Poll: Pressure eases on Sen. Menendez to resign
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The majority of people in New Jersey say Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWilliam Barr is right man for the times This week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid wall fight BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president MORE (D) should not be forced to resign over corruption charges despite widespread doubts about his innocence, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

Sixty percent of those who have heard about Menendez's recent indictment on bribery and misuse of office charges say the senior senator is "probably guilty," including a majority of Republicans (63 percent), independents (63 percent) and Democrats (53 percent). About a quarter, 24 percent, say he is innocent. 

Still, people in New Jersey Menendez resigning. Sixty-eight percent of people said the charges should be settled first, while 28 percent said he should resign immediately.


In a separate Quinnipiac University poll released last month after the charges were first announced, 52 percent said Menendez should give up his seat, versus 39 percent who said he should not. 

Prosecutors have alleged Menendez used his office to help the business interests of Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist and Menendez donor who has also been charged.

Menendez has denied the charges and vowed to stay in office.

A slim majority in the Monmouth poll, 51 percent, viewed the indictment as retribution from Menendez's political enemies, while 35 percent said it didn’t involve politics.

The poll also shows that Menendez has a 5-percentage-point edge in job approval among adults in the state, 42 percent to 37 percent. Fellow Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, the state's junior U.S. senator, has a much larger approval margin, 50 percent to 21 percent.

The poll of 500 New Jersey adults, including registered voters, was conducted May 1-3 via landlines and cellphones with a total margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.