February 10, 2017 | Number of The Day
Democratic backing for ‘frontrunner’ Phil Murphy

It’s a long way to Election Day, a truism that candidates know better anybody else. In fact, according to the latest Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll, most New Jersey voters have no idea who they plan on supporting in the gubernatorial primaries — although a few frontrunners are emerging. Phil Murphy is out front among Democrats and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is at the top among Republicans.

Murphy’s 17 percent support among Democrats is the same as that “someone else.” State Sen.Raymond Lesniak was named by seven percent; Assemblyman John Wisniewski garners six percent; and former Treasury official Jim Johnson comes in with two percent. But these names and numbers are overshadowed by uncertainty: 50 percent of Democratic voters say they don’t know who they like at this point.

On the Republican side, two-term Lt. Gov. Guadagno comes in first with 18 percent. Former Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo is close behind her with 12 percent. “Someone else” is preferred by 13 percent, and lesser knowns Steve Rogers and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli each garner two percent. A total of 52 percent say they don’t know who among the named candidates they currently support.