With less than two months to go before the general election a new poll finds the Democratic candidate for Governor in New Jersey has a huge lead over his Republican challenger.

According Quinnipiac University pollster Mickey Carroll, Phil Murphy leads Kim Guadagno 58 to 33 percent.

“Democrats say we’ll vote for our Democratic candidate; they don’t know much about him. And Republicans say they’ll vote for their Republican candidate; they don’t know much about her. But there are a lot more Democrats than there are Republicans,” he said.

“Yes, it’s a runaway vote for Murphy, but it ain’t a runaway decisions on issues. On matters of that sort, it’s a pig in a poke.”

The poll finds most gender, education, age and racial group favors Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, over Guadagno, the current lieutenant governor.

HCarroll pointed out Republicans do favor Guadagno 78 to 16 percent; white voters with no college degree favor Guadagno 46 to 42 percent; and white males are almost evenly split, 46 percent for Murphy and 45 percent for Guadagno.

He said Murphy “looks like a guy who knows what he’s doing, he’s got a solid background, although the Quinnipiac numbers show that the fact that he worked for Goldman Sachs all those years is not a plus.”

The poll finds 43 percent of respondents say they haven’t heard enough about Murphy to form an opinion of him, while 40 percent indicate they don’t know enough about Guadagno to form an opinion on her.

The poll also asked voters what they’re most concerned about.

“What’s the big issue? Taxes, ethics is up there, government spending, and then, of course in New Jersey, property taxes,” said Carroll.

About 30 percent of voters indicated taxes are the most important issue in deciding who to cast their ballot for; 15 percent said it’s the economy; 13 percent list education; and 11 percent said health care was the top concern.

“People don’t know much about either of the candidates. Democrats vote for Democrats, Republicans vote for Republicans and there’s more Democrats than there are Republicans so that’s what your election is.”

According to Quinnipiac, the poll surveyed 875 likely New Jersey voters and the margin for error of the poll is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Guadagno campaign issued the following statement about the poll results:

“Public polling is garbage and often uses flawed methodology that favors Democrats. Case in point: The Quinnipiac Poll showed Governor Corzine leading Chris Christie by 5 points as late as October 26, 2009. Our internal polling shows Kim Guadagno within striking distance of Goldman Sachs Millionaire Phil Murphy, who is weak, undefined and wildly out-of-touch with New Jersey families because of his promise to raise taxes by more than $1.3 billion."

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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