Fifty-four percent of New Jersey registered voters approve of the way Gov. Phil Murphy is handling his job, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll.

That’s the first time a majority of New Jerseyans approved of their governor’s job performance since January 2014. And it puts Murphy’s approval rating at a higher level than either of the prior two elected Democratic governors reached in the Quinnipiac Poll.

“A little bit more popular. His approval rating is up 10 points from our last poll back in March,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow.

“However, New Jersey voters give him a ‘C’ letter grade for his handling of mass transit and a ‘C’ for his handling of highways and roads,” Snow said. “So still needs improvement in those areas.”

In a March poll, 44 percent of registered voters approved of Murphy’s job performance.

Murphy’s disapproval numbers are also up since March – by 9 points, now at 32 percent.

Murphy is at nearly the same position Chris Christie was in August 2010, his first summer as governor, when 51 percent of voters approved of the Republican’s performance and 36 percent disapproved.

Christie’s approval ratings later surged in the year after Superstorm Sandy, only to crash after the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal and his run for president.

Gov. Jon Corzine never registered above 51 percent in Quinnipiac’s poll, and Gov. Jim McGreevey peaked at 46 percent. The appointed governor who served between McGreevey and Corzine, Dick Codey, reached 68 percent in November 2005.

Eighty-two percent of Democrats approve of Murphy’s job performance, with 7 percent expressing disapproval.

Twenty-five percent of Republicans approve of Murphy’s performance, with 64 percent disapproving.

Live interviewers from Quinnipiac polled 908 New Jersey registered voters by phone between Aug. 15 and 20. A sample of that size yields a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.

New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM