Poll of US Senate candidates in New Jersey shows race is getting tighter

Sen. Bob Menendez still leads over Republican opponent Bob Hugin.

David Madden
October 17, 2018 - 4:04 pm
New Jersey Senate protest

© Mitsu Yasukawa/Northjersey.com

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HAMDEN, Conn. (KYW Newsradio) — With less than three weeks before the midterms, a newly released poll shows the race for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey is tightening up just a bit.

From a sample of nearly 900 likely New Jersey voters, a survey from Quinnipiac University revealed that incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez leads over Republican opponent Bob Hugin, 51 to 44 percent.

Two weeks ago, the margin was 53 to 42 in Menendez’s favor, taking an 11-point lead down to 7.

“There is a gender gap and women are backing Sen. Menendez 56 to 38 percent,” pollster Mary Snow said, “and they are proving to be a key for Sen. Menendez in terms of his standing in this race.”

By contrast, the survey finds men favor Hugin by a 51 to 46 percent margin.

But Menendez’s favorability numbers remain in the red at 36 for him, 52 against. Hugin comes in at 39-30 on the plus side, although an additional 28 percent say they don’t know enough about the former pharmaceutical company CEO to decide if they like him or not.

“The number of people who say they have chosen a candidate but they may change their minds before Election Day,” Snow added, “that’s 10 percent. If you add the 5 percent of people who’ve indicated they are undecided, that adds up to 15 percent.”

Calls were made between Oct. 10 and 16, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

Monmouth University is set to unveil the results of its own U.S. Senate poll of likely voters sometime Thursday.