An internal poll released in its entirety by Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin on Monday showed U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez leading Bob Hugin 40%-30%, with Sabrin, the only third-party candidate included in the poll, pulling in 7%.
It’s likely that Sabrin’s margins would be cut down were the other five independent candidates, like the Green Party’s Madelyn Hoffman and conservative Tricia Flanagan, included in the poll.
Still, the figure, along with 22% of respondents saying they were undecided, paints a race not dissimilar to the presidential election in 2016, in which both major-party candidates were viewed unfavorably by majorities of the electorate.
The poll, which used a sample of 753 likely voters and pegged its margin of error at 3.6%, does not appear to include leaners.
Echoing the Quinnipiac poll released on Wednesday, a plurality of voters – in this case, 33% – said they viewed government corruption as the most important issue facing the country. In Wednesday’s poll, a plurality of voters, 25%, said ethics in government was the top issue in the Senate election.
After the campaign pollster applied its messaging, support for Menendez dropped to 31%, while Hugin’s number stayed level at 30% and Sabrin’s to 16%.
That could be an ill omen for Menendez, who was nominated for reelection by far a slimmer-than-expected margin against Lisa McCormick, a candidate who ran no ads and had barely a campaign to speak of.
That dissatisfaction could lead to third-party candidates siphoning votes from the senator as he faces a serious campaign challenge in the wake of his acquittal on federal corruption charges at the start of the year.
Editor’s note: The New Jersey Globe is publishing this internal poll because Sabrin’s campaign followed Friedman’s Law and published the poll, which has been posted below, in its entirety.SabrinPollAugust2018