Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez’s lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin slid to a near dead heat considering margin of error in a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Wednesday.
Sen. Menendez garnered 51 percent support to Hugin’s 46 percent among 496 likely voters surveyed from October 12-16. With a margin of error of 5.1, the poll shows the two are within range of a tie. Menendez maintains the lead he has held in a host of other polls, but a decrease from the several October polls produced ahead of Wednesday’s from Rutgers-Eagleton. The new poll shows Menendez with just a five point lead, down from 10, 9, and 7 point leads in those three previous polls.
A RealClearPolitics average of recent polls put Menendez 7.7 points of Republican Hugin.
While 62 percent of Republicans were very excited about voting for Hugin, just 36 percent of Democrats were very excited about voting for Menendez. More than half of likely voters surveyed said they follow the news closely.
Menendez escaped bribery and corruption charges in the court after a mistrial was declared. He was nonetheless “severely admonished” by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Menendez first took office in 2006 alongside fellow Senator from New Jersey Cory Booker who assumed office in 2013.