Poll finds Murphy’s approval rating hasn’t budged in N.J. for more than a year

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s job approval rating is hovering at 41%, about where it has been for a year and a half.

A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday found that 38% of Garden State residents disapproved job the first-term Democrat has done.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said many New Jerseyans believe Murphy has failed to log any major accomplishments for middle-class voters.

“What you’re doing as the governor may be important to you, may be important to certain constituent groups, but we’re polling the larger base of New Jerseyans,” Murray said. “Sometimes things that you consider a major accomplishment aren’t things that help them in their everyday lives.”

Murray also said Murphy’s approval rating was lower than his two immediate predecessors — Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine — at similar times in their tenure.

“[It was] a less politically tumultuous time when Corzine was first in office,” Murray said. “Chris Christie had some major, splashy accomplishments — pension reform, for example — at this point in his term … and that was helping to push his numbers up.”

Twelve percent of New Jerseyans said Murphy had achieved major accomplishments, and 42% said he had had minor wins, while 36% suggested he had had no real accomplishments.

Respondents also graded Murphy on his response to the lead crisis in Newark, where recent tests showed elevated levels of the heavy metal in the drinking water of two homes, despite having filters designed to remove the lead.

State and city officials have been handing out free bottled water as health authorities continue to investigate the cause of the contamination.

Only 10% of people applauded the job Murphy has done, while 28% disapproved. About two-thirds of respondents had no opinion of Murphy’s response to the Newark water crisis or were unaware of the issue.

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