So much for that “blue wave.”
A new poll shows the US Senate race in New Jersey between the incumbent, controversial Democrat Bob Menendez, and Republican businessman Bob Hugin, is a dead heat.
Menendez leads 45% to 43%, a shockingly close spread that is within the poll’s margin of error. Menendez was recently found not guilty of corruption charges, but voters are still worried about the issue.
The poll is terrible news for Democrats hoping to be able to spend resources in more competitive races instead of a blue state like New Jersey.
According to Politico:
“Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is in a dead heat with Republican challenger Bob Hugin, according to a Stockton University poll released Monday, as the public’s negative view of the senator’s recent corruption trial weighs down his support.
The poll of 531 likely voters shows Menendez with 45 percent support to Hugin’s 43 percent — a difference well within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Menendez, who survived a six-week corruption trial late last year when the jury deadlocked, would normally skate to reelection given President Donald Trump’s deep unpopularity in New Jersey and the state’s normal Democratic tilt. New Jersey has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1972.
But Hugin, a recently retired pharmaceutical executive with a vast personal fortune, has poured millions of dollars from his own pocket into the race. He spent much of the summer running TV ads attacking Menendez over his ethics record, and the Senate Ethics Committee’s severe admonishment of him.”