New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy holds a nine-point lead over Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli in two new polls for next week's election, solidifying his bid to be the first Democrat re-elected to the office since 1977.
Murphy leads Ciattarelli 53-44 in a Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll released Friday and 50-41 in a Stockton University poll released Thursday. Those results follow a Monmouth Poll from Wednesday that had Murphy ahead by 11 points.
Taken together, they suggest a good chance the incumbent governor can win next week after a hard-fought and negative campaign.
Since Brendan Byrne won a second term in 1977, there have been four Democrats elected to a first term as governor of New Jersey, including Murphy - but none re-elected to a second. (Three Republicans have won second terms over that period.)
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“It’s not impossible to close a nine-point gap in the polls,” Dan Cassino, executive director of the Fairleigh Dickinson poll, said in a statement. “But partisans are remaining stable, the independents are moving against Ciattarelli, with many people already having voted, it seems like it is too late to turn things around.”