NJ-Sen, NJ-Gov: Menendez May or May Not Be in Trouble

Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. (1/3-9, registered voters, no trendlines):

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 44

Tom Kean Jr. (R): 34

Unsure/Neither/Other: 22

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 40

Michael Doherty (R): 30

Unsure/Neither/Other: 30

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 47

Kim Guadagno (R): 26

Unsure/Neither/Other: 27

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 41

Joe Kyrillos (R): 29

Unsure/Neither/Other: 30

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 44

John Crowley (R): 30

Unsure/Neither/Other: 27

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 42

Jennifer Beck (R): 29

Unsure/Neither/Other: 29

(MoE: ±3.5%)

Local pollster Fairleigh Dickinson’s first look at the 2012 Senate race finds Bob Menendez leading his little-known Republican potential rivals by double digits, ranging from margins of 10 (against his 2006 opponent, Tom Kean Jr., and also against state Sen. Michael Doherty, who’s apparently a particular fave to the tea party types) to 19 (against current Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who may be at a low point right now since most people’s current impression of her involves her being out-of-state during the nor’easter cleanup). FDU doesn’t offer an approval rating for Menendez for some reason, but he’s polling not out of the danger zone, in the mid-40s and, as they point out, his fortunes are probably deeply tied to those of Barack Obama (who’s at 47/41) and those of the broader economy.

Public Policy Polling (1/6-9, New Jersey voters, no trendlines):

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 41

Tom Kean Jr. (R): 39

Undecided: 19

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 47

Lou Dobbs (R): 35

Undecided: 18

Bob Menendez (D-inc): 45

Kim Guadgano (R): 30

Undecided: 24

(MoE: ±4.3%)

FDU’s numbers contrast a bit with those from PPP, who find a much closer race between Menendez and Kean (although they find a similar blowout against Guadagno as with FDU). I’d commented a few weeks ago that Menendez’s approval numbers (which are 37/38 in this poll) reminded me a bit of Richard Burr’s at this point two years ago — a surprisingly large number of people don’t know him, and those who do know him feel prety “meh” about him — and I think that’s still the case here. In fact, I’ll predict the whole cycle here may parallel NC-Sen ’10, with polls continuing to show definite incumbent weakness but the state’s lean (plus a likely underfunded opponent) probably giving the incumbent a decent win in the end.

Public Policy Polling (1/6-9, New Jersey voters, no trendlines):

Cory Booker (D): 42

Chris Christie (R-inc): 42

Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±4.3%)

As a throw-in, PPP also looks at the 2013 gubernatorial race (it’s only two and three-quarters years away!). While if you read only the rightosphere, you’d think that Chris Christie was ready to not only graduate from being governor right now but even to skip that whole Presidency business and move straight on to running for Galactic Emperor, here in the real world, things are a little less clear-cut. The blustery and mass-transit-destroying Christie only manages a tie with Cory Booker, the attention-grabbing Democratic mayor of Newark. Christie’s still above water with 48/45 approvals, but it’s a Dem-leaning state and Booker has nothing but upside at this point with 46/16 favorables.

18 thoughts on “NJ-Sen, NJ-Gov: Menendez May or May Not Be in Trouble”

  1. Like North Carolina, Jersey is a state that tends to dislike its politicans, but unlike NC, it also gives some of them long tenures. What I take from this is that Menendez is favored but entirely beatable, but Republicans really don’t have a good bench. Guadango is the only statewide official who could run, and her numbers are awful. That Menendez only leads someone like Doherty by 40-30, though, might give the NRSC hope that a generic R could make this a close race, sort of following the Kay Hagan model. Perhaps Leonard Lance will give this a look if his district is the one blown up.

  2. is Republican fools gold every midterm and ever presidential election year.  ’09 was an exception, but that’s off year with an incumbent much more hated than Menendez.  Republicans have much better targets than NJ and even those seem to be iffy.

  3. Somehow I think Booker sits 2013 out and waits for an open seat.  Who’s the back-up if that’s the case?  I know Frank Pallone has his eye on the governor’s mansion (I read somewhere that he was ready to step in if Corzine dropped out because of low poll numbers in 2009). Anyone else?

  4. No one knows her. She was elected Lt. gov on a ticket, has not had any major accomplishments as Lt. Gov, and her only prior experience in elective office was less than 3 years as Monmouth County sheriff. After a campaign, she would be stronger. Kean is probably the strongest here, but I doubt he runs, since he would probably have to give up his senate seat.  

  5. some think he is, wouldn’t we see more people considering the race? A lot of people are said to be looking into taking on Scott Brown, even if some of them are not well known. Granted, the bench is probably very deep in Massachusetts, but even if it is very weak for the Republicans in New Jersey, wouldn’t more obscure but ambitious people be talking about running?  

  6. has off year legislature elections so Kean would not have to give up his state senate seat. We will be electing our full legislature this November  

  7. I would not count Kean out. He had a good preformance in 2006 (Calling it a wash between the Dems preformence and his ethics allegations) and with Christie’s approval numbers not that bad seeing how outspoken he is, could mean that he still has the chance to win the seat. I think he would be influenced into running.

  8. I know you like her, but she probably wouldn’t be a great candidate by herself unless she were piggybacking on like in 2009.

  9. But, with Menendez’s fundraising ability, he’d need to start before this fall. Would he be able to run for state and US senate at the same time?  

  10. major year elections when the Dem machine is out and working Democrats can win NJ with ~53% of the vote easily. Even in 2009 when Corzine was hated in the state and Republican turnout was big compared to Democratic, Chrisie couldn’t even break 50% (with the help of Daggett that is).

    The problem with the GOP in the state is that they have no one in the bench that can draw up the numbers in the cities and Democratic strongholds. Christie won by drawing out support in the suburbs but running in an midterm/presidential year would require more than that from a Republican  

  11. Then, it can be wait for long time.

    I hope the democrats from NJ find the best candidate for 2013 without wait more.

    I would like to see someone more in the poll. Only Booker as challenger gets a little short, we can not compare.

  12. The way he is stockpiling cash in his federal account, he is probably looking to an open senate seat in 2014. I doubt Booker runs, as he and Christie have worked together and they appear to generally like each other. Dick Cody would probably be the best bet, but he lost a contested leadership battle in 2009 to Steve Sweeney, another potential candidate.  

  13. He allied with the North Jersey Bosses to kick a former Governor (and most popular statewide pol of the decade) out of the Senate Presidency.  The nomination is his and his alone if he wants it.

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