Murphy Leads Guadagno, Christie Unpopular

By John Celock

A new poll shows that the Democratic nominee easily leads the Republican in the New Jersey governor’s race, while the state’s incumbent governor has reached record lows.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday shows Democrat Phil Murphy leading Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno 55 percent to 26 percent in the governor’s race. The poll also showed that term limited Gov. Chris Christie (R) had a 15 percent approval rating and a 81 percent disapproval rating, a record low for a New Jersey governor.

The poll also indicated that 54 percent of voters had a negative impact of Guadagno’s service as Christie’s lieutenant governor, while 33 percent have a negative impression of Murphy’s long career at Goldman Sachs.

Murphy, who has coalesced the state’s Democratic Party bosses behind his candidacy, has long been viewed as a frontrunner against Guadagno, who has been lieutenant governor since 2010. Guadagno has taken pains to separate herself from Christie, while also touting her role as economic development chief in his administration. Guadagno has touted her opposition to the gas tax hike that Christie championed and the Statehouse renovation he has pushed.

Christie, who has seen his popularity plummet from its height following his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Christie was easily reelected in 2013 over Democrat Barbara Buono. Christie’s popularity plummeted in the aftermath of the Bridgegate investigation and his frequent out of state trips in pursuit of his national political ambitions.