New poll on Phil Murphy after a year as New Jersey governor

David Madden
February 17, 2019 - 4:00 am
 Gov. Phil Murphy

Amy Newman/ via USA Today Network


WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) -- More than a year into the job, how are New Jersey residents taking to Democrat Phil Murphy as their governor? A newly released poll suggests that’s still an open question.

Patrick Murray runs the Monmouth University poll, and 600 residents took part in this survey.

Bottom line?

“Forty-three percent approve of his job, 40 percent disapprove,” Murray told KYW Newsradio. “But what’s really interesting is when we compare it to when he took office. His approve number’s pretty much the same. It was 44 percent a year ago. But his disapprove number has climbed 12 points.”

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Seventeen percent still have no opinion on him. A quarter of the Democrats surveyed are in that column, which surprises Murray given what he calls a “much more partisan environment” these days.

“I think there’s a big question for Phil Murphy right now, which is, what is his ambition? What is his aim as governor?” Murray added. “Is it to tackle the core problems of the middle class? Is it to be the governor who raises up the poor, or is it to be somebody who has his eye on higher office?”

That said, Murphy is between the last two elected Democratic governors in New Jersey a year into their terms. Better than Jim McGreevey, but worse than Jon Corzine. And he’s slightly lower than Republican Chris Christie at the same point in Christie’s first term.

The survey, conducted between February 8 and 10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.