Gov. Phil Murphy’s Popularity Remains Strong: Monmouth Poll

The latest poll of New Jersey residents show a job approval rating of nearing 60% for Gov. Phil Murphy but falls short of a majority for those who say they will vote for him this November.

The Monmouth University Polling Institute survey of New Jersey residents show the Governor garnering a 57% approval and 35% disapproval rating from New Jersey residents for the overall job he is doing. The last day of the poll was conducted just as Murphy announced the state’s reopening plans and Operation Jersey Summer to get 70% of resident vaccinated by June 30

While the poll results are down from Murphy’s 71% approve and 21% disapprove rating last year as the coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages, they are significantly better than his prior job ratings which were more evenly divided, according to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Fall Campaign

“Murphy has a pretty strong job rating going into his reelection bid,” stated Murray. “However, New Jersey voters are a fickle lot and a good number will sit on the fence until we get closer to the Fall campaign in case things go south for the state.”

Viewed through a partisan lens, Murphy’s job approval number stands at 88% among Democrats (down from 92% in April 2020), 48% among Independents (dropping from 69% last year), and 21% among Republicans (lower than the 45% a year ago).

As for his prospects in November, 48% say they would vote to reelect Murphy compared with 43% wanting to vote for another candidate. Support for the incumbent’s reelection stands at 77% among Democrats, 39% among Independents, and 15% among Republicans. 

Growing Record

Murphy’s record on perceived accomplishments has climbed as 34% of respondents agreed that the governor has major accomplishments he can point to and another 37% say he has minor accomplishments; 25% say he has no real accomplishments. In comparison, just 12% said Murphy had major accomplishments and 42% credited him with minor accomplishments in September 2019. A Monmouth poll from eight years found 36% said then-Gov. Chris Christie had major accomplishments and 49% said he had minor accomplishments.

The telephone poll conducted from April 29 to May 4 surveyed the impact Murphy’s policies had six different constituent groups in New Jersey, producing positive news and issues residents think he needs to better address. 

Positive Reviews

More than 4 in 10 (43%) say poor residents have been helped by the Murphy’s policies, while 22% say they have been hurt and 22% say there has been no impact. Two years ago, only 25% said the Governor had helped poor residents. 

Additionally, 31% of those responding to the survey agreed Murphy has helped middle class residents, compared with 36% believe his policies have hurt this group,and 25% who say there has been no impact. Those numbers are up from 2019 when these metric were 17% helped, 31% hurt and 36% saying no impact.

The poll found a slight rise for the impact of Murphy’s policies on transit riders—24% helped (up 8%) 18% hurt (unchanged), with 27% saying no impact (down 2%). Opinion is split on how Murphy has impacted wealthy residents (21% helped, 21% hurt, 38% no impact) and businesses in the state (33% helped, 39% hurt, 15% no impact).

Warning signs came from residents who were negative on how Murphy’s policies have affected New Jersey’s property tax payers. Forty six percent say this group has been hurt compared with 14% who say they have been helped by the current administration. Another 26% say Murphy’s policies have had no impact on state property tax payers.

“New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property tax burden is a perennial thorn for state officeholders,” said Murray. “It could pose a problem for Murphy if it becomes a high priority issue for voters in the fall campaign. As things stand right now, though, it isn’t.”

Christie Comparison

In a recent historical context, Monmouth compared Murphy’s polling numbers to those of his predecessor, Christie, when he ran for reelection in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Christie had an even higher job rating than Murphy does now, but his reelection number was a few points lower than his job rating benchmark. 

Specifically, Murphy’s predecessor held a 63% job approval rating and 56% support for reelection in April 2013. Christie ended up winning a second term that year with 60% of the votes cast.

In a shift from polls taken two years ago, 49% now see Murphy as being more concerned about governing the state than he is about his own political future (41%). When Christie ran for reelection, 44% said he was more concerned about the state and 38% said he was more concerned about his own future. Christie numbers flipped right after his election to a second term and finished with just 14% saying he was more concerned about the state and 79% saying he was more concerned about himself.

“A lot of New Jerseyans feel like they’ve already been bitten by a governor who cruised to reelection during a time of crisis. I think that probably dampens some voters’ enthusiasm about giving Murphy a second term,” opined Murray

Vaccine Distribution

The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 7,282,531 in states, plus an additional 357,974 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 7,640,505 as of May 5. Of those who have received the vaccine, 3,210,158 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 157,020 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 3,368,178. 

Demographically, 55% of those vaccinated are women and 45% men. As for ethnicity, 55% are White, 12% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 9% other, 8% unknown and 6% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 33% are 65 years old or olders, 29% are between the ages of 50-64, 27% are between the ages of 30-49, and 12% are between the ages of 16-29.  

In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 790,190 doses (348,227 fully vaccinated), Essex 568,469 doses (241,631), Morris 487,085 doses (217,007), Hudson 471,744 doses (195,611), Passaic 343,718 doses (147,156), Sussex 110,109 doses (47,433), and Warren 70,127 doses (30,075). 

Daily Data

As of May 5, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 877,814 with 1,309 total new PCR cases reported. There were 1,700 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 126,711. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,004,525. Gov. Murphy previously noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.

Murphy said the state just learned of a processing error that lead to an unusually large amount of antigen test results, with some dating as far back as October, were “never previously reported or cross-checked.”

As for those that have passed, the state reported 34 new deaths, bringing that total to 23,067. The state listed probable deaths at 2,640, bringing the overall total to 25,707. State officials noted 13 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.  

For North Jersey counties on May 5, Bergen had a total of 112 new confirmed cases and 1,198 probable cases, Essex 159 new cases and 36 probable cases, Hudson 101 new cases and 96 probable cases, Morris 37 new cases and 15 probable cases, Passaic 109 new cases and 105 probable cases, Sussex 22 new cases and 13 probable cases, and Warren 18 cases and no new probable cases.

There are a total of 3,244 coronavirus variants being reported in the Garden State. State officials documented 2,989 cases of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), 144 cases of the California variants (B.1.429 and B.1.427), 104 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant, and seven cases of the South African (B.1351) variant. 

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,621, followed by Bergen at 2,541, Hudson with 2,019, Passaic at 1,675, Morris at 964, Sussex at 229 and Warren County at 210.

In regards to probable deaths reported May 5, Essex has 295, Bergen has 295, Morris has 252, Hudson has 213, Passaic has 195, Sussex has 67 and Warren has 25.

State Testing 

As for the rate of transmission, it increased to 0.34 from 0.27 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 1, was 6.9%; by region, the rate was 7.1% in the North, 6.3% in the Central region and 7.6% in the South. 

Officials reported 1,382 patients were hospitalized; 1,267 cases were confirmed and 115 are under investigation. By region, there were 654, in the North, 368 in the Central and 360 in the South.

Of those hospitalized, 314 are in intensive care units and 196 on ventilators. A total of 186 patients were discharged, while 149 were admitted.

Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 88,444, followed by Essex at 84,192, Middlesex at 84,006, Hudson at 78,135, Monmouth at 66,686, Ocean at 64,934, Passaic at 64,723, Union at 59,762, Camden at 47,956, Morris at 41,643, Burlington at 37,660, Mercer at 31,129, Gloucester at 26,046, Atlantic at 24,589, Somerset at 23,960, Cumberland at 14,338, Sussex at 11,480, Warren at 8,733, Hunterdon at 8,706, Salem at 5,426, and Cape May at 4,525.  

In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 14,234, followed by Union at 10,864, Ocean at 10,017, Essex at 9,299, Hudson at 9,126, Morris at 8,053, Monmouth at 7,970, Middlesex at 7,292, Passaic at 7,230, Atlantic at 6,560, Burlington at 6,400, Camden at 6,399, Somerset at 5,649, Cape May at 4,485, Gloucester at 3,881, Mercer at 2,310, Sussex at 2,227, Cumberland at 2,214, Warren at 992, Hunterdon at 876, and Salem 529.

Another 741 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 263 outbreaks involving 1,157 cases have been reported, with 18 new outbreaks accounting for 63 cases in the weekly update on May 5. 

For North Jersey, Bergen County has 52 confirmed outbreaks with 198 cases, Passaic County has 16 confirmed outbreaks with 52 cases, Sussex has 14 confirmed outbreaks with 55 cases, Warren has 14 confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has five confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 215 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 5,586 of the cases, broken down between 2,342 residents and 3,244 staff. 

Cumulatively, 1,432 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,840 residents and 22,114 staff, for a total of 54,954. 

The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,031 on May 4. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,872 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.


  1. Goldman Phil must go; we do not an ex-money lender and carpetbagger who bought the office in this corrupt state.

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