Most NJ voters don’t know where gubernatorial candidates stand on issues
With six days to go before the election, a new poll finds Jersey voters seem to have made up their minds about who they’ll vote for governor.
“We have a 14-point lead for Phil Murphy. He’s got 53 percent of support of voters. Guadagno has 39 percent. Independents garner about 2 percent,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling institute.
“This race could not be any more stable,” said Murray. “We had a 14-point lead for Murphy just four weeks ago, so we see nothing really changing.”
Murray said Phil Murphy has a little bit more of an advantage among registered Democrats than Kim Guadagno has among registered Republicans.
The poll gives Murphy an 81 to 13 percent advantage with Democrats, while Guadagno get a 70 to 18 percent edge with Republicans.
Murray said what’s really striking is 53 percent of expected voters in New Jersey “say they really don’t know where Phil Murphy stands on the political issues, and 57 percent say the same about Kim Guadagno.”
In other words, most voters in New Jersey have not been paying attention to the race at all.
“Murphy just has an advantage, I think, because New Jersey has more Democrats than Republicans.”
Murray pointed out in recent weeks Guadagno been trying to get a lot of attention on a number of issues, from property taxes to immigration, but it just hasn’t worked because nobody seems to be paying attention.
“It’s like a tree falling in a forest and no one has been there to hear Kim Guadagno scream.”
The poll also finds Guadagno has a 29 percent favorable and 32 percent unfavorable rating, and 39 percent have no opinion. Meanwhile, 36 percent of voters give Murphy a favorable rating, 30 percent have an unfavorable view, and 34 percent have no opinion of him.
Murray pointed out this suggests that voters will pick whoever is the candidate for their preferred party even though they may not know who that is.
“We’re talking about a very low turnout election. Our sampling suggests turnout will be somewhere around 38 percent of registered voters, which would be an all-time record low, even lower than four years ago.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com
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