With days to go before the gubernatorial election, Democrat Phil Murphy maintains a 14-point lead over Republican Kim Guadagno among likely voters. A Monmouth University poll, released yesterday, showed that the Guadagno campaign’s recent efforts — including going hard after Murphy for being out of step with the state on immigration — have not budged her poll numbers. Murphy held a similar lead at the beginning of October.
“After failing to generate voter attention for her property tax plan, Guadagno changed tactics and tried to paint Murphy as out of step over his sanctuary state comments. It hasn’t worked,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said.
One of the poll’s notable findings was that most voters say they don’t have a clear idea of either candidate’s political views.
Fifty-three percent of likely voters support Murphy, 39 percent support Guadagno, while 2 percent support independent candidates, and 7 percent are undecided. Among registered Democrats, Murphy has an 81 percent to 13 percent advantage. Guadagno has a 70 percent to 18 percent lead among registered Republicans. Murphy holds only a slight lead among unaffiliated voters, 46 percent to 43 percent. But, though unaffiliated voters represent four in 10 of registered voters in New Jersey, they are projected to account for only one-fourth of Tuesday’s electorate because of their tendency to vote at a lower rate in non-presidential elections.
“This election has been the proverbial tree falling in a forest,” Murray said. “As much as Guadagno has tried, the voters just haven’t been listening. She might have been able to make some headway with a more attentive electorate, but that just wasn’t in the cards this year.” He predicted a “record low turnout on Tuesday.”