Most of New Jersey would welcome a return of mask mandates and social distancing guidelines in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to the latest poll out of Monmouth University.

But, acccording to the findings, reinstituting restrictions gets much more support from folks in North Jersey, while there are more folks in South Jersey who outright oppose the potential move.

In the poll of more than 800 Garden State voters, 66% of respondents in North Jersey said they strongly or somewhat support "reinstituting face mask and social distancing guidelines in New Jersey at the current time." The support rate is 63% in Central Jersey, the poll finds, and 55% in South Jersey.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents in the southern portion of the state "strongly oppose" a return to mask and social-distancing rules. Seventeen percent of respondents in North Jersey are strongly opposed, along with 19% of Central Jersey's respondents.

Eighty-six percent of Democrats gave the green light to another round of restrictions, compared to 28% of Republicans.

How are we doing?

Overall, 45% of registered voters in New Jersey suggest that the measures taken by the state government to slow the spread of coronavirus have been "appropriate." That's down from 58% in May.

Another 25%, including 51% of Republicans, say the state's measures have "gone too far," and another 24% suggest that restrictions so far have "not gone far enough."

About half of the respondents believe New Jersey is doing better than other states in dealing with the pandemic. Six in ten (61%) say Gov. Phil Murphy is doing a good job dealing with the outbreak — that's down slightly from 65% in May. President Joe Biden received a thumbs-up from 54% of respondents for his pandemic response, compared to 65% three months ago.

"The Delta variant has raised public concern, but New Jerseyans look at what is happening in places like Florida and Texas and feel we have things under better control here," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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