Most NJ Voters Not Sure Who Next Governor Should Be

Feb 9, 2017

Credit Phil Gregory

The primary election in New Jersey's governor's race is four months away.

Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll director Krista Jenkins says most registered voters are unsure who should replace Governor Chris Christie.

“50 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans say they don’t have a clue with about 1 in 7 in both groups who would prefer someone other than those who have already declared or are at least thinking about throwing their hats into the ring.”

Jenkins says former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy comes in first on the Democratic side with 17 percent of voter support compared to single digit numbers for the other contenders.

“Murphy has pumped a bundle of his own money into this race and received early endorsements from power brokers across the state. His lead over the other long-term public office holders seems to be an indication that his investment was well spent, but I’m sure he certainly would like to have been a little more ahead of things at this point in the game.”

Among Republicans, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno tops the list with 18 percent. Even though he’s not a declared candidate, Jenkins says former Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo is close behind with 12 percent.

“With many Republican endorsements remaining unclaimed, all contenders will need to do more to define and distinguish themselves and to capture the eye of many more Republican voters across the state.”

Jenkins says the numbers are likely to change as the primary gets closer and campaign ads and voter interest increase.