Democrat Phil Murphy (49 percent) leads Republican Kim Guadagno (33 percent) among likely voters supporting or leaning toward each, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll.

Two percent preferred Gina Genovese of the Reduce Property Taxes party, while Peter Rohrman (Libertarian Party), Vincent Ross (We the People), Seth Kaper-Dale (Green Party), and Matthew Riccardi (Constitution Party) stood at 1 percent or less, with 12 percent undecided and a week to go before the New Jersey general election.

Prospects for U.S. senators

Enthusiasm for the possibility that U.S. Sen. Cory Booker will toss his hat into the 2020 presidential ring has grown among New Jersey Democrats, with 55 percent in favor and 25 percent opposed. A month ago, state Democrats favored the possibility, but by a lower margin, 44 percent to 27 percent.

Meanwhile, 87 percent of likely voters say that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez should resign if convicted of federal fraud and bribery charges, including 82 percent of registered Democrats.

Breakdown of gubernatorial leanings

Murphy, a financier and former ambassador to Germany, leads Guadagno, the current lieutenant governor, 45 percent to 38 percent among men and 52 percent to 29 percent among women. Guadagno led Murphy 81 percent to 7 percent among registered Republicans while Murphy led Guadagno 81 percent to 6 percent among Democrats and 42 percent to 28 percent among independents.

Gov. Chris Christie continues to be out of favor with voters. His 77 percent unfavorable rating was lower than that of Congress (61 percent unfavorable), and 76 percent disapprove of Christie’s job performance, while 14 percent approve.

“Since our September poll, Phil Murphy’s margin has settled in to a lead of 16 points,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “In the meantime, the undecided number has been cut in half and stands at just 12 percent today. With fewer and fewer undecided voters left, Murphy’s mid-teen lead is heartening for Democrats looking for a victory in 2017.”

New Jersey economy

Fewer than one in five likely voters surveyed said the New Jersey economy is improving, while 35 percent indicated it has stayed the same, and 38 percent said it has gotten worse.

Hurricane Sandy

With the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy upon us, voters recalled FEMA’s rescue and recovery operations as poor to middling, with 35 percent rating FEMA’s response as fair, 24 percent poor, 26 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.


The field of 500 likely New Jersey voters was conducted Oct. 25 through Oct. 28 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the November 2017 general election for governor. The margin of error is +/-4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310,