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April 21, 2020

New Jersey residents give Murphy high marks during COVID-19 pandemic, new poll shows

More than 70% of New Jerseyans approve of the job the governor is doing during the pandemic

Politics Polls
Phil Murphy NJ Screenshot via YouTube/New Jersey Office of the Governor

Gov. Phil Murphy's approval rating among New Jersey residents has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll finds.

Gov. Phil Murphy's approval rating among New Jersey residents has surged by 30 points during the coronavirus outbreak.

A Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday shows that 71% of New Jerseyans approve of the job Murphy is doing, compared to only 41% who supported him as recently as September. Disapproval in Murphy's performance as governor has dropped from 38% to 21% during the last seven months. Only 8% of residents in state do not hold an opinion on Murphy, which is down from 21% in September.

Additionally, 79% of New Jersey residents approve of how Murphy is managing of the coronavirus pandemic compared to 10% who say that he's done a bad job.

New Jerseyans support of the social distancing measures the governor has implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus virus, with 64% of residents saying that these actions have been appropriate. Only 11% of residents believe that the measures have gone too far, while 23% believe that New Jersey hasn't done enough.

Measures, like the state's stay-at-home order and the shutting down of all non-essential businesses, also have all been overwhelmingly supported, according to the poll

Murphy's job approval rating crosses party lines. While 92% of Democrats across the state gave him favorable marks, 69% of independents and 45% of Republicans also give Murphy a thumbs up. The governor had 71% approval rating among Democrats, 28% among independents, and 16% among Republicans in September.

"Not only are Murphy's approval numbers up, but more New Jerseyans are taking notice than during the first two years of his term," said Patrick Murray, who serves as the director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Leadership becomes much more relevant in a crisis and Murphy is getting solid reviews for his response."

On Tuesday, New Jersey officials reported 3,591 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 92,387 who have tested positive for the coronavirus. There have been 4,753 deaths due to the virus New Jersey

Murphy tours Atlantic City field hospital

Along with other state officials on Tuesday, Murphy toured the new field hospital at the Atlantic City Convention Center created to treat South Jersey residents with non-COVID-19 issues. 

The makeshift hospital will have 250 beds and is one of three temporary hospitals to open up in each region of New Jersey to expand hospital bed capacity. The three makeshift hospitals together have added 1,000 beds for residents in need of hospital care for reasons other than the coronavirus. However, the facility could become available to residents suffering from COVID-19 if necessary, state officials said.

State officials don't expect the Atlantic City hospital to be as busy as similar facilities set up at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus and the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison. But the South Jersey site could become vital as testing ramps up across the region and asymptomatic people with coronavirus are identified and need somewhere to isolate away from home.

The field hospital in Atlantic City, which also includes a pharmacy and lab testing center, will begin accepting patients Tuesday, state officials said.

"We need the capacity. Whether we need it next week or a year from next week, we don't ever want to be caught (off guard) again," Murphy said his tour Tuesday. "This is going to be one piece of an important, broader puzzle for us in terms of beds and capacity."

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