Rutgers-Eagleton: NJ Unaware or Undecided about Tammy Murphy and Andy Kim

Most New Jerseyans don’t know much about U.S. Representative Andy Kim or New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, who both plan to primary U.S. Senator Bob Menendez as he faces federal charges and calls to resign from office.

Over two-thirds of New Jerseyans are either unsure or unaware about them at the moment, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

About four in 10 voters don’t know Kim (41 percent) or Murphy (38 percent); one in four (27 percent) are unsure about Kim, while one-third (33 percent) feel the same about Murphy. The candidates fare similarly among those voters who take sides: 19 percent have a favorable opinion toward Kim and 12 percent have an unfavorable one, while 14 percent have a favorable opinion toward Murphy and 15 percent have an unfavorable one.

“Both Kim and Murphy are well known in Garden State politics, but each of them still needs to build some name recognition with the average voter,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “While they may be each other’s competition in the coming months, neither one of them needs to worry about vying for voters with the third candidate still in this race for Sen. Bob Menendez’s seat – Menendez himself.”

Menendez’s ratings, meanwhile, have taken a nosedive— six percent of New Jersey voters have a favorable impression of Menendez compared to 69 percent who have an unfavorable one. Fifteen percent have no opinion and 10 percent say they don’t know Menendez. Negativity toward the senator spans across all demographics, including all partisans.

New Jersey’s senior senator fares no better in his job approval ratings: 11 percent approve of the job Menendez is doing as senator, while 64 percent disapprove, and 25 percent are unsure.

“Menendez’s ratings have never been exceptionally positive throughout his tenure as a U.S. senator in New Jersey, but they have now unsurprisingly hit rock bottom,” said Jessica Roman, a research associate at ECPIP. “He has likely scored the lowest favorability and approval ratings of any major New Jersey political figure we have ever polled in our five-decade history.”

In contrast, junior U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey continues to fare moderately well with his constituents. Forty-five percent are favorable toward Booker, while 29 percent are unfavorable, 17 percent have no opinion, and 8 percent don’t know who he is. Similarly, 43 percent approve of the overall job Booker is doing, 29 percent disapprove, and 28 percent are unsure.

In terms of the presidency, New Jersey voters aren’t very impressed with their options, with considerable variation by partisanship. About half (51 percent) of New Jersey voters have an unfavorable view of President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election, while 37 percent have a favorable view. Twelve percent have no opinion. Similarly, 55 percent disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, while 39 percent approve and six percent are unsure.

On the Republican side, 61 percent of voters in the Garden State have an unfavorable view of former President Donald Trump, 27 percent have a favorable one, and 12 percent have no opinion.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a Republican presidential candidate, has rebounded a few points with his home constituency since leaving office in 2018. Nineteen percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him, 64 percent have an unfavorable one, 16 percent have no opinion, and 2 percent say they don’t know who he is.

Results are from a statewide poll of 974 adults contacted through the probability-based Rutgers-Eagleton/SSRS Garden State Panel from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The registered voter subsample contains 826 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.


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4 responses to “Rutgers-Eagleton: NJ Unaware or Undecided about Tammy Murphy and Andy Kim”

  1. This is another unAmerican institutional endorsement of the staus quo, which fundamentally denies voters the power to make informed voting decisions.

    The Democratic Party establishment has ordained that one person will be able to assume the United States Senate seat and the democratic process will be the equivalent of a show trial. This survey will butress false arguments that limit our choices.

    It is all part of a class war against the working middle-class families who have been frustrated by their own government for the past four decades.

    Our broken political establishment is shamelessly corrupt and utterly failing to address existential threats that compelled the smartest people in the world to set the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight so the only solution is for Americans to rise up to the responsibility of citizenship. We have one more chance to fight back by electing leaders who will outlaw bribery, reverse Reaganomics and save the world.

    I am not going down without a fight, so please let me know you are willing to help.

  2. Lisa, if you don’t want Murphy to be your Senator, vote for Kim in the primary. He may not end up “on the line” but he’ll be on the ballot. And encourage others to vote for him too.

    He can win.

  3. The writers here still don’t get it. Democrats have been in charge of NJ for 5 decades. All they’ve done is destroy this state with ever increasing taxes and property taxes, for which no one has yet discerned where those increased tax monies have gone. Under Gov. Chris Christie, NJ had a $30 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET and he held the line for 8 years!!! Under Gov. Phil KNUCKLEHEAD Murphy, the budget has almost doubled to $55 BILLION DOLLARS in 7 years!!!! And, no one can show accountability for where that doubling of the budget monies has gone ($4 BILLION per year to illegal aliens for free healthcare, free education, free housing, free legal services, welfare, food stamps, etc. while our own poor and veterans can’t even get healthcare.

    One writer above even suggests reversing “Reaganomics” which gave the nation and New Jersey over 25 years of economic expansion, profitability, lower taxes, better prices, better interest rates, etc. So, continue voting Democrat (Socialist-Communist) and you deserve the poor government you get, with the higher and higher taxes driving residents and businesses out of state, poor quality of infrastructure, corruption, bribery and racketeering in pay-to-play local governments, etc. This is the Democrat-Socialist-Communist way. Yet, stupid New Jerseyans keep voting for these criminals. The mass exodus from this state will continue to increase year-after-year unless and until we get Republicans in office to put the breaks on the Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree on the backs of taxpayers.

  4. The”Anointed One” (Ms Murphy) has been a Republican most of her life, married a Goldman Sachs multimillionaire. She will put corporate interest over the interest of the people. We deserve better.

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