The race for governor continues to tighten with Phil Murphy now holding a six-point lead over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, 50% to 44%, among likely voters in an Emerson College/PIX 11 poll released Oct . 21.
This is the first poll released after the two debates between the Democratic incumbent and his GOP challenger. Murphy has maintained a lead since both won their party’s primary in June.
Murphy in a Monmouth University Poll released Sept. 22 maintained a slightly smaller double-digit lead over Ciattarelli. Just over half (51%) of registered voters polled were backing Murphy while 38% back Ciattarelli at that time. In August, the polling outfit found Murphy with a 52% to 36% lead.
A Stockton poll released Sept. 29 showed Murphy still with a significant nine point percentage lead over Ciattarelli, 50%-41% including voters who lean toward one candidate or the other. Nine percent were undecided or not liking either candidate in the statewide poll of likely voters taken before the two squared off on the debate stage Sept. 29.
The Emerson poll found 7% of voters are still undecided, with 59% of this cohort leaning towards Ciattarelli and 41% considering Murphy. When these voters are allocated, the race tightens to four points, with Murphy at 52% and Ciattarelli at 48%.
Thank you for relying on North-JerseyNews.com to provide you the stories from Washington and Trenton that affect us. Please consider supporting North-JerseyNews.com with a voluntary donation.
Murphy’s lead is bolstered by his 17 percentage advantage among women, 57% to 40%, while Ciattarelli is leading among men, 50% to 41%. Additionally, Murphy has leads among those aged 18-29 (58% to 42%), 30-49 (47% to 41%), and 65 and older (53% to 42%). Among those 50-64, Ciattarelli leads 49% to 46%.
The incumbent has a strong lead with voters who have already cast their ballots, up 76% to 24%. Murphy also leads among those who are somewhat likely to vote, 45% to 40%.
Among very likely voters, Ciattarelli leads 48% to 45% and Independents are leaning towards the former Assemblyman as well, 56% to 32%.
Both Murphy and Ciattarelli’s favorability ratings in the state are similar. Forty-nine percent (49%) view Murphy favorably and 47% view him unfavorably, with 3% having no opinion and 1% have never heard of him. Ciattarelli is viewed favorably by 40% and unfavorably by 40%, while 16% have no opinion and 4% have never heard of him.
Views on Issues
A majority of likely voters (56%) agree with the first term governor’s vaccine mandates for public school staff, childcare staff, and healthcare workers, while 38% disagree. Six percent were unsure or had no opinion.
Regarding which candidate likely voters think would best handle the COVID-19 recovery, a majority (52%) say the incumbent would best handle the COVID-19 recovery while 48% opting for Ciattarelli.
According to respondents, 51% of New Jersey likely voters believe taxes want that to be the first priority for the next Governor. Sixteen-percent believe jobs should be the first priority, 13% healthcare, 6% New Jersey Transit, 4% crime, and 9% believe something else should be the next Governor’s first priority.
Murphy backers are split between taxes (30%), jobs (23%) and healthcare (22%) as his top priority in a second term. An overwhelming majority, 74%, of Ciattarelli supporters say taxes should be the next Governor’s first priority.