Analysts say Ciattarelli needs ‘viral’ moment in final debate

Republican candidate for governor says that ‘at this stage of the campaign season everything is critical’

Republican candidate for governor Jack Ciattarelli says he’s “ready to go” head-to-head with incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in their second debate at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12. Analysts say Ciattarelli — who’s down nine to 13 points, according to polls — needs to score a big win and impress unaffiliated voters if he wants to change the campaign’s trajectory. They say if the debate echoes the last one between the candidates, little movement in the polls can be expected.

Ciattarelli on Tuesday responded to a new ad from the State Democratic Committee that features lots of bleeped four-letter words, an attempt to shred the GOP candidate’s Jersey cred for backing an anti-swearing ordinance 27 years ago. “I can see why campaigns want to have a little fun. Frankly, I didn’t think that one reflected well on New Jersey. So in my opinion, poor judgment on the part of Phil Murphy,” Ciattarelli said.

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