New Jersey residents are more likely to say the state is headed in the wrong direction, and fewer residents are giving a positive rating to the state overall, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released on Friday.

Despite it being a new year, not a whole lot has changed when it comes to New Jerseyans' views on the state, the poll suggests.

In the poll of more than 1,600 adults, 43% say the Garden State is headed in the right direction, while 47% say it is on the wrong track. Eleven percent are unsure.

In the middle of last year, 50% of residents said the state is on the wrong track.

Residents' ratings of New Jersey have taken a small hit. Slightly more than half of the poll respondents view the Garden State as an excellent (12%) or good (40%) place to live. That's down slightly from when residents were last asked in 2022.

Up slightly from two years ago is the share of residents who view New Jersey as an "only fair" (32%) or poor (15%) place to live.

"New Jerseyan's outlook on the state continues to be divided in these polarizing times, and positive views on quality of life here are at their lowest point in over a decade," said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. "Partisanship significantly colors perceptions of both the state's present and the future, as it does most issues these days, with Democrats in a much more optimistic mindset than either independents or Republicans."

In the poll, Gov. Phil Murphy records the same favorability rating as he did in November. Forty-six percent of respondents have a favorable impression of the Democratic governor, and the number of people who have an unfavorable impression of him has crept up six points, to 34 percent.

Sixteen percent of respondents say they have no opinion of Murphy. Four percent say they don't even know who he is.

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