The most interesting news in yesterday’s Monmouth University Poll isn’t the sizable lead that Democrat Phil Murphy has put between himself and Republican Kim Guadagno, it’s the fact that both candidates have shockingly low name recognition. With just five weeks to go before Election Day, 44 percent of likely voters have no opinion about Murphy, with 45 percent holding no opinion about Guadagno.
“Low name recognition of New Jersey gubernatorial candidates this late in the game is not unprecedented because the state lacks its own media market. However, it is unusually low this year. The campaigns simply can’t break through with the political noise coming out of Washington,” commented Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Now about that sizable lead. The poll shows Murphy 14 points ahead of his rival, which gives Guadagno a lot of ground to cover by November.
“The double whammy of Trump and Christie has not helped the Republican brand in New Jersey. While Gaudagno’s current position as Christie’s number two is not a death blow to her chances, it certainly isn’t helping,” said Murray.