Race Rating: New Jersey Governor Likely Democratic Takeover

Trump and Christie’s low job ratings hurt GOP chances of winning

Low job approval ratings for President Donald Trump and outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make it hard for a Republican to replace Christie. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

While it’s still unclear whether Democrats will get their first signature victory of the year in Georgia’s 6th House District, a takeover in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race looks likely later this fall. 

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno won the GOP primary with 47 percent against four other candidates. Former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy won the Democratic primary with 48 percent against five other contenders.  

But nearly twice as many people voted in the Democratic primary compared to the GOP contest, and Murphy led Guadagno, 50 percent-25 percent, in a Quinnipiac University poll taken before the primaries. That might not have even been the worst number in the survey.  

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating stood at 35 percent (56 percent disapproved) in the April 26 to May 1 poll. And that looked stellar compared to outgoing GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s 18 percent job approval rating (77 percent disapproved). Those are difficult numbers for any Republican candidate to overcome, particularly when Murphy will likely outspend Guadagno.

Inside Elections rates New Jersey’s race for governor race as Likely Democratic

A victory in the Garden State (and holding Virginia) this November would help Democrats eat into Republicans’ edge in governorships. There are currently 33 Republican governors, 16 Democratic governors and one independent in Alaska.

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