HAMDEN, Conn. – The latest Quinnipiac poll on politics in the Garden State found that Democratic former U.S. ambassador and Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy is holding onto his early lead in New Jersey’s gubernatorial contest, Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is coming in ahead of comedian Joe Piscopo, her chief rival for the GOP nod, and voters believe Governor Chris Christie should head to sports radio when his term ends.
Murphy leads Guadagno 47% – 25% in a general election matchup with 25% undecided as to who they want to succeed Christie. The state constitution prohibits anyone from serving three consecutive terms as governor, and 45% of those polled think Christie should retire from politics and take a job in sports radio, something he has mentioned from time to time.
“Murphy gets 23% in a Democratic primary, with 6% for Assemblyman John Wisniewski, 4% each for former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Jim Johnson and State Sen. Raymond Lesniak and 2% for activist Bill Brennan. Most voters, 57%, are undecided,” wrote a Quinnipiac analyst.
“In a Republican primary, Guadagno leads with 28%, followed by 18% for comedian Joe Piscopo, 3% for Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, 2% for Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers and 1% for entrepreneur Joseph Rullo. Another 42% are undecided.”
The poll also found that only 19% of New Jersey voters approve of Christie’s job performance. That’s up two points from January when it bottomed out at 17%, tying former Democratic Governor Brendan Byrne’s record low of 17% approval in 1977. Byrne went on to be re-elected later that year. Christie’s is unable to run for a third consecutive even if his numbers turned around. A plurality of voters – 45% – think Christie should take a job on sports radio after leaving office, which he’s acknowledged is a potential interest.
President Donald Trump is also unpopular in New Jersey, with a 34% job approval rating and 59% disapproval rating.
New Jersey’s two other statewide elected officials fared better than Christie. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a potential candidate for president in 2020, has a 57% approval rating with 31% disapproving and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, who’s facing federal corruption charges, is approved of by a 45% plurality, while 34% disapprove.
The poll of 1,098 voters was conducted from March 9 to March 13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%age points.
Complete poll results are available here.
in Legislative & Political News