Quinnipiac Poll: Murphy Leads Guadagno 58-33%

In the race for New Jersey governor, Democrat Phil Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno 58 – 33 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Murphy leads Guadagno among every party, gender, education, age and racial group listed, except Republicans, who back Guadagno 78 – 16 percent; white voters with no college degree, who are divided with 46 percent for Guadagno and 42 percent for Murphy, and white men who are split with 46 percent for Murphy and 45 percent for Guadagno, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

This survey of likely voters can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.

New Jersey likely voters have a 37 – 18 percent favorable opinion of Murphy, with 43 percent who haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion. Guadagno gets a negative 25 – 33 percent favorability, with 40 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.

Taxes is the most important issue in deciding their vote for governor, 30 percent of likely voters say, as 15 percent list the economy; 13 percent cite education and 11 percent say health care.

“As far as candidate qualifications go, New Jersey is holding a stealth election. Democrat Phil Murphy swamps Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, but about 40 percent of voters don’t know much about either of them,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Each of them dominates among their own party’s voters, but Murphy gets more Democrats and there are more of them to get in very blue New Jersey.

“Predictably, taxes are the number one voter concern.

“Working for Goldman Sachs hurts Murphy a little. Serving as lieutenant governor to Gov. Chris Christie hurts Guadagno a lot more.

“Are New Jersey voters buying a pig in a poke? It will be an interesting governorship.”

For 47 percent of New Jersey likely voters, Guadagno’s role as lieutenant governor to Gov. Christopher Christie has a negative impact on their opinion of her. Another 11 percent say it has a positive impact and 40 percent say it doesn’t matter.

Murphy’s 23 years at Goldman Sachs creates a negative impact on the opinion of 30 percent of likely voters. For 6 percent, it has a positive impact and 60 percent say it doesn’t matter.

From September 7 – 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 875 New Jersey likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys nationwide, and in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado as a public service and for research.

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