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Election 2017: New Jersey Governor

NJ Governor: Murphy (D) 50%, Guadagno (R) 35%

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The New Jersey governor’s race is a runaway going into the final few days of the contest.

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone and online survey finds Democrat Phil Murphy leading Republican Kim Guadagno by 15 points – 50% to 35% - among Likely New Jersey Voters. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Guadagno, the state’s current lieutenant governor, has only 69% support among New Jersey Republicans. Twenty-one percent (21%) of GOP voters favor Murphy who has 77% backing among his fellow Democrats.

Murphy has a slight 41% to 37% advantage among voters not affiliated with either party. Fifteen percent (15%) of these voters remain undecided.

The Republican candidate is clearly hurt by the unpopularity of current Governor Chris Christie. Nearly half of all voters in the state say their opinion of Christie is important to their vote. Rasmussen Reports will explore the Christie factor in the race more fully in a story on Monday

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The state survey of 800 Likely Voters in New Jersey was conducted October 31-November 1, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Forty-two percent (42%) of Garden State voters list taxes and spending as the most important issue in the race, with the economy and jobs a distant second (22%). Illegal immigration and energy and the environment are most important to nine percent (9%) each. Personal character, most important for six percent (6%), and law and order (5%) round out the list of key issues.

For Guadagno voters, taxes and spending and illegal immigration are the top issues. Murphy’s voters put the priority on taxes and spending and the economy and jobs. Eleven percent (11%) of Murphy’s voters say personal character is the most important issue.

New Jersey’s high property taxes are a campaign issue again this year, but most voters think it is unlikely those taxes will be reduced no matter which candidate is elected. Only 12% say a property tax reduction is Very Likely if Guadagno wins. Just five percent (5%) say the same if Murphy comes out on top.

Murphy is viewed favorably by 50% of New Jersey voters, unfavorably by 39%. This includes 17% with a Very Favorable opinion of him and 25% with a Very Unfavorable one.

Forty-one percent (41%) share a favorable view of Guadagno, including 19% with a Very Favorable one. She is seen unfavorably by 45%, with Very Unfavorables of 23%.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of the state’s voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent. Only 14% consider it poor. Fifty-one percent (51%) describe their personal finances as good or excellent, 14% as poor.

Four years ago at this time just before New Jersey voters voted in the last gubernatorial contest, only 12% said the U.S. economy was good or excellent, and 38% rated their personal finances that way.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing; 51% Strongly Disapprove. This gives the president a worse job approval rating in New Jersey than he earns nationwide.

Thirty-two percent (32%) say they are more likely to vote in the governor’s race because Trump is in the White House. Nine percent (9%) say they are less likely to do so. But most (57%) say Trump has no impact on whether they will vote.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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