Q-poll shows Menendez cratering on approval in NJ

posted at 10:01 am on February 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Those darned right-wing blogs!  In case no one knew it before, today’s poll from Quinnipiac demonstrates that allegations of corruption and use of prostitution still matters in politics, even in New Jersey. In a month, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has gone from a 51-33 approval rating to 36/41, a 23-point drop in the gap:

New Jersey voters disapprove 41 – 36 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is doing, a 15-point drop in less than a month, and say 44 – 28 percent that he is not honest and trustworthy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Today’s approval rating is down from a 51 – 33 percent score in a January 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and is his lowest score since August, 2011 when he had a negative 39 – 42 percent approval rating.

Democrats approve of Sen. Menendez 58 – 19 percent, while disapproval is 63 – 18 percent among Republicans and 45 – 31 percent among independent voters. Women approve 40 – 32 percent, while men disapprove 51 – 31 percent.

The scandal didn’t first come to light after January 23. The Daily Caller started reporting in October on Menendez’ connections to Salomon Melgen, his interventions on Melgen’s behalf, and allegations of prostitution, and Menendez still won a double-digit victory over Joe Kyrillos in the November election.  The difference between then and now is that the mainstream media finally picked up on the Menendez story.

Even so, women in New Jersey still see him favorably, albeit weakly so at 40/32.  I would have expected that to look much different, especially with the FBI now looking into the prostitution allegations.  A few weeks ago, Menendez and Harry Reid brushed those off as a fantasy from “right-wing blogs,” but 67% of respondents in this poll say that the relationship between Menendez and Melgen needs to be investigated.

Quinnipiac has bad news for the Great Republican Hope in the race for the other Senate seat:

Rivera gets a negative 20 – 39 percent favorability. Republicans have a 34 – 25 percent favorable opinion, the only group with a positive opinion of Rivera.

“If TV personality Geraldo Rivera is just testing the water for a U.S. Senate run in New Jersey, he might find that the water is colder than the Atlantic Ocean in February,” Carroll said.

Rivera might do better to wait for Menendez to resign, and run in a special election.  He won’t stand a chance against Cory Booker for Lautenberg’s seat; Booker beats him head to head 59/23.  In a special election, Geraldo’s name recognition could crowd out a field of relative unknowns and produce a surprise win.


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