The latest Monmouth University Poll found mostly good news for Gov. Phil Murphy a year and a half into his second term in office.
One-third of New Jerseyans said Murphy has scored major accomplishments in office, according to the poll, and its Wednesday findings showed that the governor’s overall job performance rating stands at 50% approval and 39% disapproval among all New Jersey adults, with 50% approval and 40% disapproval among registered voters.
These numbers, while remaining positive, are down slightly since the start of his second term last year and more in line with voter opinion during his 2021 reelection campaign.
Regionally, Murphy’s approval has held fairly steady in North Jersey (54% now and 57% in 2022), but has declined in both Central Jersey (49%, from 60%) and South Jersey (41%, from 48%).
Additionally, 1 in 3 New Jerseyans (33%) said Murphy has achieved major accomplishments during his time as governor and 39% said he has at least achieved minor accomplishments. Another 27% said he has no real accomplishments to point to.
The Monmouth University Poll also asked how Murphy’s policies have impacted six different constituent groups in New Jersey.
The largest change, in relative terms, has been in opinion of his impact on property taxpayers. Currently, 23% said Murphy’s policies have helped property taxpayers, which is up from 13% a year ago. Still, far more New Jerseyans (49%) said his policies have hurt this group, with 20% saying there has been no impact on property taxpayers. Similarly, 31% said middle-class residents have been helped by the governor’s policies, while more (44%) said they have been hurt and 19% said there has been no impact on the middle class.
In addition, the effect of the governor’s policies for businesses in the state was seen as a net negative (28% helped, and 38% hurt).
Following the untimely passing of Sheila Oliver, the lieutenant governor, the poll found the vast majority said gender and race should not be considerations in choosing her successor.
Most Garden State residents (83%) said race should not be a factor when Murphy names Oliver’s replacement. Just 15% said he should appoint another person of color — including 32% of Black New Jerseyans, 17% of Hispanics, Asians and other people of color, and 11% of non-Hispanic white residents. Similarly, just 16% of New Jerseyans preferred that Murphy choose a woman, while 80% said the new officeholder’s gender does not matter to them.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from last Thursday through Monday with 814 New Jersey adults.