New Poll Finds Murphy with Comfortable Lead Over Ciattarelli | Aaron Neuman

A poll released by Fairleigh Dickinson University Monday morning finds incumbent New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy leading Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli by a relatively comfortable margin, boosting his prospects for another term as the state’s chief executive. 

The poll, the first post-primary head-to-head matchup between the candidates, found that voters prefer Murphy over Ciattarelli 48%-33%, a 15-point lead for the sitting governor that bodes well for him. However, despite running well ahead of Ciattarelli, Murphy’s lead over the Republican has shrunk since the last poll by FDU released on June 8th, which showed Murphy with a 26-point lead over Ciattarelli.

While Ciattarelli has a daunting task ahead of him, the poll also found that most New Jerseyans have either no opinion of him (53%) or don’t know who he is (17%), meaning the Republican has the opportunity, albeit a difficult one to achieve, to educate voters about him and his policies, and convince them that he is the right man for the position of governor.

“Ciattarelli has his work cut out for him,” said FDU professor of Government and Politics Dan Cassino. “Being unknown is better than being disliked, but running ads in New Jersey to build up awareness is an expensive proposition.”

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