Stockton poll: Murphy leads by 9 points — but residents now feel state ‘headed in wrong direction’

Gov. Phil Murphy leads Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli by 9 percentage points, 50%-41%, according to a Stockton University Poll released Wednesday.

The poll of 522 likely voters was conducted was conducted for the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University recently (Sept. 17-25), but obviously does not include any impact from the first debate between the candidates Tuesday night.

A bigger takeaway may be this: More people feel the state is headed in the wrong direction (45.5%) as opposed to the right direction (44.3%).

In the spring, those who said the state was headed in right direction easily won the question, 49%-40%. This was worrisome to John Froonjian, director of the Hughes Center.

“Even though this result is a statistical tie, an incumbent wants more people feeling good about how things are going in the state,” he said.

Here are other interesting polling notes:


  • Masks in schools: 58%-37% support;
  • Mandatory vaccination for companies with 100-plus employees: 56%-44% support;
  • Required to enter public venues: 50%-46% oppose.

Who would be better …

  • Combating pandemic: Murphy, 50%-34%
  • State tax policy: Ciattarelli, 46%-38%;
  • Managing state economy: Ciattarelli, 43%-42%