Incumbent New Jersey Senator Robert Menedez (D-NJ), is feeling the heat from this blue state; whens the last time you saw a story lead (from the Asbury Park Press) like the one below?
It may be a tough time for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to be a Democrat.
Menendez, seeking his first full Senate term, has slipped in the polls as Gov. Corzine grapples with rising taxes, former Democratic power broker John A. Lynch Jr. awaits sentencing on federal corruption charges, and fallen Democratic Gov. James E. McGreevey tells all in his book, "The Confession."
Menendez now trails Republican challenger Thomas H. Kean Jr. by six percentage points among likely voters, a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey newspaper poll shows.
Kean was supported by 44 percent of likely voters, compared with 38 percent for Menendez. Fourteen percent said they were undecided, and 3 percent backed another candidate, according to the poll.
As much as I despise Menendez's Hugo Chavez-like view of America and our President; I believe our leftist Senator is taking the fall for everything else going horribly south in New Jersey - and the so-called experts concur:
Jennifer E. Duffy, editor of the Washington D.C.-based Cook Political Report, said the Republican's lead would normally be very surprising for the Democrat-leaning state — except for everything else going on.
"It's New Jersey. It's blue. It's a terrible year for Republicans. Why is this race in single digits?" Duffy asked. "But for New Jersey, scandal has hit a critical mass. You have the (former) state senator (Lynch) who pleaded guilty, you have Gov. McGreevey out there again, which brings back memories of the "I am a gay American speech.' And yes, people associate (Menendez's home of) Hudson County with corruption."
And here's a national note for all of those incumbant Republicans running in tight races: Run with your party and President, not against them:
Menendez's campaign has attempted to link Kean with Bush and the unpopular war in Iraq. But Kean polled better or even with Menendez on Iraq, homeland security funding and immigration policy. On the question of who has higher ethical standards, 29 percent of the likely voters preferred Kean, compared with 13 percent for Menendez.
"Menendez has tried to paint Kean with the Bush paintbrush. Clearly, that's not working," said Bridget Harrison, a Montclair State University political science professor.
I smell a trend.... too bad for the Democrats the elections weren't held in late August - but Rove, like any good poker player, knows when to hedge his bets, and when to raise the ante...
Prior posts on Menendez 's sorry state here and here. Check out Enlighten New Jersey for extensive Menendez coverage; Parkway Rest Stop rants over statewide corruption here, and Fausta talks about the depravity of ex-Governor McGreevy (and Oprah Winfry!); although she neglects (as do I !) to thank him for showing up at this opportune time to remind us of the true nature of his party...
Meanwhile, in the Washington Post's quick overview; they note that ethics is what's driving the 2006 New Jersey Senatorial campaign; and comment that it is -
-the issue where Menendez is weakest.
Hey, weren't the Democrats going to run on ethics this fall? Only seems like now they are running from the issue, at least in New Jersey...