Menendez can do little wrong at home in Hudson, poll shows

Menendez can do little wrong at home in Hudson, poll shows
October 03, 2006 Jersey Journal

The race between Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and Republican challenger Thomas Kean Jr. may be a dead heat across the state, but in Hudson County the hometown favorite is way ahead, according to a recent Jersey Journal/ New Jersey City University poll.

The poll shows Menendez - who grew up in Union City and now lives in Hoboken - with a near 3-to-1 lead in Hudson County over his opponent.

The difference represents one of the largest leads Menendez has ever garnered in the history of the poll, according to its authors, NJCU political science professor Fran Moran and NJCU English professor Bruce Chadwick.

Respondents favored Menendez - who is counting on overwhelming support in urban areas to compensate for Kean's anticipated popularity in suburbia - by 52 percent.

Kean garnered only 16 percent of the support and the rest were undecided, according to the poll.

"If he can maintain this substantial support in Hudson he will win over 70 percent of the vote here on Election Day," wrote the authors. "That huge plurality over Kean could be a needed cushion for (Menendez) in the statewide race."

Nearly 48 percent of respondents said the Republican strategy of associating Menendez with county corruption is unfair, while 23 percent said it was fair and 27 percent said they didn't know, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of respondents think it's perfectly fair to link Kean with the Bush administration.

Overall, 44 percent of the respondents said they were turned off by campaign ads and said they distract from debates on issues.

"It appears the public is tired of the ads, and not only sees little good in them, but sees them as taking valuable campaign time to discuss the issues of the day," wrote the poll's authors.

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