The leading Democrat in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race earned double the support over the leading Republican, according to a Wednesday poll published by Quinnipiac.
Former U.S. Ambassador Phil Murphy earned 50 percent in the head-to-head poll, and leading Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno earned only 25 percent in the race to replace Gov. Chris Christie.
Murphy leads five other Democrats in the state’s primary. He earned 26 percent of Democratic voters, compared to 7 percent who support Treasury Under Secretary Jim Johnson, 5 percent who support Assembly member John Wisniewski, 4 percent for State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, 3 percent for activist Bill Brennan, and 1 percent for Tenafly Councilman Mark Zinna.
Fifty-two percent of all Democrats remain undecided on who to support in the party’s primary.
Guadagno holds the lead among Republican contenders, according to the poll. She earned 23 percent, compared to Assembly member Jack Ciattarelli’s 12 percent, Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers’ 5 percent, and businessman Joseph Rullo’s 3 percent. Fifty-one percent of Republican voters were undecided in the poll.
“The news that they’re supposed to elect a governor this year doesn’t seem to have gotten through to a lot of New Jersey voters,” assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, Maurice Carroll, wrote Wednesday.
“Kim Guadagno has been lieutenant governor. Phil Murphy has spent a zillion dollars on campaign ads. Both have sewed up county organization support,” Carroll added. “But more than half of the voters don’t know enough about either of them to give a favorable-or-unfavorable judgment.”
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton earned a nearly 13 percent lead over President Donald Trump in the state of New Jersey, winning 54.8 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 42 percent.
Despite Clinton’s high numbers, it’s not impossible for a Republican to win a statewide election. Current Governor Chris Christie earned 60.3 percent of the vote, compared to Democratic Barbara Buono’s 38.2 percent.
The poll included 1,209 New Jersey voters from April 26 through May 1. The poll included a margin of error of 2.8 percentage in either direction.
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