There are a number of key issues in the gubernatorial November election. With less than two months away, here are three of them. According to a new Quinnipiac poll the majority of NJ voters approve of increasing the state’s minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and requiring background checks for all gun buyers. What do our governor and the two leading gubernatorial candidates – Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno – say about these issues?
Here are the results of the poll and where the three politicians stand on the issues:
INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE: “New Jersey voters support 74 – 24 percent, including a narrow 50 – 46 percent among Republicans, increasing the $8.44 per hour minimum wage in the state. Voter options for the minimum wage are: 9 percent say there should be no increase; 49 percent say there should be an increase to something less than $15 per hour; 32 percent say $15 per hour should be the new minimum wage; 8 percent say the minimum wage should be higher than $15 per hour.”
- Christie: In 2016 he vetoed a proposal to gradually boost New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Murphy: He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Guadagno: has come out against an increase to $15, saying minimum wage was not intended to provide a living wage.
GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS: “New Jersey voters support 96 – 3 percent requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Support is 4 percent or higher among every group. If more people carried guns, New Jersey would be less safe, 63 percent of voters say, while 28 percent say it would be safer.”
- Christie: He took a strongly contrarian stance against the universal background checks that most Americans and even most gun owners favor. Murphy: He would sign “every piece of gun violence prevention legislation that Governor Christie has vetoed.” Such bills include banning gang members and domestic abusers from owning guns. Guadagno: She says it takes too long to get a permit, and New Jersey should recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states to people traveling through New Jersey.
LEGALIZING MARIJUANA: “Garden State voters support 59 – 38 percent allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Every listed group supports legalized marijuana, except Republicans, who are opposed 53 – 43 percent, and voters over 65 years old, who are divided, with 47 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed.”
- Christie: In May he unleashed a diatribe against the increasing push to legalize recreational marijuana. Murphy: He has promised to bring legalized marijuana to the state if he’s elected. Guadagno: opposes legalization.
The public supports these measure. In Governor Christie’s waning months we can have almost no expectation that he will support them. Murphy says he will support them. Guadagno says she will not.
From September 7 – 12, 2017 Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,121 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.