Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race - Fox News Voter Analysis

After eight years of Chris Christie, New Jersey voters have elected Democrat Phil Murphy to be their next governor. He won with strong support from most demographic groups as well as voters who feel badly about the state of New Jersey.


New Jersey

Fox News Voter Analysis     Governor

Murphy Strengths

Women            +25 Pts.

College            +22 Pts.

Liberals           +82 Pts.

Blacks             +76 Pts.

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17

Women, who were more than half (54 percent) of the electorate, went heavily in favor of Murphy, 62 percent to 37 percent, giving him a huge advantage over his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.

Men broke for Murphy, 50 percent to 47 percent Guadagno. In the last two gubernatorial elections, men favored Christie, the Republican.

White voters split, 49 percent to 49 percent, after giving majorities to Christie in the past two elections. Blacks went strongly for the Democrat. Over the years, Hispanics have swung back and forth. This year, a strong majority of Hispanics went for Murphy, 75 percent to 24 percent. In 2013, Hispanics broke slightly for the Republican (46 percent to 50 percent).  In 2009 Hispanics went for the Democrat, two-to-one (65 percent to 32 percent).

Seniors also split, 49 percent to 49 percent, after two elections of supporting the Republican candidate. Voters under 30 years old went 65 percent for Murphy vs. 33 percent for Guadagno.

Murphy won majorities among all education levels with one exception:  Guadagno carried whites without a college degree (56 percent to 42 percent Murphy).

Along party lines, Democrats were solid for their candidate; Republicans were very strong for their candidate, too. Independents gave the edge to the Democrat, 51 percent-45 percent.


Almost one-quarter of Jersey voters called themselves “conservative” (24 percent) and “liberal” (25 percent).  The Republican got 77 percent of the conservative vote, while the Democrat received 90 percent of the liberal vote.  Moderates favored Murphy by 15 percentage points, 57 percent to 42 percent.

In short, the only demographic groups Guadagno carried were Republicans, conservatives and whites without a college degree.


Many voters in New Jersey had unfavorable opinions of both Murphy and Guadagno, as well as of Bob Menendez, Donald Trump and Chris Christie. Incumbent governor Chris Christie had a much higher unfavorable than either of the candidates to replace him.

Fox News Voter Analysis     New Jersey

Unfavorable Impression       

Murphy           37%

Guadagno       44%

Menendez       48%

Trump              60%

Christie            75%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17

Look at Chris Christie’s UNfavorable score-- even worse than on-trial Senator Bob Menendez!

The jury is deliberating on charges against Menendez, but voters are split over whether he did anything illegal or just unethical.  Only one-in-ten feel he is innocent.

Fox News Voter Analysis     New Jersey

Did Bob Menendez Do Something:

Illegal                                      42%

Unethical, Not Illegal             41%

Nothing Seriously Wrong       10%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17


Taxes were the top concern to Jersey voters. All other issues registered far below.

Fox News Voter Analysis     New Jersey

Most Important Issue Facing The State

Taxes                                       44%

Corruption In Government     15%

Economy                                 11%

State Budget                             9%

Health Care                               8%

Education                                  7%

Drug Addiction                        6%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17

Our Fox News Voter Analysis shows more voters thought Guadagno would be more likely than Murphy to lower property taxes, but the most common answer:  neither would.

New Jersey

Fox News Voter Analysis     Governor

More Likely To Lower

State Property Taxes

Phil Murphy                20%

Kim Guadagno           31%

Both                              6%

Neither                                    40%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17

Was Trump a factor when NJ voters picked their candidate? Not really. One-third said he was a factor in their vote decision.

New Jersey

Fox News Voter Analysis     Governor

Donald Trump Important To Vote?

Important                    34%

Not Important             65%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17

But Christie did have an effect….and it wasn’t a good one.  When choosing their candidate, many said Christie was important to their decision and those folks broke for Murphy.

New Jersey

Fox News Voter Analysis     Governor

Chris Christie Important To Vote?

Important                    42%

Not Important             57%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17


Chris Christie catapulted to re-election in 2013 with 60 percent of the vote, but since then has experienced some backlash. At his re-election in 2013, about two-thirds (64 percent) thought highly of Christie. Now, just one-in-five (22 percent) have a favorable impression.

In addition, many voters felt Guadagno is too close to Christie, and those folks favored Murphy by 70 percentage points.

New Jersey

Fox News Voter Analysis     Governor

Kim Guadagno Is:

Too Close To Christie             52%

Not Close Enough                     8%

About Right                            37%

As of 11:30pm 11/07/17


In New Jersey, non-voters were more likely to be Hispanic, young and non-college graduates.  They were also more likely to think the state is heading in the wrong direction and to support Murphy.

Non-voters were much less likely to think taxes are the most important problem facing the state. Instead, they are slightly more concerned with drug addiction, health care and education.  Fewer non-voters have favorable opinions of all of the politicians we asked about.

The Fox News Voter Analysis is based on a survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with 5,355 New Jersey registered voters.  The poll featured 834 interviews from a probability sample drawn from a registered voter list and 4,521 interviews from a non-probability sample, and includes both voters and non-voters for enhanced analytical purposes.  The data collection was multi-mode (landline, cellphone, and online) and the full sample was calibrated to be representative of the population of registered voters as well as to be consistent with the actual election results.  Results among all those interviewed in the probability sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points including the design effect.