Six weeks before New Jersey voters select a new governor, Democratic nominee Phil Murphy is releasing his first television ad for the general election.
Even though polls show Murphy with a big lead over his Republican opponent, he begins the ad by calling attention to her.
"The Christie playbook failed New Jersey. Now, Kim Guadagno wants another try."
Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale believes Murphy has identified Guadagno's weak spot as Chris Christie's unpopularity.
"There's still four out of ten people who don't know much about either candidate. So what he's doing right now is he's defining who she is. That definition is that she is a Chris Christie toady. And if he makes that definition stick with those remaining voters, I think it's a really smart idea."
Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley also believes that’s a good strategy for Murphy.
“Four out of five voters in New Jersey disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing. That is the big vulnerability of the Republican nominee, that she’s tied to Chris Christie. She’s been his Lt. Governor for eight years now. There’s no better line of attack for Phil Murphy than to ask voters if they want four more years of Chris Christie.”
John Weingart with the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers says there may be other reasons for Murphy’s decision to go negative on Guadagno in the ad.
"I think there's some combination of a feeling by campaign consultants that negative ads work, some feeling that last year's election proved that polls can be unreliable."