Poll: Ciattarelli is behind (or even) on his big campaign issues

Voters favor Murphy on pandemic, jobs

If Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli aims to defeat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy on the pandemic, jobs, the economy or taxes — he’s got some work to do.

The Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday showed the governor has scored high marks with voters over his handling of the pandemic.

When asked which candidate they trusted more on handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Murphy won by a more than 2-1 margin (46%-21%), with 17% saying both candidates.

Gov. Phil Murphy. (File photo)

Murphy also was more trusted when it comes to jobs and the economy, as 35% said they favored Murphy compared with just 27% for Ciattarelli.

Ciatterelli’s only win may only be a statistical tie.

When voters were asked who they trust more on taxes, Ciattarelli had the edge (30%-29%).

According to the poll, the most important issues facing the state right now are the COVID pandemic and taxes.

Ciatterelli clearly needs to make inroads. Even on his own background. The longtime assemblyman representing Central Jersey even trails in the region, 52%-38%.

Monmouth officials point out that electorate models for the 2021 election are not forecasts. They are designed to present a range of reasonable outcomes based on voter intentions at this moment.

Each registered voter is assigned a probabilistic weight between 0 and 1, based primarily on past voting history, with adjustments for self-reported likelihood to vote, motivation and other factors. Further adjustments are applied to the aggregate sample based on turnout propensities among different demographic groups (e.g. by race, gender or education).