Campaign

Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey

Anna Moneymaker
A Democratic super PAC with close ties to Senate leaders plans to spend $3 million on last-minute advertising aimed at saving Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who faces an unexpectedly difficult race against a self-funding Republican businessman.
 
The Senate Majority PAC will spend money on statewide television advertising bashing Bob Hugin (R), the retired pharmaceutical CEO who has spent $15 million on his own campaign.
 
“Bob Hugin is a Trump sycophant who is funding his campaign off the millions he made raising prices on cancer drugs as a pharma CEO,” said Chris Hayden, a Senate Majority PAC spokesman.
 
{mosads} Hayden said the ad would run in the New York and Philadelphia media markets, two of the most expensive markets in the country.
 
“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi desperately spending another $3 million to try and bail out corrupt, career politician Bob Menendez confirms they are absolutely petrified that New Jersey voters know Menendez doesn’t deserve to be reelected,” Hugin spokesman Nick Iacovella said in an email. 

 

“That’s why they’re making a last ditch effort to try and save Menendez’s disgraceful political career.”

 
Hugin has vastly outspent Menendez on television. This week, he paid to air a 60-second spot bringing up old allegations that Menendez was involved with prostitutes. Menendez has vehemently denied those allegations.
 
On its face, New Jersey is a deep blue state. Hillary Clinton beat President Trump there by 14 points in 2016.
 
But Menendez has seen his already-low approval ratings sink even more after going on trial on corruption charges. The Department of Justice dropped the charges after the trial ended in a hung jury last November.
 
In a sign of his potential weakness, Menendez won only 62 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary against Lisa McCormick, a virtually unknown activist who beat Menendez in six of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
 
Polls taken after Labor Day show Menendez leading Hugin, though by relatively small margins. The latest survey, a YouGov poll conducted for CBS News, showed Menendez ahead 49 percent to 39 percent.
Tags Bob Menendez Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Nancy Pelosi
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