Poll: NJ U-S Senate Race TIghtening, Murphy Approval Rating Increases

Aug 22, 2018

The latest poll numbers show New Jersey’s U-S Senate race is becoming more competitive.

Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow says Democrat incumbent Bob Menendez now has a slim 6 point lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin. That’s down from the 17 point lead he had in March.

“Make no mistake Senator Menendez is still in the lead. And we should mention that 16 percent of voters who responded to the survey say they haven’t made up their minds.

So, there’s a long way to go.”

Voters say ethics in government is the most important issue in deciding who they’ll vote for in the Senate race. Snow says that might not bode well for either candidate because there are ethics concerns about both of them.

All the attack ads he’s run against Menendez may have helped Hugin gain some ground. But that could change now that Menendez has started airing his own ads attacking Hugin.

The poll also finds that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s job approval ratings are on the rise.

Snow says 54 percent of New Jersey voters now approve of the job Murphy is doing, a 10 point increase since March.

“However, New Jersey voters give him a C letter grade for his handling of mass transit and a C for his handling of highways and roads. So, he still needs improvement in those areas.”

The Governor is hopeful the legislature will act by the end of the year to pass legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Snow says the Quinnipiac poll finds 62 percent of New Jersey voters support allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use and 63 percent favor erasing criminal records for marijuana possession.

“We also are finding that a smaller amount, 50 percent of people of New Jersey, say they would support the sale of marijuana in their community. We’ve seen a number of towns come out saying they don’t want the sale of marijuana should it be legalized.”