Quinnipiac University released a poll this morning saying that U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has a 15-point lead over Republican Bob Hugin, 55%-40%. Those numbers resemble recent Monmouth University and Stockton University polls that also showed Menendez has a path to a double-digit victory.
If Menendez claims a solid win, it will mean that voter dislike of President Donald Trump in a state where there are 921,531 more Democrats than Republicans overpowered concerns over lingering question over ethics and nearly $40 million by Hugin attacking him.
That could be good news for two Democratic congressional candidates in North Jersey.
The Quinnipiac poll did not break down the Senate race numbers by congressional district, but Menendez’s numbers among independents – 53%-39% over Hugin – is encouraging for Democratic congressional and local candidates.
There are two clues in the geographic breakdown of today’s Quinnipiac poll:
* In a combined region of Morris, Somerset, Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon counties, Hugin leads by six points, 51%-45%. That is potentially good news for Democratic congressional candidates Tom Malinowski and Mikie Sherrill, since these numbers don’t include Union and Essex counties, where Democrats will do much better.
* Hugin’s lead in the Jersey shore region of Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic is 52%-46%, but Menendez has a 30-point lead (62%-32%) in what Quinnipiac calls “Phillyland” – Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem – could bode well for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River). MacArthur needs a strong turnout in Ocean County while keeping a possible loss in Burlington down.
Both parties expect Democrats will flip the 2nd district House seat.