New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is starting his tenure with a better job approval rating than his two predecessors, but many residents know little or nothing about his budget proposal, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.
A Monmouth University poll found that 44 percent of New Jersey adults like the job Murphy is doing, compared to 28 percent who disapprove and 28 percent who don’t have an opinion.
Murphy’s net positive job rating is a departure from his two predecessors, who had slightly negative ratings at the same point in their terms.
Chris Christie held a 41 percent approval rating and a 44 percent disapprove rating in April 2010. Jon Corzine had a 34 percent approval rating and a 37 percent disapproval rating in April 2006.
Many New Jerseyans are still unfamiliar with Murphy’s $37.4 billion budget, which includes $1.7 billion in tax increases. Just 15 percent said they have heard a lot about the spending plan, compared to 55 percent who’ve heard little and 30 percent who know nothing about it.
By contrast, more residents knew a lot about the first budgets submitted by Christie (45 percent) and Corzine (25 percent).
Only nine percent are satisfied with Murphy’s budget proposal, while 29 percent said they can live with it and 23 percent are dissatisfied. Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) have no opinion or haven’t heard about the plan, according to the poll.
“Perhaps one reason why Murphy’s overall job rating is so positive is because fewer New Jerseyans are paying attention to this new governor than in the past,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “It’s worth noting that turnout in last year’s election was a record low, and Monmouth’s polling found that most voters couldn’t say whether Murphy’s views were in line with the state. It’s not clear how much more they know now.”
Residents are split on whether Murphy cares more about governing New Jersey (40 percent) or is more concerned about his political future (39 percent). That’s more positive than what residents said about Christie, who left office with 79 percent of New Jerseyans believing he put personal ambition over the state.
The poll of 703 New Jersey adults was conducted from April 6 to April 10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.