NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS) – A newly released poll suggests New Jersey U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, whose federal corruption trial ended with a hung jury two weeks ago, may have been politically wounded. But he’s far from being dismissed by his constituents.
Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Director Ashley Koning says the bottom line for Menendez is mixed. For starters, he’s at a low point on several fronts.
“More people disapprove than approve of him. More New Jerseyans are unfavorable as opposed to favorable of him,” Koning told KYW Newsradio. “But he’s always kind of had these middle of the road ratings. So, we don’t see a drastic drop post-trial but there definitely is a drop from where he was before all of this had happened.”
Still, about half feel he should resign or not seek re-election next year. Tough call on that front, as Koning sees it.
“He has a great constituent experience for years,” she added. “He’s well-funded. We really don’t know a well-known Republican that’s going to oppose him yet, and now he has the Governor-elect’s (Phil Murphy’s) blessing.”
On the other hand, there’s a pending Senate ethics probe and the threat of a retrial on the criminal charges that brought on his problems. So Koning suggests the next few months could be pivotal for Menendez.