As voters in New Jersey and Virginia prepare to choose their next governors, the
“Trump Effect” plays into the fortunes of candidates in both states, with Democrats
benefiting from President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings.
Fairleigh Dickinson University’s most recent statewide survey of likely voters in the
upcoming 2017 gubernatorial election finds Democrat Phil Murphy leading his
Republican challenger, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. Murphy’s 15-point lead,
among those who have made up their minds, is helped by the disaffection that many feel
for the Trump administration.
In Virginia, 32% of likely voters say President Donald Trump is a factor in their vote for
governor, and 20% say he is a major factor, according to a Wason Center survey of 642
likely voters. Although most voters say their choice for governor is not affected by their
view of the president, the “Trump Effect” in Virginia appears to be a net negative for
Republican Ed Gillespie, as the GOP electorate is slightly divided on Trump, while Ralph
Northam’s Democrats are unified in their disapproval.