Despite being called "the most powerful governor in America" in a Politico article last fall, Gov. Phil Murphy said his focus is on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, not politics.

A more recent article asks whether his handling of the pandemic will help or hinder Murphy in his campaign for re-election. The article says Murphy's popularity has grown during the pandemic from around 43% in a September 2019 Monmouth University poll to a 50% approval in Monmouth's poll in October.  A Rutgers-Eagleton poll from the same period shows a 62% approval rating. In April, his approval rating in a Monmouth poll was 71% despite tight lockdown orders in place at the time.

Despite the approval of his handling of the pandemic, some lawmakers and residents believe he has gone too far with his executive orders and have criticized the lack of transparency when it comes to how he has reached decisions.

There have also been problems with people getting their unemployment benefits, long lines at the MVC and a high death toll at the state's long-term care facilities.

During an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday, he was asked about the Politico story. He replied that he is not spending time on politics even though he is running for re-election.

“I’ll let the chips fall where they may politically," Murphy said.

Murphy has left his wife, Tammy, in charge of fundraising. Campaign opportunities are limited given his own restrictions on gatherings in venues where they would take place.

No other Democrat has announced their candidacy but five Republicans will compete in the primary in the spring: Jack Ciattarelli, Brian Levine, Philip Rizzo, Hirsh Singh and David Winkler.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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