Poll: Democrat Bob Menendez Clings to Slight Lead in Week Leading up to New Jersey Senate Election

Collage of Bob Hugin and Bob Menendez
Associated Press

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) clings to a slight lead over New Jersey Republican Bob Hugin in the week leading up to the contentious New Jersey Senate race, according to a poll released on Monday.

The incumbent New Jersey Democrat holds a slight four-point lead over Hugin in the final weeks of the Senate race—47 to 42 percent—with seven percent of voters remaining undecided and a four-point margin of error, according to an Emerson College survey released on Monday. The five-point gap in the Senate race makes the election a tight race in deep-blue New Jersey.

A majority of New Jerseyans, or 53 percent, have a negative view of Democrat Menendez, while only 34 percent of voters have a favorable view of the New Jersey Democrat.

In contrast to Menendez, Hugin has a net-positive favorability rating, with 40 percent of New Jreseyans who have a positive view of the New Jersey Republican, and 33 percent of voters who have a negative perception of the New Jersey challenger.

The New Jersey race continues to become more competitive as the Cook Political Report moved the election to a “toss up” last week and national Democrats shifted millions of dollars to the Garden State to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey.

The Cook report found that Menendez’s biggest threat does not come from Hugin but rather from New Jersey voters who want to rebuke Menendez amidst all of his public corruption charges and corroborating evidence from the Department of Justice that found that Menendez had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

Jennifer Duffy, senior editor for the Cook Report, wrote, “The biggest threat to Menendez’s re-election is not so much Hugin than it is the voter who goes to the polls and decides to send Menendez a message, much the way many did in the primary when 38 percent voted for his unknown primary opponent.”

Hugin said last week that the New Jersey Senate election is a job interview and New Jerseyans deserve to know the facts regarding the corruption charges brought against Menendez.

Hugin said in an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, “This is a job interview. And the people who are deciding whether to hire you or not should have the full facts. We didn’t say he did anything. We’re just saying, ‘These are the FBI’s sworn affidavits.’”

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