New Jersey Governor’s favorability ratings have taken a double-digit dive

Governor Phil Murphy’s favorability has taken a double-digit dive since his unexpectedly close re-election in November, with the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll showing 33 percent of New Jerseyans have a favorable impression of the governor while 38 percent have an unfavorable one.

“This marks the first time since Governor Murphy took office that more New Jerseyans are unfavorable toward him than favorable,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public InterestPolling (ECPIP)at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “His current job approval and favorability numbers are reminiscent of the start of his first term, marking a clear end to his pandemic-induced ratings bump as both the state and politics attempt to return to some sort of normal.”

On the first report card of his second term, Murphy earned a ‘C’ grade, on average.

When it comes to grading him overall, 11 percent of New Jerseyans give him an ‘A,’ 28 percent a ‘B,’ 24percent a ‘C,’ 15 percent a ‘D,’ and 19 percent an ‘F.’ This is relatively unchanged from November2021.

As for individual issue areas, Murphy continues to get the highest marks on his handling of the pandemic – albeit a ‘B-’ average: 30 percent of New Jerseyans give him an ‘A,’ 22 percent a ‘B,’13 percent a ‘C,’ 10 percent a ‘D,’ and 25 percent an ‘F.’

After an initial drop-off between October 2020 and May 2021, his pandemic grade has changed little from last spring. Murphy gets his next highest grade on education and schools (20 percent ‘A,’ 30 percent ‘B’), earning him a ‘C+’ on this issue, on average.

Murphy gets lower grades on the state budget (6 percent ‘A,’ 22 percent ‘B’); one in five NewJerseyans fail him in this area, making him a ‘C-’ student on this issue, on average.

The Governor earned the lowest marks on his handling of taxes and cost of living and affordability.

When it comes to taxes, New Jerseyans, on average, give him a ‘D+’: just 4 percent give him an ‘A,’ 15 percent a ‘B,’ 21 percent a ‘C,’ 15 percent a ‘D,’ and 41 percent an ‘F.’

Similarly, residents give him a ‘D,’ on average when it comes to cost of living and affordability: just 4 percent give him an ‘A,’ 15 percent a ‘B,’ 20 percent a ‘C,’ 15 percent a ‘D,’ and 45 percent an ‘F.’

Results are from a statewide poll of 1,044 adults contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones from February 25 – March 4. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5percentage points.

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