Win, lose or draw, Save Jerseyans, Garden State voters might (finally) be ready to put Bob Menendez behind them in 2018.
A new poll from Emerson College suggests the senior senator, currently standing trial for corruption-related charged in federal court, could face an uphill climb for reelection next fall regardless of the jury’s decision.
“If Menendez is acquitted, only 28% of voters say he should seek another term in the Senate, versus 63% who believe he should retire from public office, including 53% of Democrats,” the pollsters reported. The automated poll of 300 “somewhat and very likely registered voters” has a margin of error +/- 5.6 percentage points.
Menendez has maintained his innocence throughout the legal drama which extends back to his spring 2015 indictment and involves circumstances and individuals spanning multiple countries.
Republicans would need to find a candidate to take advantage of Menendez’s weakness; current potential contenders include state Senator Tom Kean, Jr. of Union County (who came close to besting Menendez back in 2006) and Sheriff Shaun Golden of Monmouth County whose law enforcement background is viewed as creating a strong, favorable contrast with ethically-challenged Menendez.
The same survey pegged this year’s Murphy vs. Guadagno gubernatorial race at an 11-point advantage for the Democrat.