Democrat Murphy Leads Republican Guadagno by 11 points in NJ Governor’s Race. Voters Want Menendez Out Regardless of Verdict

With about five weeks until the New Jersey Governor’s election, a new Emerson College poll finds Democrat Phil Murphy leading Republican Kim Guadagno 46% to 35% with 12% of voters undecided.

Both Murphy and Guadagno have mediocre popularity among voters with Murphy caring a 31% favorable and 34% unfavorable opinion, while Guadagno is slightly worse at 31% favorable to 37% unfavorable. Thirty-one percent (31%) of the electorate has no opinion of Murphy, while 28% have no opinion of Guadagno, suggesting both have much work to do with voters before Election Day.

President Trump is more popular in New Jersey with a 39% favorable opinion than both the gubernatorial candidates listed above, the current U.S Senator Robert Menendez, who is at 33%, and current Governor Chris Christie who has a 22% favorable and 74% unfavorable opinion suggesting incumbents are not faring well the Garden State.

Voters also had strong opinions regarding Democratic Senator Robert Menendez – who is currently on trial for corruption. If Menendez is convicted, a 35% plurality of voters say the next Governor should appoint a replacement, 31% says a special election should be held, while 19% say Governor Christie should appoint Menendez’s successor. If Menendez is acquitted, only 28% of voters say he should seek another term in the Senate, versus 63% who believe he should retire from public office, including 53% of Democrats.

New Jersey government officials announced late last month that the state will make a bid for the east coast headquarters of Amazon. The project, which would bring an estimated 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment to New Jersey would likely require significant corporate tax incentives to secure. Such tax breaks for Amazon are supported by 69% of New Jersey voters and opposed by 11%.


The New Jersey Emerson College poll was conducted September 28th through October 1st, 2017 under the Supervision of Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of only somewhat and very likely registered voters, n=300, with a margin of error (MOE) of +/- 5.6 percentage points. The New Jersey data was weighted by ethnicity, age, party affiliation, educational attainment, and 2016 vote. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown and education carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only.

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