Voters disapprove of Menendez performance, poll shows

Sen. Menendez, you have some explaining to do.

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.

That is the fallout from ongoing coverage of Menendez and a political donor, Salomon Melgen, over a port security contract that a Melgen-owned company holds with the Dominican government.

“U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez took an overseas trip and the poll numbers he left behind in New Jersey are dreadful – down 15 points in less than a month,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “So much for a re-election honeymoon.

“More than two thirds of voters have heard of his troubles and the more they know, the less they approve.”

Today’s approval rating is down from a 51 – 33 percent score in a Jan.23 survey and is his lowest score since August 2011 when he had a negative 39 – 42 percent approval rating.

 

Senate race

In an early look at New Jersey’s 2014 U.S. Senate race, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democrat, leads TV personality Geraldo Rivera, the Republican, 59 – 23 percent. 

Republicans back Rivera 54 – 23 percent, while Booker leads all other political, gender, income, age and regional groups in the state, the poll shows.

Booker leads 52 – 30 percent among men and 64 – 17 percent among women.

New Jersey voters give the Newark mayor a 59 – 11 percent favorability rating, including 47 – 24 percent among Republicans.

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 in a releasee.

From Feb. 13 – 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,149 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. 

"I want to introduce you to the world’s largest Oreo cookie."
—Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, flanked by Union County Assemblyman Jerry Green and Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson