- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy retains a sizable but narrowing lead over GOP opponent Jack Ciattarelli, the Monmouth University Polling Institute said Wednesday.

It’s the institute’s final poll before an Election Day that will determine whether the Democratic incumbent earns a second term or if Garden State Democrats fumble yet another reelection bid.

Half of registered voters back Mr. Murphy, while 39% support Mr. Ciattarelli, the poll found — an 11-point lead that is down from Mr. Murphy‘s 13-point edge in September and 16-point lead in August.

Mr. Murphy enjoys wide leads among voters of color, including an 83% to 6% edge among Black voters, and a 49%-43% lead among white college graduates. He trails Mr. Ciattarelli among White voters without a bachelor’s degree, 35% to 55%.

“We’ve had a couple of debates and a slew of advertising since the last Monmouth poll. Ciattarelli has chipped away at Murphy‘s lead but hasn’t delivered the knockout he needs,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Recent results from Emerson Polling suggested the race was tighter, with Mr. Murphy holding onto a 6 percentage point lead.

He is the only governor in the country fighting for reelection this year. The only other governor’s race is in Virginia, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe is seeking his old job back over Republican Glenn Youngkin after term-limited Gov. Ralph Northam departs.

Mr. Murphy is trying to break a bit of a curse: Democratic gubernatorial candidates haven’t won a reelection campaign in New Jersey since 1977, despite it being a reliably blue state.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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