Up for re-election in 2012 on a Democratic ticket headed by President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) continues to struggle for traction.
In this morning’s Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll, 30% of registered statewide voters have a favorable view of the Democratic senator and 23% an unfavorable view. Forty-seven percent don’t know him at all or have no opinion of him, including 49% of Democrats.
“The senator’s weak numbers don’t necessarily mean he is easily beatable,” said Peter Woolley, executive director of the Public Mind poll. “The Republicans will have to find a strong challenger.”
NInety-two percent have never heard of or have no opinion of State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13, Middletown), a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s kitchen cadinet and a possible challenger to Menendez. The same percentage of voters (92%) have not heard of or have no opinion of State Senator Michael Doherty (R), Oxford, a Tea Party favorite and possible challenger to Menendez.
In hypothetical matchups, Menendez outpolls both state senators: 49%-28% over Kyrillos and 49%-30% over Doherty.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind conducted the poll of 800 voters by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 19 through Sept. 25.
The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.