ITL Volume 12 Issue 17 - Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Murphy Maintains 11-point Lead in Latest Monmouth University Poll, Biden and Obama visit New Jersey and Ciattarelli Keeps Pace with Murphy on Campaign Spending

Murphy Maintains 11-point Lead in Latest Monmouth University Poll: Today, the Monmouth University Polling Institute released its last poll of the 2021 General Election cycle. According to the poll, Governor Phil Murphy has an 11-point lead over Republican Jack Ciattarelli in next week’s race for Governor of New Jersey, 50%-39%. 

Murphy’s lead still represents a slight narrowing of the governor’s race from the last two Monmouth polls, which put Murphy 16 points in front of Ciattarelli in August and 13 points up in September. 

“We’ve had a couple of debates and a slew of advertising since the last Monmouth poll,” said Patrick Murray, the Monmouth University Polling Institute director.  Ciattarelli has chipped away at Murphy’s lead but hasn’t delivered the knockout he needs.”

Murphy’s favorables remain high, 45%-37%, and he has maintained a 52%-39% job approval rating – about the same as where he’s been since August.

Ciattarelli has also become better known and heads into Election Day with favorables of 37%-25%.  But with New Jerseyans already voting and just six days left, 39% of the state still has no opinion on the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

Perhaps the biggest news is that the Covid has lost its first place standing as the top issue for New Jersey voters.  It’s now eclipsed by taxes (27%), jobs and the economy (20%), and education and schools (16%), with the pandemic at 15%.

Ciattarelli has a 10-point lead on which candidate voters trust more on taxes, 39%-29% while voters trust Murphy most on handling issues related to the Covid pandemic: 45%-26%. By a 42%-27% margin, voters trust Murphy more on education and schools.

Biden and Obama visit New Jersey: Over the weekend, former President Barack Obama joined Governor Phil Murphy at a rally and get-out-the-vote effort in Newark. On Monday, President Biden visited New Jersey to promote two proposed policy initiatives – a bipartisan infrastructure package and a social safety net package.

President Biden advocated for the passage of both packages while at a NJ Transit maintenance facility in Kearny, while recalling his frequent travel aboard Amtrak trains between Washington, DC and Delaware during his time in Congress.

Biden said that his infrastructure bill is “about rebuilding the arteries of America” and also spoke about the Portal Bridge in New Jersey, referring to it as the “Achilles’ heel” of the northeast corridor.

The President also visited an elementary school in Plainfield to highlight universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year olds offered there, much like the provision offered in his agenda. Passing Biden’s economic agenda would enable the North Plainfield School district to expand its free preschool to all 3-year old children. President Biden called the pre-k program a “fundamental shift” for early childhood education.

Ciattarelli Keeps Pace with Murphy on Campaign Spending: New Jersey’s GOP nominee for governor, Jack Ciattarelli, has nearly matched incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy’s spending in the election so far, although the governor has about five times more cash on hand going into the final week of campaigning.

 According to the latest data from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) released earlier this week, Ciattarelli has spent about $12.4 million so far with Murphy expending nearly $12.6 million. Murphy as $3.5 million cash on hand compared with nearly $700,000 for Ciattarelli. Governor Murphy has brought in more than $16 million compared with $13.1 million for Ciattarelli in the period between the June primary and Oct. 19.

Compared with data from a similar point in the governor’s race four years ago, spending has climbed from about $13 million then to $25 million this year.