voters. The more Democrats learn about Governor Murphy, the more they like and that will continue as he keeps working to make the state stronger and fairer for everyone."
For a complete look at the poll, click here.