Stockton poll: Murphy maintains lead over Ciattarelli

Another day, another poll. A Stockton University Poll released Thursday found Gov. Phil Murphy leads his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli, by 9 points, 50% to 41%, when voters leaning toward a candidate are included.

Not surprising, as it’s the same lead the governor had in the institution’s September poll.

The survey of 522 likely voters was conducted Oct. 17-26 for the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University and has a +/-4.3% margin of error.

“When you consider that this poll was taken after the gubernatorial debates were done, it appears that voters’ feelings are fairly baked in at this point,” said John Froonjian,  Hughes Center executive director. “The polling spread between the candidate is very consistent.”

The Thursday poll found that Ciattarelli improved 26 percentage points from September’s poll in name recognition, down to 19% unfamiliarity. Those who did know of him were split almost evenly, with 38% viewing him positively and 37% negatively. Murphy was viewed favorably by 49%, while 44% had an unfavorable impression.

More voters (45%) thought the state was going in the wrong direction than the right
direction (42%), with 13% unsure.

Property taxes (15%) and taxes in general (12%) continue to be a top issue identified by voters, followed by COVID safety (11%) and the economy (8%).

What may be the biggest takeaway from the poll was that 51% of voters oppose a constitutional amendment to allow gambling on college games held in N.J. or on games in which N.J. teams participate. That figure is greater than the 45% from Stockton’s September poll. These findings seem off considering New Jersey took in more than $1 billion in big sports gaming in September. Thirty-seven percent support such an amendment while 11% are unsure.