Poll: Menendez leads GOP challenger by 11 points in New Jersey

Poll: Menendez leads GOP challenger by 11 points in New Jersey
© Anna Moneymaker

New Jersey Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezVOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Bottom line Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads MORE (D) enjoys a comfortable 11-point lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin in a poll released Wednesday.

In the Quinnipiac University poll of likely midterm voters, Menendez leads 53-42 percent, with just 5 percent of voters remaining undecided.

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Each candidate has the support of 93 percent of their own party and six percent of their opponent's party, according to the poll. Hugin leads the Democratic incumbent by single digits among independents, Quinnipiac found, but trails more than 40 percent among nonwhite voters.

Menendez, who fought corruption charges that were dismissed earlier this year, holds a net positive job approval rating, with 46 percent approving and 44 percent disapproving.

But more voters said they had an overall unfavorable opinion, 53 percent, than favorable, 34 percent.

Working in the Democrat's favor, however, is New Jersey voters' attitude towards President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE. A majority of likely voters in the state, 63 percent, say they want Congress to act more as a check on Trump's agenda compared to those who want Congress to work with the president.

Wednesday's poll comes just days after another poll of likely New Jersey voters, from Stockton University, found Menendez with a narrow 2-point lead over Hugin and the same day a poll released by the Republican firm Vox Populi Polling showed Menendez with a 1-point edge among registered voters. Both leads were within the polls’ margins of error.

"New Jersey likely voters may prefer Sen. Menendez over Republican challenger Bob Hugin, but they certainly make it clear they are not fond of Menendez," Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow said a statement accompanying the poll results Wednesday.

"Only one quarter of voters believe the incumbent is honest. Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, scores higher on honesty, at 39 percent, but just about as many people don't know enough about him to say for sure," she added.

The Quinnipiac poll was taken between Sept. 25 and Oct 2., and contacted 1,058 likely voters in New Jersey. The poll's margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.