Race for US Senate in New Jersey a 'dead heat,' poll says

Stockton University survey suggests Menendez leads over Hugin

David Madden
October 02, 2018 - 5:06 pm
Bob Hugin, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, speaks at a campaign event in Woodbine.

David Madden | KYW Newsradio

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WOODBINE, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — In the race for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, a new poll suggests the battle between incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez and opponent Bob Hugin is a dead heat.

Five weeks before voters go to the polls, the Stockton University survey reported Menendez at 45 percent and Hugin at 43 percent. The percentages are well within the margin of error and far tighter than observers believe it should be, given Menendez is a Democrat and a New Jersey Republican hasn’t been elected to the Senate in more than 40 years. 

Hugin, while elated, isn’t getting cocky about it.

“There’s only one poll that matters: Nov. 6, right? So we’re encouraged by the people of New Jersey. The message is resonating,” Hugin said at a campaign event in Woodbine.

The Menendez campaign issued a statement saying it “knew this would be a competitive race given the millions ... Hugin spent on TV” and questioned the accuracy of the Stockton poll, maintaining “it historically underestimates Democratic performance.”

Hugin countered by saying the Stockton poll is in line with his internal numbers.

“We feel very comfortable with our own polling because we spend the right resources to poll the right people that are going to vote,” he added. “I don’t have any reason to undermine or say anything negative about any poll.”

Other pollsters are taking Stockton’s methodology to task, while Stockton stands by its numbers, recognizing “the demographics in the poll are not entirely reflective of the population, and (we) weigh our results accordingly.”