NJ lieutenant governor largely unknown, poll finds

 Kim Guadagno has been New Jersey's lieutenant governor for six years, but only 31 percent of registered voters recognize her. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Kim Guadagno has been New Jersey's lieutenant governor for six years, but only 31 percent of registered voters recognize her. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

A new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds that most New Jersey resident don’t have confidence in the political parties to lead the state to brighter days.

Poll director Krista Jenkins said 22 percent of registered voters trust Republicans to fix New Jersey’s problems while 27 percent point to the Democratic Party.

“By far, however, the biggest vote getter is neither party with 47 percent,” she said. “This means that almost half of those surveyed have little — if any — faith in either political party to provide workable solutions to the state’s troubled finances and the many other problems that continue to vex policymakers.”

Leadership is up for grabs in the Garden State, Jenkins said.

Kim Guadagno has been New Jersey’s lieutenant governor for six years, but only 31 percent of registered voters recognize her.

Guadagno has been overshadowed by the governor, Jenkins said.

“When we talk about state leadership certainly the focus is often on Gov. Christie. That could certainly be part of the problem and I think as we head into the gubernatorial in 2017, it will interesting to see if her role shifts perhaps,” she said.

“If Guadagno has her sights set on replacing Gov. Christie, she certainly has some ground to cover in making herself known to voters.

“But at the same time, I would also point out that anytime somebody is unknown to voters that also creates a great opportunity to introduce themselves in a way that could potentially be advantageous in the long run.”

Two years before voters decide who will replace Christie, the potential candidate with the most name recognition is Senate President Steve Sweeney who’s known by 45 percent of voters.

Other Democrats don’t register as much. State Sen. Ray Lesniak is known by 28 percent of residents; Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop is recognized by 18 percent; and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy is known to 11 percent.

On the Republican side, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick is familiar to 11 percent.

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