TRENTON – The latest Quinnipiac Poll issued today gives incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) his biggest lead in months over challenger state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, (R-13), Middletown.
The poll gives Menendez a 46-32 percent approval rating and a 47-34 percent lead over Kyrillos, compared to a 45-35 percent lead in a May 16 survey.
While each candidate has a strong lead within their respective parties – Menendez leads 82-4 percent among Democrats and Kyrillos leads 77-10 percent among Republicans – Menendez also holds a 44-33 percent lead among independents, the poll showed.
“Sen. Robert Menendez is close to the magic 50 percent mark, and has a comfortable double-digit lead over the little-known State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a release.
“Sen. Kyrillos could be looking at that 13-point hole and thinking about what Mercutio said in Romeo & Juliet: ‘Tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve.’”
The Kyrillos campaign used the numbers as evidence that Menendez is ineffective.
“After nearly two decades in Washington, Bob Menendez is still under 50 percent in the polls and has an anemic 37 percent favorability rating,” Kyrillos Campaign Manager Chapin Fay said in a statement.
“That’s because Bob Menendez has failed New Jersey — unemployment is much higher, our deficit is much higher, and the standard of living for middle class families is lower than when he was elected to the Senate.”
New Jersey voters give President Barack Obama a 49–38 percent lead over Mitt Romney, the poll showed.
Also, Obama gets a 51–45 percent job approval rating and a 52–42 percent favorability rating. Romney gets a negative 35–43 percent favorability rating in the latest poll.
Affordable Health Care
Regarding a key issue in the presidential race, the Affordable Health Care Act recently upheld by the Supreme Court, New Jersey voters split on whether Congress should repeal it, with 47 percent supporting the law and 45 percent opposed. Voters agree 49–45 percent with the court decision to uphold ACA.
And voters say 54–38 percent that New Jersey should expand its Medicaid program to cover more low-income uninsured adults, as provided by ACA.
Health Care Exchange
Forty-five percent of voters want a state-created Health Care Exchange, which is part of the Affordable Health Care Act.
However, 21 percent want the federal government to create New Jersey’s exchange, with 30 percent undecided.
Gov. Chris Christie had vetoed one attempt to create such an exchange, but its sponsors said in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that they would reintroduce the measure.
Quinnipiac conducted the poll July 9 – 15, surveying 1,623 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.