Poll: Bob Hugin in Dead Heat with Bob Menendez in New Jersey Senate Race

Collage of Bob Hugin and Bob Menendez
Associated Press

New Jersey Senate Republican candidate Bob Hugin and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are in a statistical dead heat, according to a Stockton University poll released on Monday.

The Stockon survey found that Menendez leads against Hugin by two points—45 to 43 percent—only five weeks before the November midterm election. Libertarian candidate Murray Sabrin has three percent support. The poll has a 4.25 percent margin of error, making this is a dead tie between Hugin and Menendez.

Menendez, who was reprimanded by a Senate ethics panel after corruption charges were dismissed following a mistrial, has a net 24 percent unfavorability rating. Hugin, in contrast, has a 13 percent net favorability rating, though 43 percent of New Jerseyans said they were not familiar with him.

Michael Klein, the executive director of the Stockon University center for polling, said in a statement on Monday, “With a two-point lead falling within the poll’s margin of error, the Senate race at this point is up for grabs.”

“Bob Hugin has been attacking Senator Menendez on ethics with a heavy advertising campaign. However, with so many voters still unfamiliar with the Republican, Menendez will likely try to define his challenger in negative terms,” Klein added.

Fifty-nine percent of voters say that the corruption charges against Menendez play an extremely important or a significant factor in their vote for the U.S. Senate race. Eighty-eight percent of Republicans support Hugin, while only 80 percent of Democrats support the incumbent Democrat senator. Independents support Hugin over Menendez by a four-to-three margin.

New Jersey has traditionally served as a deep blue state; the last time New Jersey elected a Republican to the Senate was when they chose Clifford Case in 1972, 46 years ago. President Donald J. Trump won New Jersey by 13 points during the presidential election, although the Real Clear Politics poll average has Menendez’s lead at 8.3 points and trending downwards.

Breitbart News has documented Sen. Menendez’s legal and ethical problems:

Menendez, along with his friend and political donor, Dr. Salmon Melgen, was indicted on public corruption charges in April 2015 by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Menendez’s first trial ended in a mistrial in November when the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. In January, the DOJ dropped the charges against Menendez.

Dr. Melgen, Menendez’s co-defendant in the public corruption case, was convicted on 67 felony counts of Medicare fraud in April 2017.

Sen. Menendez has attacked Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh despite corroborated evidence from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that suggested he engaged in sexual misconduct.

Menendez said Kavanaugh should not serve on the Supreme Court and that he believes California psychology Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school in the 1980s.

Mendendez tweeted in September, “Two takeaways from today’s hearings: 1. I am more confident than ever that Brett Kavanaugh is not fit to serve on the Supreme Court. 2. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is not only to be believed, but as my friend @CoryBooker said, she is a hero.”

“The American people deserve to know the facts- that means a full FBI investigation of every allegation against Kavanaugh,” Menendez added. “For Republican leaders to call a vote w/o that investigation, just 24 hours after a heart-wrenching hearing, says everything about who they believe matters”:

The Obama DOJ released a report in 2015, which detailed how they found “corroborating evidence” that Sen. Menendez and Democrat mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

“Presented with specific, corroborated allegations that defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, the Government responsibly and dutifully investigated those serious allegations,” the DOJ wrote.

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Bob Salera contended in a statement on Monday that New Jerseyans want to elect Bob Hugin over a corrupt politician such as Menendez.

“It’s clear that New Jersey voters don’t want a crook like disgraced Senator Bob Menendez representing them in Washington,” said Salera. “Menendez has been shameless in his corruption, and New Jersey is ready to turn the page by electing Bob Hugin in November.”

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