A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Sen. Bob Menendez's approval ratings have plummeted 15 points in less than a month. Only 36% of New Jersey voters approve of the job Menendez is doing, while 41% disapprove. In January, before widespread coverage of scandal allegations, 51% of voters approved of the recently reelected Menendez, while only 33% disapproved. The drop is an almost unheard of reversal of fortune.
70% of NJ voters are aware of the allegations surrounding Menendez and steps he allegedly took to benefit Dr. Salomon Melgen, a major donor to his campaign. Among these voters, 67% believe the allegations are worth investigating. Only 23% believe the allegations are politically motivated.
"By almost 3-1, voters think the Menendez charges are worth investigating. About one quarter think it's just politics," said Maurice Carroll, Director of Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute.
Menendez's main defense against the ethics charges, and allegations that he visited with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, has been to assail the claims as a political, partisan attack. That defense, however, isn't working with voters. A majority, 53%, are unsatisfied with how Menendez has handled the allegations.
The Senator is currently on a "fact-finding" trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hopefully for his political career, he'll return with the facts necessary to answer the allegations against him.
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