POLL: Murphy now trails Christie, Corzine as his net approval rating plummets

TRENTON, N.J. — The honeymoon may be over for Governor Phil Murphy.

The results of a new poll released by Monmouth Polling on Tuesday found 43% of New Jersey adults approving of the Democrat’s job thus far in office. That’s similar to his 44% rating last April 2018. There’s a big “but,” however, associated with his net rating.

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40% now disapprove of his job in office. That’s up from 28% last April, representing a net total negative swing of 13-points.

Are road-brining theatrics, NJ Transit snafus, radical policies and an assortment of hiring scandals exacting a toll on the year-old administration?

We do know he’s now failing the historical comparison test. In February 2011, Monmouth found Governor Chris Christie polling at 47% approve versus 40% disapprove. In February 2007, Jon Corzine managed 44% approve and 34% disapprove rating. He leads only McGreevey (who ultimately resigned in disgrace) who polled at a miserable 34% approve, 45% disapprove in a February 2003 Eagleton poll.

Critically, Murphy’s approval rating among independents is now a net negative of 39% with 43% disapproving; that’s compared to a positive 41% to 33% rating in April 2018.

11% of Republicans approve of his job performance.

Only 66% of Democrats agree, a number similar to his 65% rating last spring.

“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,” opined Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The ominous news for Murphy:

A large portion of New Jersey adults still don’t know much about him or his administration.

25% of Democrats have no opinion of their party’s top official, down only 3-points from last year’s 28%. Overall, 17% still have no opinion of the governor. Only 41% are aware of the Murphy/Alvarez/Brennan hearings including approximately 2/3 of Democrats and independents. Of those paying attention? 68% say that the administration screwed up and 51% think that the Murphy administration is hiding something, suggesting Murphy’s opponents are doing a poor job of spreading the word about his many scandals and foul-ups but could stand to gain plenty by doing a better job.

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