Quinnipiac Poll: Senator Menendez Sees 15-Point Drop in Approval Rating

As allegations and investigations continue for New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the only Latino Democrat in the U.S. Senate, a new poll released by Quinnipiac University shows that “New Jersey voters disapprove 41 – 36 percent of the job U.S. [Menendez] is doing, a 15-point drop in less than a month, and say 44 – 28 percent that he is not honest and trustworthy.”

The entire poll can be accessed here. Here are some of the poll’s major findings:

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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.

Seventy percent of New Jersey voters have read or heard something about the controversy involving Menendez and a political donor. Of that group:

  • 59 percent say it makes them feel less favorably about the senator while 35 percent say it doesn’t affect their opinion;
  • 53 percent are not satisfied with how he is handling the issue, while 28 percent are satisfied;
  • 67 percent say the allegations are worth investigating, while 23 percent say they are politically motivated.

“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 reelection honeymoon.

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

“Whenever a politician gets a new job, such as Sen. Menendez’ position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the knives come out. But, by almost 3-1, voters think the Menendez charges are worth investigating. About one quarter think it’s just politics,” Carroll added.

Faced with serious accusations of ethics violations for alleged influencing peddling, Menendez continues to fight the charges. Today’s New York Times ran the latest about Menendez when it wrote the following:

He has taken to little-used routes in the nation’s Capitol to avoid attention. His allies have hinted at conspiracies hatched against him, perhaps by shadowy enemies in Cuba. And he has even hired a prominent lawyer well versed in Congressional investigations.

It has been an unnerving time for Senator Robert Menendez, a usually self-assured and even brash politician who prides himself on his long, hard climb through the brutal machine-style politics of New Jersey.

Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has been described as both shaken and angry these days as he confronts questions about his conduct that will not go away and that threaten to strip him of the power he has worked for decades to acquire.

You can read the rest of the Times story here.

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