Gov. Murphy earns high marks from New Jerseyans in another poll

Posted Oct 17, 2020

Nearly eight months into New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak, a new poll shows Gov. Phil Murphy continues to get positive grades from a majority of the state’s residents.

Sixty percent of Garden State adults approve of Murphy’s overall job performance, while 31% disapprove, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University survey released Friday morning.

That’s not as high as polls by other groups that found Murphy’s approval ratings in the 70s this spring, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it’s still higher than the 42% rating Murphy received in an FDU survey in February, before the pandemic began. That was the last time the institute measured his overall job performance in blue-leaning New Jersey.

Friday’s poll also found 72% give Murphy good marks for managing the state’s response to the virus, with 33% saying he’s doing a “very good” job and 39% saying he’s done a “somewhat good” job.

Those numbers are up from an FDU poll in July that found 67% approved of his handling of the pandemic.

Even 48% of Republicans say Murphy is doing a good job responding to the virus, while 31% give him good marks for his overall job performance.

Murphy — who is up for re-election in 2021 — draws 53% support among independents, 56% from men, 52% from non-Hispanic whites, and 60% from less-educated residents, according to the new survey.

“Governor Murphy will face the voters next year," said Krista Jenkins, director of the FDU poll and a professor of politics and government at the school. “Despite what can only be described as an unprecedented health and economic crisis facing the state, his leadership is appreciated by large majorities across New Jersey."

“More than half still regard the state as heading in the right direction, despite the sizable obstacles that exist for the foreseeable future,” Jenkins added.

Murphy received lukewarm support and familiarity in his first two years in office. But his poll numbers have jumped amid the pandemic, which has hit New Jersey particularly hard, killing more than 16,000 residents — the fourth-most in the nation. Murphy drew a 71% approval rating in an April poll from Monmouth University, a 77% rating in a May poll from Rutgers-Eagleton, and a 68% rating in a May poll from Quinnipiac University.

That’s even though the state has seen record unemployment, mass business closings, long lines at Motor Vehicle Commission offices, and criticism from Republicans — and even some Democrats — that Murphy has moved too slowly on lifting restrictions and mishandled the virus in nursing homes and other longterm care facilities, where more than 7,000 people have died.

Murphy, however, has also become a fixture on television screens, the state’s coronavirus numbers have improved dramatically (though they’ve ticked up lately), and he finally got the state Legislature to pass his long-sought millionaires tax. Plus, leaders often see poll numbers rise in the wake of crises.

 

TRUMP’S APPROVAL

In contrast to Murphy, President Donald Trump, a Republican, continues to draw negative poll numbers in heavily Democratic New Jersey, the FDU survey found.

Fifty-six percent of Garden State adults disapprove of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic, with 41% saying Trump’s leadership has been “very bad.”

That’s similar to the group’s June poll, which found 58% disapproved of Trump’s response.

 

OTHER FINDINGS

The FDU survey also found:

  • Despite Trump’s promises that a COVID-19 vaccine is coming soon, 35% of New Jersey adults say they’re not at all confident it will be adequately tested and safe — an increase of 7 percentage points since July. “Concerns over politics influencing the vaccine development process are unfortunately eroding confidence in its safety,” Jenkins said. “While many NJ adults still believe in the benefits of a vaccine, work will need to be done to convince skeptics that any vaccine made available to the public will be safe and effective.”
  • 55% say they will probably or definitely get the vaccine once it’s available — down from 63% in June.
  • 68% say their local schools in New Jersey have done a good job responding to the pandemic.
  • 77% believe wearing masks in public places should be mandatory — the same as June. Only 21% believe masks should be optional.
  • 66% say the state’s coronavirus restrictions need to stay in place until there is a vaccine or treatment — also the same as June. “It’s notable that despite the partisan nature of attitudes toward face coverings and closures that is often noted in the press, both have a fair amount of bipartisan support in New Jersey,” Jenkins said.

The poll was conducted Sept 30 through Oct. via phone with 846 New Jersey adults. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 3.8 percentage points.

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction


published this page in News and Politics 2020-10-18 03:54:03 -0700