Ruthless dictator Phil Murphy is seeing his lead dwindling as we draw closer to the election next month.

In the latest Emerson College WPIX11 poll released on Thursday, Murphy leads opponent Jack Ciattarelli 52% to 48%, with a margin of error of 3.9%. Maybe, just maybe, people in this state are starting to come to their senses.

Murphy is so woefully out of touch with the average New Jersey citizen he claims to be fighting for, it's almost comical. He destroyed businesses during the pandemic and panicked a whole state while forcing COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes where many of them spread the virus and died. The most vulnerable population, at his direction, were put in harm's way and many met their ultimate demise.

Shockingly, Murphy scores highest on his performance during the pandemic, even though New Jersey still has the second-highest death rate from COVID of any state in the country. We were only recently surpassed by Mississippi.

He stirred up so much panic with his thrice-weekly coronavirus fear forums that the public was terrified. That's one of the tactics dictators use to control their populations.

Among undecided voters, Ciattarelli is leading Murphy by 59% to 41%. It's hard to believe that there are people who are still undecided, but they could be the determining factor in the race.

Watch closely now that the race is tightening up. No doubt, the Murphy campaign will pull out all the stops to try to win. Look for nasty, misleading TV and radio ads and any number of dirty tricks to ensure a victory.

Men with that much money and power are used to crushing adversaries at any cost. The next few weeks should get ugly — and interesting.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

Early voting locations in each NJ county

Each county in the state will have between three and 10 early voting locations, open daily for the 2021 general election from Oct. 23 through Oct. 31. The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for Sundays, when they will close at 6 p.m.