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Rutgers-Eagleton poll asks: How’s Murphy doing?

Survey also examines state budget, outlook and more

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 26, 2023

Gov. Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announce that approximately 1.7 million New Jersey homeowners and renters applied for the first year of the state’s ANCHOR property tax relief program at the New Milford Boro Hall in New Milford on March 1, 2023.

Gov. Phil Murphy, along with Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio (not shown) announced that approximately 1.7 million New Jersey homeowners and renters applied for the first year of the state’s ANCHOR property tax relief program at the New Milford Boro Hall in New Milford on March 1, 2023. - OIT/OFFICE OF THE NJ GOVERNOR

Gov. Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announce that approximately 1.7 million New Jersey homeowners and renters applied for the first year of the state’s ANCHOR property tax relief program at the New Milford Boro Hall in New Milford on March 1, 2023.

Gov. Phil Murphy, along with Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio (not shown) announced that approximately 1.7 million New Jersey homeowners and renters applied for the first year of the state’s ANCHOR property tax relief program at the New Milford Boro Hall in New Milford on March 1, 2023. - OIT/OFFICE OF THE NJ GOVERNOR

Rutgers-Eagleton poll asks: How’s Murphy doing?

Survey also examines state budget, outlook and more

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 26, 2023

Rutgers-Eagleton is out with a new poll ahead of the holiday weekend that examines public attitudes toward Gov. Phil Murphy, the state budget, the state outlook and more.

The governor’s overall job approval has declined since fall 2022 with 47% approving the job Murphy is doing (down seven points) with 43% disapproving (up six points), as well as a 37% favorability rating (down 10 points) versus 31% unfavorable (down two points) with 29% reporting no opinion (up 14 points).

According to respondents, the outlook on the Garden State overall is, once again, more negative than positive, with 42% saying the state is headed in the right direction (down six points) while 50% say it is on the wrong track (up five points), while 8% are unsure.

Ashley Koning will succeed David Redlawsk at Rutgers' Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.
Koning

“Residents’ views on where the state is headed have always been mixed throughout Murphy’s tenure – a sharp contrast from the extreme highs and lows during the Christie Administration and an indication of the hyper partisanship and polarization that have permeated politics both statewide and nationwide,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

As the state budget process heads into the home stretch, the poll also found that three-quarters of New Jerseyans have seen or heard little (23%) or nothing at all (53%) about the proposed budget. Just 4% of respondents say they have heard a lot about the state budget, and 16% say they have heard some of the proposals.

The proposed sunset of the 2.5% corporate business tax surcharge has been all over the budget process headlines. This poll found respondents at odds over whether the CBT surcharge should sunset as planned, with 41% supporting expiration versus 50% who think it should be extended.

Residents are even more split when it comes to another contentious area of the budget: the school funding formula, with about half saying that state aid should be distributed evenly among all school districts. Slightly less than half support distributing state aid differently throughout the state.

“The economy and education have always been two of the most contentious issues in New Jersey, so residents’ division on the corporate business tax expiration and the school funding formula comes as no surprise,” said Koning. “These are two of the most talked-about topics of the next budget, and each have wide-ranging implications for the state’s future. The results also show just how hard it is to resolve policy issues in a way that satisfies everyone when, like most of politics nowadays, public opinion is starkly divided.”

The poll also examined the grades on Murphy and the state government when it comes to fiscal issues, the state’s economy, taxes, and the job market.

For the survey, pollsters talked to more than 1,000 New Jersey residents between April 27 and May 4, 2023.

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