New Jersey governor's approval rating jumps amid coronavirus pandemic

New Jersey governor's approval rating jumps amid coronavirus pandemic
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has seen his approval rating soar amid his handling of the Garden State’s burgeoning coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll from Monmouth University released Tuesday.

Seventy-one percent of New Jerseyans in the poll said they approve of the job Murphy is doing as governor, while 21 percent disapprove.

The figures mark a stark jump from September, the last time Monmouth University polled Murphy’s approval rating, when 41 percent approved of Murphy’s job performance and 38 percent disapproved.

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Murphy also garners strong numbers for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic itself. The virus has infected over 92,000 people in New Jersey and killed over 4,700. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed approve of Murphy’s handling of the virus, with only 10 percent saying he’s done a poor job.

Murphy’s executive orders, which have, among other things, mandated people stand six feet apart and wear face coverings, draw the support of more than 90 percent of his state’s residents.

The average approval rating for the nation’s governors over their handling of the coronavirus sits at 72 percent, according to a national Monmouth University Poll conducted earlier this month. 

“Not only are Murphy’s approval numbers up, but more New Jerseyans are taking notice than during the first two years of his term. Leadership becomes much more relevant in a crisis and Murphy is getting solid reviews for his response,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. 

Moving forward, New Jersey residents would like to see more testing in the state; 67 percent say the state has not been testing enough, though more say the issue is up to the federal government rather than the government in Trenton.

Murphy’s bounce surpasses the one his predecessor Chris Christie (R) enjoyed after Hurricane Sandy, when his approval rating hit the low- to mid-70s in several polls.

Christie’s approval rating later fell during a scandal-ridden second term, and he left office as the most unpopular New Jersey governor ever recorded by public polling.

The latest Monmouth University poll of 704 New Jersey adults was conducted April 16-19 and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.