U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg has never amassed huge approval numbers in public opinion polls, but he’s never lost an election either.
As he approached his first re-election campaign, Lautenberg was at a 36%-21% approval rating in a February 1988 Eagleton Institute poll; voters said they would re-elect Lautenberg over a Republican by a 37%-24% margin. In that race, Lautenberg defeated retired Army General Peter Dawkins by a 54%-46% margin.
Six years later, Lautenberg had a 39%-39% approval rating in a February 1994 Eagleton poll. Just 28% of the voters said they would support his re-election, while 49% suggested it was time for a new U.S. Senator. But by Election Day, Lautenberg defeated Assembly Speaker Garabed “Chuck” Haytaian, 50%-47%.