Murphy maintains big funding lead over Guadagno in N.J. governor’s race

Two candidates, both seated at table, with microphone; Guadagno in blue suit (left) Murphy in black (right)

Republican Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno (left) and Democrat Phil Murphy (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Democrat Phil Murphy has raised more than three times as much as Republican Kim Guadagno in New Jersey’s race for governor.

Murphy collected $10.3 million while Guadagno raised $3 million.

Murphy still has $5.4 million left in his campaign coffers, while Guadagno has less than a million.

There’s a simple reason for the big fundraising disparity, said Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley.

“The difference in money between the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee really reflects the difference in expectations,” Woolley said. “She doesn’t have as money as Murphy because not as many people think she can possibly win.”

Gov. Chris Christie said he raised more than $2 million for the Republican Governors Association and that’ll help fund ads for Guadagno, who has been his lieutenant governor for eight years.

If those ads capture voters’ attention, Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin said it could make a difference.

“But if both sides are spending — and both sides have solid performances in terms of their advertising and their ground game — then it’s going to be like the debate we just saw where neither side had a knockout punch,” Dworkin said.

Guadagno’s disadvantage in fundraising is making it difficult for her to overcome Murphy’s double-digit lead in the polls, political analysts say.

The election is Nov.7.

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