Since Patrick Murray established the Monmouth University Polling Institute in 2005, the institute has become the premier independent survey research center in New Jersey, well-known for its in-depth tracking of public policy and quality of life issues.
Murray was named the 10th most powerful person in New Jersey politics by Insider NJ for 2018, and was dubbed the “Nostradamus of New Jersey”, referring to his uncanny ability to predict election results.
However, many people of whom he asks questions have surmised ‘the real motivation’ for his obsession with what people think and feel: “He’s just plain nosey. Always up in everyone’s business,” said Senate GOP Minority Leader, Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21). “A real busybody who has got to know everything about everybody.”
Both sides of the New Jersey political aisle seem to agree on this:
“We were having a nice quiet dinner one evening at Maize in Newark, just myself and my wife. Murray walks into the room, and boom!”, complained Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) of Piscataway, “‘What did you think of the play at NJPAC?’ ‘What are you having for dinner?’ ‘Do you like it?’. I mean, does the man ever stop?”.
“Recently at the State League Conference a couple of weeks ago, I run into Murray in the lobby of the Convention Center. He picks up the cost of my coffee—and then the real questions come: ‘How many cups a day do you have?’; ‘Do you like it with sugar and milk? Or do you drink it black?’ The man is obsessed.”, shared Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
According to their website, the Polling Institute conducts public opinion research to “foster greater public accountability’ by ensuring that the voice of the public is part of the policy discourse.” The Polling Institute strives to “cover quality of life issues that affect residents in their daily lives.”
“Foster greater public accountability’? ‘cover quality of life issues that affect residents’? Murray’s just awfully nosey,” added Sen. Smith. “He needs to start minding his own business. A real snoop.”
But not everyone seems to mind Murray’s inquisitiveness.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg of Bergen County thinks that “Murray is quite charming and delightful. Most people in politics just talk about themselves––he seems genuinely interested in people, what they think, what they feel.”
“Although, it is a little bit odd to be asked a question like, “On a scale from 1 to 10, with ‘1’ being ‘not well at all’ and ‘10’ being ‘fantastic’,– ‘So, how are your grandchildren?’ ”, added Sen. Weinberg.