Phil Murphy Murphy, New Jersey, South Jersey discussed on Morning Edition
It's morning edition on W When my C I'm David first New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy gives the final state of the state address of his first term today. And like all things during the pandemic, this one is different. Murphy is pre recording it and streaming it online. W. On my CI's Nancy Solomon takes a look at where the governor stands as he begins his re election year. The last time a Democratic governor ran for re election in New Jersey. Well, let's just say it didn't go too well. Two minutes ago, I called Mr Christie and congratulated him becoming New Jersey's next governor. It was 2009. The country was in a devastating recession, and Jon Corzine had spent much of his first term fighting with Democrats in the Legislature. That sounds a lot like Murphy but might do him of Mercury Public affairs, a Republican strategist behind Christie's too successful campaigns says there's one obvious difference, I think Pandemic really defined him and gave him a chance to show leadership skills in a way that people hadn't seen prior to that to him, says the pandemic is the defining issue of Governor Phil Murphy's first term. And it considerably raised his public profile. Some 60% of New Jersey voters approve of the governor's job performance. Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute says If that holds, he's easily reelected if his job approval rating starts to dip below 50% Then voters will need to take a look at what the alternative is. And if the alternative ends up being too far to the right, the probably stick with Phil Murphy Murphy has been called the most progressive governor in America. Anywheres. That title is a badge of honor. But lately he's made some moves to shore up the political center, Moderate Democrats, independents and the business community. And that has angered progressive leaders like Patricia Campus. Medina. There's a group of insiders, I will say mostly men, and why males that are telling him that the way to win re election is toe move to the middle. Begin to cut deals with the machines and the county pulses as examples. Campus, Medina says Murphy allowed Democratic power brokers to take control of redrawing the Legislative district's any compromised on a bloated tax break. Bill. Environmentalists and South Jersey progressives are upset that Murphy Green lit a terminal to be built on the Delaware River. It would store Fracked Gas from Pennsylvania. Kate Delaney is president of South Jersey Progressive Democrats and has been battling the powerful George Norcross machine. She's unhappy with the governor. Not enough to pull support in order to make change in South Jersey. It really has to be, you know, a bottom up change. It really has to be in the grass roots. Even though Delaney wishes Murphy would reject the endorsement process of the county machines that gives candidates preferential treatment on the ballot. She doesn't expect him to do that. So I think that you know there's a lot of great things that the governor has done for South Jersey. We still need some more support. Murphy still does have support for the core of his agenda. He raised the minimum wage passed a millionaire's tax and is expected to legalize marijuana. The Reverend Charles Boyer of Salvation and Social Justice points out that Murphy was elected with 94% support from black voters. Boyer says the governor listen to his demands to ensure marijuana legalization includes reparations for black communities. And to release prisoners at risk of getting Cove it. These are all things that definitely are not popular with white voters but were necessary from a justice standpoint, Boyer hopes the governor won't do what many a Democrat has done before and take the black vote for granted. Even if Murphy doesn't he faces a different peril. Come November. Mike do Heym, The Republican strategist, says the governor's performance during the pandemic will only go so far. It's not about what people think right now is. What are people gonna be thinking in September, October November about the state of the economy, and it's the unemployment is very high. You know, that will be a problem for Governor Murphy. If it's steadily coming down, that would be another plus for Governor Murphy. New Jersey's current unemployment rate is hovering at 10%. About the same as it was when Jon Corzine was running for re election. Nancy.