Joe Biden won New Jersey in the 2020 presidential race by 16 points
President Joe Biden's approval numbers are underwater in the blue stronghold of New Jersey on Wednesday, less than a week before a governor's race that has been tightening in the polls as more and more Americans grow unhappy with the Democrat in the White House.
Only 43 percent of New Jersey residents approve of Biden's job as president while 49 percent disapprove, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.
It's a steep drop from September's Monmouth Poll, which had Biden at 51 percent approval and 41 percent disapproval.
He won the state by 16 points in the November presidential race.
The number is roughly similar to Biden's national approval rating. Daily poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight shows about 43.6 percent of Americans satisfied with Biden's tenure. Nearly 51 percent of voters nationwide are unhappy.
New Jersey has elected a Democrat to the White House in every presidential race since Bill Clinton's 1992 victory.
But on a local level, the state is more of a battleground. A Democratic incumbent hasn't won re-election in New Jersey since 1977.
Biden has historically enjoyed good relations with people of the state. He was once nicknamed 'South Jersey's third senator' when he represented Delaware in Congress.
In 2020 Biden walked away with the state's 14 electoral college votes by a wide margin over Donald Trump.
It appears those amicable feelings have all but dissipated. On top of polling below 50 percent with every age group, Biden's approval rating in the South Jersey region is a dismal 37 percent. Nearly 60 percent of people there disapprove.
Biden visited the state on Monday to promote his Build Back Better agenda. He appeared alongside incumbent Governor Phil Murphy, who's vying for re-election against former local lawmaker and businessman Jack Ciattarelli.
Ciattarelli, a Republican, has been careful to keep a distance between himself and Trump in order to appeal to suburban voters in the densely-packed Garden State.
He bashed Trump for criticizing late Secretary of State Colin Powell a day after his death and congratulated Biden on his 2020 election victory.
But Murphy and his team have sought to paint him as a follower of the former president's, citing a November 2020 appearance at a Stop the Steal rally. Ciattarelli has said he was unaware that was the event's purpose.
'The president’s visit on Monday may have done more to boost Biden rather than Murphy when you look at their approval ratings,' Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray told the New Jersey Globe.
New Jersey's off-year elections come the November after a presidential race. Along with Virginia they are the only two states that fall in that cycle.
Biden's sagging approval rating comes less than a week ahead of Election Day in New Jersey, where Democratic Governor Phil Murphy (left) will defend his seat against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli (right)
For the last five times Americans elected a new commander-in-chief, New Jersey has elected a governor of the opposite party.
Murphy rose to power after Trump took the White House, and similarly Republican Chris Christie was elected to state office in 2009 after Barack Obama's historic victory.
But Murphy still holds a solid lead over his opponent. The latest Monmouth poll shows the Democratic governor with an 11-point lead over his Republican challenger.
About half of registered voters are backing Murphy before Election Day on Tuesday, compared to just 39 percent who support Ciattarelli.
When asked if Murphy or Biden have been more effective in their roles, 32 percent sided with the governor while only seven percent backed the president.
A majority - 47 percent - viewed them as largely the same.
However, Murphy's sizeable margin over Ciattarelli has been decreasing over time. In September Murphy held a 13-point lead over his opponent. In August he led by 16 points.
So far Murphy has a solid lead over Ciattarelli, despite a Democrat not having won re-election in New Jersey since 1977
Though the race is tightening somewhat Murphy's re-election battle doesn't appear to be as steep as Terry McAuliffe's in Virginia, where polls have him in a near-tie with GOP businessman Glenn Youngkin.
Murphy has still called on a similar coterie of high-profile friends to help his chances.
Aside from Biden, Obama also appeared alongside Murphy this past weekend in Newark, to kick off New Jersey's first in-person voting period in state history.
Murphy worked for the ex-president as his Ambassador to Germany. Before that he was finance chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, who played a large role in Biden securing the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, also appeared for Murphy at a Sunday 'souls to the polls' event.
First Lady Jill Biden, who grew up in New Jersey, stumped for Murphy on Friday.
Barack Obama campaigned for Murphy, his former Ambassador to Germany, over the weekend
Her husband is faring slightly better in the parts of New Jersey that surround New York City. In North Jersey his disapproval is 42 percent compared to his 47 percent approval rating. In Central and South, those who are unhappy with Biden outnumber those who aren't.
Biden is also doing better with women in the state than men. New Jersey women approve of Biden by 49 percent, and disapprove by 43 percent.
Demographically, it's white voters dragging Biden down. Black voters approve of his White House tenure by a margin of 69 to 24 percent. Asian and Hispanic voters are slightly less enthusiastic but still hold him at a 52 to 33 percent approval to disapproval rating.
Thirty-six percent of white voters approve of the job Biden is doing, and more than half - 59 percent - disapprove.
The survey was conducted from October 21 to 25 with a sample size of 1,000 New Jersey voters.