Democrat Bill Murphy Holds Huge Lead In Race To Succeed Chris Christie In New Jersey

A new poll shows the Democratic candidate for New Jersey Governor has a seemingly insurmountable lead over his Republican opponent, who just happens to be Chris Christie’s Lieutenant Governor:

The latest poll in the race to succeed Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor shows Democratic nominee Phil Murphy with a commanding 27-point lead over Republican nominee Kim Guadagno — though a majority of voters continue to say they don’t know much about either candidate.

The Monmouth University Poll, released Wednesday, found 53 percent of Garden State voters would choose Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, while 26 percent would pick Guadagno, the state’s lieutenant governor.

Six percent would select an independent candidate and 14 percent are undecided, according to the survey, which comes with less than six months to go before Election Day on Nov. 7.

The poll also shows that reducing New Jersey’s property taxes — the highest in the U.S. — is by far the top priority for the state’s voters this election year, in which all 120 seats in the state Legislature are also on the ballot.

The poll mirrors a Quinnipiac University poll that showed Murphy with a 29 point lead over Guadango that was released shortly after the two candidates were chosen in New Jersey’s June primaries. It also comes out at the same time that a new poll shows Governor Chris Christie continues to sink in public opinion polls, in no small part due to his actions during a budget dispute over the 4th of July weekend:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) already dismal job approval ratings have sunk to a new all-time low after photos of him on a beach he closed to the public amid a state government shutdown went viral.

A Monmouth University poll released Monday found that just 15 percent of New Jersey adults think Christie is doing a good job as governor, matching numbers reported by Quinnipiac University last month. A whopping 80 percent disapprove of Christie’s performance, according to Monmouth.

Members of Christie’s own party gave the former 2016 GOP presidential candidate a 30 percent approval rating, while Democrats clocked in at only 7 percent.

Fifty-five percent also said they felt the state was worse off than when Christie became governor; only 15 percent say the state is better off.

The poll asked respondents about photos of Christie sitting on a beach he closed as part of a government shutdown. Eighty-six percent had seen the photos — captured by — and two-thirds of those had negative reactions toward the pictures, with “disgust” being the word most commonly used.

Six percent used a form of profanity to describe their reaction to the photos.

Christie’s 15 percent approval rating in the Quinnipiac University poll last month was the lowest rating of any governor measured by the poll since it started tracking the metric more than 20 years ago.

Between this and the fact that President Trump lost the Garden State by more than 500,000 votes last November, the odds of Guadango winning this thing in November are pretty much zero.

FILED UNDER: 2017 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Pete S says:

    Ms Guadango should have had her name legally changed to “Not Chris Christie” and put that on the ballot. Probably the only way a Republican would have had a chance in New Jersey this year.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    @Pete S:

    Ms Guadango should have had her name legally changed to “Not Chris Christie” and put that on the ballot. Probably the only way a Republican would have had a chance in New Jersey this year.

    LOL! and exactly right.

  3. Even if Christie were doing well in the polls I tend to doubt that Guadagno would have much of a chance in November.

    First, New Jersey is, in the end, a blue state. Christie won, narrowly, in 2009 largely because Corzine ended up being a complete mess in office. Although he almost lost because of a strong showing by a third-party candidate who was, bizarrely for a state like NJ, running to his right. He won re-election in 2013 thanks to a combination of his popularity and the fact that New Jersey Democrats quite literally had no good candidates willing to jump into the race against him and ended up running a sacrificial lamb.

    Second, Guadagno was no Christie even when Christie was at his political heights. When he was running for re-election in 2013, in fact, there was some speculation that she might be dumped from the ticket in favor of someone who would make a better candidate four years down the road.

    Third, if there had been any indication that a Republican would have a shot in 2017 she would have had more serious challengers for the GOP nomination.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    “Phil”…. “Bill”…. One of those. Who cares? Does his mother read OTB?