Despite underwhelming name ID in his home state, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) would easily defeat Princeton biotech millionaire John Crowley in a 2012 contest 45%-26%, according to this morning’s Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™ poll.
FDU pollsters Peter Woolley and Dan Cassino noted Republican hesitancy over the largely unknown Crowley, who would run against a ticket presumably headed by incumbent President Barack Obama.
While nearly four of five (78%) Democrats pick Menendez in the matchup, only about three in five (62%) Republicans pick Crowley, and 29% of GOP respondents were unsure or picked neither candidate.
The poll says half of New Jersey voters (50%) “either have not heard of Menendez or have no opinion of him, while 30% have a favorable view of him; and 20% have an unfavorable view.”
Among Democrats, 45% say they haven’t heard of the incumbent senator or have no opinion of him, an improvement from April’s mark of 54%; while 48% of Democrats say they have a favorable view of Menendez, better than April’s 41%. Just 6% of Democrats have an unfavorable view of him.
Among all voters, 84% say they haven’t heard of Crowley, while another 10% say they have heard of him but have no opinion. Even 84% of Republicans say they have not heard of him and another 12% have no opinion of him.
Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted its poll of 804 registered voters statewide by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from May 16-22. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.