March 15, 2017 - Murphy, Guadagno Lead In New Jersey Primaries, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Democrat Murphy Has 22-Point General Election Lead Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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In the 2017 New Jersey governor's race - at this point the battle of the unknowns - Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno each lead in the June 6 primary election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Lt. Gov. Guadagno tops comedian Joe Piscopo by 10 percentage points.

In a general election matchup, Murphy leads Guadagno 47 - 25 percent, with 25 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Murphy gets 23 percent in a Democratic primary, with 6 percent for Assembly member John Wisniewski, 4 percent each for former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Jim Johnson and State Sen. Raymond Lesniak and 2 percent for activist Bill Brennan. Most voters, 57 percent, are undecided.

In a Republican primary, Guadagno leads with 28 percent, followed by 18 percent for comedian Joe Piscopo, 3 percent for Assembly member Jack Ciattarelli, 2 percent for Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers and 1 percent for entrepreneur Joseph Rullo. Another 42 percent are undecided.

Party trumps gender in the general election as women back the Democratic man over the Republican woman 51 - 20 percent. Men also back Murphy 42 - 31 percent.

The candidates remain largely unknown, as 70 percent of voters don't know enough about Murphy to form an opinion of him and 63 percent don't know enough about Guadagno.

"Question: Can a TV comic such as Joe Piscopo be a serious candidate for governor of New Jersey? Answer: Remember Ronald Reagan.

"The leading candidates - Republican Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy - are little known, despite her years as lieutenant governor and the huge amount of money he already has spent," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Will that change if they win the nominations? Sure, but it's hardly an auspicious start," Carroll added.

New Jersey voters disapprove 76 - 19 percent of the job Gov. Christopher Christie is doing, compared to a 78 - 17 percent disapproval in a January 31 Quinnipiac University poll.

Most voters give Gov. Christie a D or an F for job performance:
  • A - 3 percent;
  • B - 14 percent;
  • C - 25 percent;
  • D - 25 percent;
  • F - 31 percent.
Christie will not get much done in his last year as governor, 77 percent of voters say, while 19 percent say he can be effective.

The governor's presidential bid was bad for New Jersey, voters say 71 - 13 percent, including 57 - 24 percent among Republicans.

Voters say 45 - 24 percent that Christie should take the sports radio job for which he is being considered.

President Donald Trump also is under water as voters disapprove 59 - 34 percent of the job he is doing, compared to a 55 - 36 percent disapproval January 31.

Sen. Cory Booker gets a positive 57 - 31 percent approval rating, virtually matching his all-time high score of 58 - 31 percent January 31.

Voters approve 45 - 34 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is doing, down from a 51 - 32 percent score in January.

"The big question about Gov. Christopher Christie seems to be: How low can his job- approval go? Can he bounce back even a little bit before his term expires?" Carroll asks.

"Sen. Cory Booker remains the most popular politician in New Jersey. Is it too early to start thinking about a 2020 presidential bid?"

From March 9 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,098 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 450 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points and 315 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Kim Guadagno, Jack Ciattarelli, Joe Rullo, Steve Rogers, and Joe Piscopo, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            CONSERVATIVE  Mod/
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Lib    Men    Wom
 
Guadagno             28%    31%    27%    27%    31%    24%
Ciattarelli           3      1      5      3      2      5
Rullo                 1      -      5      -      1      2
Rogers                2      3      4      -      2      2
Piscopo              18     22     14     20     25     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      1      5      6      5      3
DK/NA                42     41     40     42     34     54
 
 
2. (If Registered Democrat) If the Democratic primary for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Phil Murphy, John Wisniewski, Ray Lesniak, Bill Brennan, and Jim Johnson, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS..................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom
 
Murphy               23%    30%    18%    24%    18%    26%
Wisniewski            6      8      8      5     12      4
Lesniak               4      7      5      2      7      2
Brennan               2      -      2      3      3      1
Johnson               4     10      4      1      2      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      -      5      3      3
DK/NA                57     42     63     60     54     58
 
 
3. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Phil Murphy the Democrat and Kim Guadagno the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Murphy               47%     6%    82%    37%    42%    51%    49%    37%
Guadagno             25     76      3     21     31     20     32     35
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      2      1      -      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      -      3      3      1      2      1
DK/NA                25     16     14     37     23     27     17     24
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Murphy               53%    51%    44%    44%    37%    48%    43%    54%
Guadagno             14     23     31     32     41     27     33     12
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      1      1      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      2      1      3      1      2      2
DK/NA                30     20     22     22     17     23     20     31
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Phil Murphy favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            22%     7%    37%    16%    21%    23%    24%    17%
Unfavorable           6     14      1      7      9      4      8      8
Hvn't hrd enough     70     78     60     75     68     73     67     75
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      2      -      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Favorable            28%    22%    21%    18%    18%    22%    20%    26%
Unfavorable           2      7      8      7     11      5      8      4
Hvn't hrd enough     70     68     69     74     69     72     71     68
REFUSED               -      2      1      1      1      -      1      2
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Kim Guadagno favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            17%    41%     9%    14%    20%    14%    24%    20%
Unfavorable          19      9     26     17     21     17     24     14
Hvn't hrd enough     63     49     63     67     58     67     51     65
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      2      1      1      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Favorable             6%    19%    21%    24%    25%    19%    22%     9%
Unfavorable          14     20     23     16     18     21     20     17
Hvn't hrd enough     80     61     54     59     55     59     57     72
REFUSED               -      1      2      2      2      1      1      1
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              34%    83%     5%    37%    40%    28%    37%    53%
Disapprove           59     12     89     57     53     65     57     41
DK/NA                 7      5      6      6      6      8      6      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Approve              15%    30%    43%    41%    52%    38%    44%    16%
Disapprove           78     61     50     54     43     55     50     75
DK/NA                 8      9      7      5      5      7      6      9
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              19%    47%     6%    18%    21%    18%    22%    24%
Disapprove           76     48     91     78     74     78     75     72
DK/NA                 4      5      2      3      5      4      3      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Approve              15%    18%    19%    21%    24%    22%    23%    13%
Disapprove           78     81     77     73     71     76     74     81
DK/NA                 6      1      4      6      5      2      3      6
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              27%    25%    33%    23%    26%    28%    30%    24%
Disapprove           55     59     52     60     61     50     58     53
DK/NA                18     16     15     17     13     22     13     23
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Approve              42%    24%    24%    23%    25%    29%    27%    28%
Disapprove           40     62     63     54     62     50     55     52
DK/NA                17     13     13     23     13     21     17     20
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              57%    19%    81%    56%    50%    64%    61%    44%
Disapprove           31     69     10     33     40     24     32     42
DK/NA                11     12      9     12     10     12      7     15
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Approve              58%    66%    53%    55%    45%    60%    53%    65%
Disapprove           29     25     39     31     46     28     36     23
DK/NA                12     10      8     13      9     12     11     13
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              45%    21%    62%    44%    42%    48%    46%    39%
Disapprove           34     63     17     38     41     28     39     41
DK/NA                20     16     21     18     17     24     15     20
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Approve              47%    49%    40%    50%    38%    47%    43%    50%
Disapprove           22     30     44     36     48     33     40     24
DK/NA                32     22     16     14     13     21     17     25
 
 
11. What letter grade would you give Chris Christie for the job he has been doing as Governor: A, B, C, D, or F?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
A                     3%     7%     1%     3%     2%     3%     3%     3%
B                    14     33      2     17     17     11     15     16
C                    25     33     25     20     25     26     23     26
D                    25     16     28     30     26     25     26     30
F                    31     11     44     30     30     33     32     24
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      -      2      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
A                     1%     2%     2%     4%     2%     3%     3%     2%
B                    19     11     14     13     16     15     16     12
C                    28     23     28     22     27     23     25     26
D                    20     28     28     26     29     27     28     21
F                    31     36     28     33     26     31     28     37
DK/NA                 2      -      1      1      -      1      1      2
 
 
12. Which of these is the most important issue to you in deciding how to vote for governor this year: Taxes, the economy, education, the budget, health care, or ethics in government?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Taxes                27%    47%    17%    27%    31%    23%    29%    33%
Economy              19     23     18     21     22     17     16     21
Education            16      6     23     14     12     20     17      9
Budget                8     10      6      8      9      7     11      9
Health care          12      5     18      8     10     13      9     11
Ethics in government 14      8     13     19     12     16     13     14
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   2      1      4      2      3      2      2      1
DK/NA                 2      1      2      2      2      3      2      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Taxes                12%    30%    29%    31%    34%    28%    31%    18%
Economy              25     12     20     16     18     19     18     21
Education            21     25     10      9     12     14     13     21
Budget                7      7     11      8     12      9     10      4
Health care          19      4     10     17      8     12     10     15
Ethics in government 15     15     14     14     13     14     14     15
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   -      5      2      1      1      2      2      3
DK/NA                 -      1      3      2      2      2      2      2
 
 
14. Do you think Chris Christie can be an effective governor during his last year in office, or that he won't be able to get much done for the rest of his second term?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Can be effective     19%    38%    10%    20%    21%    17%    21%    22%
Won't get much done  77     59     87     76     75     78     76     74
DK/NA                 4      3      3      5      3      5      2      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Can be effective     20%    18%    20%    21%    24%    19%    21%    16%
Won't get much done  76     79     78     73     74     77     75     78
DK/NA                 4      3      2      6      2      4      3      6
 
 
15. Do you think Chris Christie's run for President in 2016 was: good for New Jersey or bad for New Jersey?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Good                 13%    24%     6%    13%    12%    14%    13%    12%
Bad                  71     57     83     71     72     71     72     70
DK/NA                15     19     11     16     16     15     15     17
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Good                 17%    14%    11%    12%    12%    14%    13%    14%
Bad                  72     68     72     76     71     72     71     71
DK/NA                12     18     17     12     17     14     16     15
 
 
16. Thinking about the controversy surrounding the September 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge, known as "Bridgegate", do you think the news media gave too much attention to this issue, too little attention, or about the right amount?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Too much             31%    64%    15%    29%    35%    28%    32%    37%
Too little           15      4     24     13     11     19     15      7
Right amount         51     30     58     55     53     49     51     51
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      1      4      1      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Too much             26%    27%    36%    37%    40%    30%    35%    25%
Too little           17     16     15     14     10     13     12     21
Right amount         56     51     48     46     49     53     51     50
DK/NA                 1      5      1      3      2      3      2      3
 
 
17. As you may know, Chris Christie is being considered for a sports radio job after he leaves office in January. Do you think Christie should take a sports radio job after he leaves office or not?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Take job         45%    50%    40%    49%    50%    41%    44%    47%
No/Don't take        24     23     30     21     24     25     26     22
DK/NA                30     27     30     30     26     34     30     30
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes/Take job         55%    46%    48%    39%    48%    44%    46%    45%
No/Don't take        25     26     23     25     26     23     24     26
DK/NA                20     29     29     36     26     33     30     29