Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy holds a nine-point lead over Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli in two new polls for Tuesday’s election, while another survey has the incumbent up by 11 points over the GOP challenger, solidifying his bid to be the first Democrat re-elected to the office since 1977.
Murphy leads Ciattarelli 53-44 in a Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll released Friday and 50-41 in a Stockton University poll released Thursday. Those results follow a Monmouth Poll from Wednesday that had Murphy ahead by 11 points.
Taken together, the poll numbers and other indicators suggest it is highly likely that the incumbent governor will win Tuesday after a largely negative campaign.
Since Brendan Byrne won a second term in 1977, there have been four Democrats elected to a first term as governor of New Jersey—including Murphy—but none were re-elected to a second stint in office.
Three Republicans have won second terms over that period, but while Jim Florio and Jon Corzine were defeated in attempts to win re-election, James McGreevey resigned in disgrace after being caught up in bribery and sex scandals and Murphy’s a candidate now.
Almost nobody says they are voting for another candidate, even though there are three of those on the ballot: Green Party nominee Madelyn Hoffman, Libertarian candidate Gregg Mele, and Socialist Workers Party contender Joanne Kuniansky also appear on the ballot.
The state posted a statement from each candidate for governor online.