New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) lead in the Garden State’s gubernatorial race has narrowed to 6 points, according to a new poll, as the candidates head into the final weeks of campaigning ahead of next month’s election.
The poll, conducted by Emerson College and PIX 11, found that 50 percent of likely voters support Murphy, and 44 percent are backing GOP challenger Jack Ciattarelli.
Seven percent of the 600 likely voters polled remain undecided in the race, which is set to take place on Nov. 3.
Among the undecided bloc of likely voters, however, 59 percent are leaning toward Ciattarelli, while 41 percent are leaning towards Murphy.
When factoring in those voters, the race narrows to 4 percentage points, with Murphy receiving 52 percent support and Ciattarelli close behind with 48 percent.
The poll, which was conducted between Oct. 15 and Oct. 18, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
While Murphy still has a comfortable lead, recent polling shows that his support among New Jerseyans is slipping, while Ciattarelli’s standing among voters is steadily increasing.
A poll conducted by Stockton University last month gave Murphy a 9-point lead over Ciattarelli, 50 percent to 41 percent. In June, a Fairleigh Dickinson University survey had Murphy up by 15 points, 48 percent to 33 percent.
Ciattarelli, a former state lawmaker who calls himself a “disciple of Lincoln,” is running to deny Murphy a second term as chief of the Garden State.
He is also looking to bring Republican leadership to a state that consistently goes blue in presidential and federal races. President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE won New Jersey by more than 15 points in November.
The New Jersey gubernatorial race made national headlines earlier this month when the New Jersey Democratic State Committee released a new ad attacking Ciattarelli for his previous support of a local on swearing.
The 26-second digital was marked by colorful language, particularly f-bombs.
The Emerson College/PIX 11 poll found that men and women in the state are split on which candidate to support. Murphy leads among women, 57 percent to 40 percent, while Ciattarelli has an edge when it comes to men, 50 percent to 41 percent.
Murphy also holds leads among voters aged 18 to 29, 30 to 49 and those 65 years and older, while Ciattarelli has more support among those aged 50 to 64.
Taxes emerged as a key issue among New Jersey voters in the poll. Fifty-one percent of respondents said taxes should be the next governor’s first priority, followed by jobs at 16 percent, health care at 13 percent, New Jersey transit at 6 percent and crime at 4 percent.
On COVID-19, 52 percent of likely voters say Murphy would better handle the pandemic recovery, while 48 percent backed Ciattarelli.