The election for a U-S Senate seat from New Jersey could be a close contest.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of registered voters shows incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez with only a four-point lead over Republican candidate Bob Hugin.
Poll director Krista Jenkins says the Senate Ethics Committee’s admonishment of Menendez for taking gifts from a wealthy doctor is weighing on his re-election efforts even though he was not convicted when put on trial for corruption.
“Over the next few months there’s certainly time for him I think to burnish his reputation and his image among those people who potentially have been more supportive at this point but who are no longer because of the admonishment. I would anticipate these numbers will improve considerably, but it’s hard to make any predictions in this political environment.”
Jenkins says a lot of people aren’t paying much attention to the Senate race yet and there’s time for Menendez to pick up support before the November election.
“As you get closer it then becomes a question of how effective has he been as a legislator for New Jersey and he certainly has things he can promote with his constituents. I think he’s going to benefit but it remains to be seen how much.”
Nearly half of the voters surveyed say they haven’t decided on a candidate.
A Republican hasn’t won a U-S Senate race in New Jersey since 1972.