August 22, 2018 - GOP Challenger Cuts Menendez Lead In NJ Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Murphy Gets Good Grades Overall, Mixed On Transit Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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The New Jersey U.S. Senate campaign is developing into a horse race as Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez leads former pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin, his Republican challenger, by a slim 43 - 37 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

This compares to a 49 - 32 percent Menendez lead in a March 13 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.

There is a wide racial gap as Hugin leads 47 - 38 percent among white voters and Menendez leads 51 - 18 percent among non-white voters. Republicans back Hugin 85 - 6 percent while Democrats go to Menendez 74 - 10 percent. Independent voters are divided with 37 percent for Hugin and 33 percent for Menendez.

Menendez was involved in serious wrongdoing, New Jersey voters say 49 - 16 percent, including 38 - 25 percent among Democrats. Among all voters, 31 percent say they haven't heard enough to decide if Menendez was involved in wrongdoing.

Voters give Menendez a negative 40 - 47 percent approval rating and a negative 29 - 47 percent favorability rating.

Hugin gets a slightly positive 24 - 20 percent favorability, but 54 percent of voters haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion.

Ethics in government is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote for U.S. Senator, 25 percent of New Jersey voters say, as 21 percent list taxes; 19 percent cite health care, with 14 percent each for immigration and the economy.

"As Sen. Robert Menendez sees his once dominant lead whittled down to single digits, New Jersey voters are sending a clear message. They are troubled by the ethics cloud hanging over him," said Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac Poll.

"While voters prefer Sen. Menendez over Republican Bob Hugin in deep blue New Jersey, they give the incumbent negative approval and favorability ratings," Snow added.

Gov. Murphy, Sen. Booker, President Trump

New Jersey voters approve 54 - 32 percent of the job Gov. Phil Murphy is doing, up from 44 - 23 percent March 13, shortly after he took office. Approval is 82 - 7 percent among Democrats and 45 - 39 percent among independent voters. Republicans disapprove 64 - 25 percent.

Voters approve 56 - 31 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is doing, compared to 59 - 31 percent March 13. Voters say 51 - 37 percent that Booker should not run for president.

President Donald Trump gets a big negative 33 - 63 percent job approval rating.

Only 4 percent of New Jersey voters give Gov. Murphy an A for the way he is handling mass transit, with 22 percent giving a B, 32 percent giving a C, 12 percent at D and 14 percent flunking the governor on mass transit.

He gets similar grades for handling roads and highways: A - 5 percent, B - 25 percent, C - 32 percent, D - 13 percent, F - 13 percent.

"New Jersey voters are warming to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. They give him less than stellar grades, however, on his handling of mass transit as commuters struggle with delays and cancellations on NJ TRANSIT this summer," Snow said.

Legalized Marijuana

New Jersey voters support 62 - 33 percent allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, compared to 59 - 37 percent March 13.

Voters also support 63 - 27 percent erasing criminal records for marijuana possession.

By a smaller 50 - 45 percent, voters support the sale of marijuana in their community.

From August 15 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 908 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts nationwide public opinion surveys, and statewide polls in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and Texas as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Robert Menendez the Democrat and Bob Hugin the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Menendez             43%     6%    74%    33%    42%    43%    46%    30%
Hugin                37     85     10     37     42     33     41     52
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      -      3      3      2      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      3      2      1      -      3
DK/NA                16      7     14     23     11     21     10     13
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Menendez             47%    48%    44%    36%    35%    41%    38%    51%
Hugin                22     30     38     51     55     39     47     18
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       6      1      2      2      3      1      2      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      2      2      2      1      2      1      2
DK/NA                23     18     14      9      6     16     12     26
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Robert Menendez favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            29%     7%    49%    23%    29%    29%    23%    21%
Unfavorable          47     74     32     49     52     44     59     56
Hvn't hrd enough     20     17     16     23     15     23     15     19
REFUSED               4      2      4      5      5      4      3      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable            28%    25%    35%    30%    20%    23%    22%    43%
Unfavorable          31     41     52     60     63     52     57     28
Hvn't hrd enough     40     27     11      7     13     22     17     24
REFUSED               1      6      3      3      4      3      4      5
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Bob Hugin favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            24%    48%     8%    26%    27%    21%    27%    33%
Unfavorable          20      5     34     14     21     18     22     16
Hvn't hrd enough     54     46     58     54     50     58     49     48
REFUSED               3      1      -      5      2      3      2      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable             7%    18%    26%    37%    34%    26%    30%    12%
Unfavorable          19     18     26     18     19     19     19     21
Hvn't hrd enough     72     58     47     43     44     53     49     65
REFUSED               2      5      1      2      2      2      2      2
 
 
4. What is the most important issue to you in deciding how to vote in this year's election for United States Senator: the economy, taxes, ethics in government, immigration, or health care?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Economy              14%    18%    10%    16%    17%    12%    15%    13%
Taxes                21     31     15     21     20     22     20     23
Ethics in government 25     16     27     28     25     24     30     24
Immigration          14     22     12     12     11     16     11     16
Health care          19     11     29     14     19     19     18     18
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      1      4      4      3      3      2      4
DK/NA                 4      2      2      5      4      3      3      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Economy              13%    19%    15%    11%    17%    11%    14%    14%
Taxes                20     27     20     19     22     21     21     21
Ethics in government 30     24     25     24     25     29     27     20
Immigration          12      7     18     19     12     15     13     16
Health care          23     17     15     20     15     21     18     22
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      2      4      2      4      2      3      3
DK/NA                 -      4      4      4      5      2      3      5
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Phil Murphy is handling his job as governor?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              54%    25%    82%    45%    51%    57%    49%    45%
Disapprove           32     64      7     39     35     30     39     41
DK/NA                13     11     12     16     14     13     12     14
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              71%    49%    56%    42%    45%    49%    47%    69%
Disapprove           19     37     33     40     42     37     39     19
DK/NA                10     14     11     18     13     14     14     12
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              35%    24%    46%    33%    34%    37%    34%    30%
Disapprove           42     55     32     44     47     38     47     45
DK/NA                22     21     22     23     19     25     19     26
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              44%    36%    37%    27%    30%    34%    32%    44%
Disapprove           35     44     44     49     51     41     46     33
DK/NA                20     19     19     24     20     25     22     23
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              56%    15%    84%    51%    51%    59%    57%    44%
Disapprove           31     71      5     36     36     27     36     44
DK/NA                13     14     11     14     12     13      7     13
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              58%    56%    60%    52%    44%    56%    50%    68%
Disapprove           22     31     30     41     46     34     40     14
DK/NA                21     13     10      7     10     10     10     18
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              40%    17%    57%    37%    39%    41%    38%    30%
Disapprove           47     75     27     50     51     43     51     59
DK/NA                13      7     16     13     10     16     11     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              46%    39%    43%    35%    32%    37%    34%    52%
Disapprove           33     45     47     58     60     50     55     30
DK/NA                21     16      9      7      8     14     11     17
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              33%    82%     4%    33%    38%    28%    35%    48%
Disapprove           63     11     94     61     58     67     62     46
DK/NA                 5      6      2      6      5      4      3      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              17%    33%    32%    44%    48%    36%    41%    15%
Disapprove           76     61     65     54     47     61     54     79
DK/NA                 7      6      3      2      6      3      4      6
 
 
10. Do you think Cory Booker should run for president in 2020 or not?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Should           37%    19%    53%    32%    37%    38%    35%    31%
No                   51     73     35     54     54     48     56     56
DK/NA                12      8     11     14      9     14      8     14
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Yes/Should           47%    42%    37%    30%    33%    34%    33%    47%
No                   44     50     46     59     60     53     56     39
DK/NA                 9      8     17     11      7     13     11     13
 
 
11. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very satisfied        3%     3%     5%     2%     4%     2%     2%     3%
Smwht satisfied      45     29     63     38     42     49     40     41
Smwht dissatisfied   30     32     24     35     32     28     36     30
Very dissatisfied    20     35      7     23     21     19     21     25
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      2      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Very satisfied        6%     1%     1%     5%     3%     2%     3%     4%
Smwht satisfied      56     40     49     35     37     44     41     54
Smwht dissatisfied   26     39     29     27     36     30     33     26
Very dissatisfied    10     19     19     29     23     22     22     13
DK/NA                 2      -      2      3      -      2      1      3
 
 
12. As you may know, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez was indicted on charges of bribery, but the case was dismissed after the jury failed to reach a verdict. Do you think that Senator Menendez was involved in any serious wrongdoing, not involved in any serious wrongdoing, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Involved         49%    65%    38%    51%    57%    43%    57%    53%
No                   16      9     25     11     17     15     15     13
Hvn't hrd enough     31     23     32     35     23     38     25     28
REFUSED               4      2      5      3      3      5      3      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Yes/Involved         37%    51%    48%    56%    62%    48%    54%    39%
No                   12     15     25     15     15     13     14     19
Hvn't hrd enough     48     33     23     23     20     33     27     40
REFUSED               3      2      4      5      2      6      4      2
 
 
13. Do you support or oppose allowing adults in New Jersey to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              62%    41%    78%    59%    65%    60%    68%    54%
Oppose               33     52     21     34     29     37     29     38
DK/NA                 5      7      2      7      6      3      3      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              90%    65%    63%    46%    63%    59%    61%    66%
Oppose               10     29     33     47     29     37     33     31
DK/NA                 -      6      4      7      7      4      5      3
 
 
14. Do you support or oppose erasing criminal records for marijuana possession?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              63%    46%    74%    61%    66%    60%    67%    62%
Oppose               27     41     20     28     27     28     27     27
DK/NA                10     14      6     11      7     12      6     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              81%    63%    62%    60%    68%    62%    65%    61%
Oppose               16     28     28     27     27     27     27     27
DK/NA                 3      9     10     13      6     11      9     12
 
 
15. Would you support or oppose the sale of marijuana in your community?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              50%    28%    66%    46%    54%    47%    55%    43%
Oppose               45     66     30     48     42     48     40     50
DK/NA                 5      6      3      6      4      5      4      7
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              81%    55%    51%    33%    52%    47%    49%    54%
Oppose               16     41     46     59     43     47     45     44
DK/NA                 3      4      3      8      5      6      5      2
 
 
16. What letter grade would you give Governor Murphy for his handling of mass transit: A, B, C, D, or F?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
A                     4%     2%     6%     3%     4%     3%     4%     3%
B                    22     11     28     24     22     23     19     21
C                    32     26     39     30     29     35     32     30
D                    12     21      7     11     14     10     13     10
F                    14     21      4     19     17     12     16     17
DK/NA                16     20     16     13     15     16     16     19
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
A                     2%     3%     8%     1%     3%     4%     3%     5%
B                    42     18     18     18     17     24     21     27
C                    23     38     39     28     33     29     31     36
D                     7     13     10     16     12     12     12     11
F                    10     15     15     16     19     14     16      9
DK/NA                16     14     11     20     16     18     17     12
 
 
17. What letter grade would you give Governor Murphy for his handling of roads and highways: A, B, C, D, or F?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
A                     5%     5%     8%     2%     7%     3%     4%     6%
B                    25      8     35     26     25     25     22     22
C                    32     22     37     33     31     33     34     25
D                    13     22      8     14     14     13     13     16
F                    13     26      3     16     13     14     15     16
DK/NA                11     16     10      9     10     12     12     15
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
A                     7%     4%     6%     2%     6%     3%     5%     5%
B                    35     29     25     16     19     24     22     34
C                    30     34     35     28     32     29     30     37
D                    10     14     12     17     15     15     15     11
F                    11     13     13     16     15     16     15      8
DK/NA                 6      6      9     20     12     14     13      6