NJ Politics Digest: State Dems Can Thank Trump for Bob Menendez’s Lead Over Hugin

A new poll that gives embattled Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez a nine to 12 point lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin.

Bob Menendez.
Sen. Bob Menendez. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A good number of state voters don’t like Sen. Robert Menendez, but they dislike President Donald Trump more.

That’s a finding in a new Monmouth University poll that gave the embattled Democratic senator a nine to 12 point lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin. This, even though the poll found that 39 percent of voters think Hugin is more trusted to bring integrity to state government, while only 26 percent said the same about Menendez. And 45 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Menendez, while only 28 percent hold a favorable view of the state’s senior senator.

All of that would worry a candidate in most races, but the poll also found that 56 percent of voters said their view of Trump was more important in the race than their view of Menendez, and 55 percent said they either strongly disapprove or somewhat disapprove of the job Trump is doing. That’s compared to 42 percent who either strongly approve or somewhat approve of the president’s performance.

Menendez was tried on corruption charges in a court case that ended in a hung jury and was admonished by the Senate ethics committee. Hugin and his supporters have been running a blizzard of ads attacking Menendez’s ethics lapses.

Quote of the Day: “You’ve got to wonder if New Jersey voters look at corruption through a different lens than other voters.” — Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray.

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NJ Politics Digest: State Dems Can Thank Trump for Bob Menendez’s Lead Over Hugin