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Murphy approval rating highest in decade for NJ governor, poll finds

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Gov. Phil Murphy spearks at TCNJ on Aug. 14 where he signed legislation expanding public-private partnerships.
Gov. Phil Murphy spearks at TCNJ on Aug. 14 where he signed legislation expanding public-private partnerships. - ()

Despite a “C” grade for his handling of the state’s transportation woes, 54 percent of voters said they approve of the job Gov. Phil Murphy is doing, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

In fact, Murphy already is faring better than his two most-recent predecessors. Chris Christie’s highest rating was 51 percent in an August 2010 Quinnipiac poll, while Jon Corzine’s was 50 percent in July 2006.

“You’ve got to remember that New Jerseyans don’t pay a lot of attention to state government and because there was not any trauma with the [potential budget] shutdown, they’re happy with the way things are going,” said Mary Snow, a polling analyst for Quinnipiac.

Murphy’s “C” grade on transportation was likely fueled by “his handling of mass transit as commuters struggle with delays and cancellations on NJ Transit this summer,” Snow said.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“These numbers reflect what the people of New Jersey have been saying for years: They are ready to move on from the Christie administration and the failed special interest politics that have plagued our state for so long,” said Brendan Gill, Murphy’s former campaign manager and now a political strategist who heads the pro-Murphy New Direction New Jersey.

“Gov. Murphy came into office with a clear mandate to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family in our state, and the electorate is clearly responding to the incredible job he’s done fulfilling that promise in his first seven months in office,” Gill added.

The Quinnipiac poll also showed that 62 percent of voters were in favor of allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Sixty-three percent of voters said they’d support erasing criminal records for marijuana possession, and 50 percent said they’d support the sale of marijuana in their own communities.

Still, 45 percent of voters said they opposed the sale of marijuana in their own communities, and to date, nearly two-dozen municipalities have voted to outlaw the sale of recreational marijuana within their borders.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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Don August 29, 2018 3:36 pm

The survey had to be taken in CT where people are happy Murphy is in NJ, only logical answer.

Bridgewater September 4, 2018 3:18 pm

Title sounds like he is a slam-dunk best governor. But stats says Christi was 51% and Murphy is 54% - sounds like business as usual in nj
Personally not a fan of murphy's crooked smirk - gives me the willies like i'm going to get taxed next time go to the bathroom

Claw August 22, 2018 3:14 pm

Who are these people that actually like him??? Never met a tax he did not like.

Marlboro Mann August 22, 2018 3:16 pm

Although the expression is overused, this definitely has to be fake news. I am not convinced that a man who supports pot, sanctuary state, frivolous federal lawsuits, and high taxes is a man o the people. It is impossible.

john b August 22, 2018 3:24 pm

They must have polled his family or he paid for the poll himself. this one makes no sense!

Mike H August 22, 2018 4:16 pm

It's easy to be popular when you promise everyone free government handouts. My question is who's paying for it? legal gambling, only $500K in tax revenue so far, very modest and below projections. Legal weed? We will have to see what comes of that but I fear the cost of the social services needed to deal with the repercussions will out weigh the revenue generated.

J B August 22, 2018 4:53 pm

Quinnipiac didn't call me, how can you have a stronger fairer NJ if all that this man has done is Raise taxes I hear the gas tax is going up next ENOUGH with the taxes how about trimming the FAT out of the State Government

Yutz August 22, 2018 6:40 pm

the pollsters must be smoking weed

Spentout August 22, 2018 7:58 pm

Where was the poll taken ? In the State House ?