Q Poll: Menendez Holds Single-Digit Advantage Over Kyrillos
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has only a single-digit lead over a little-known Republican opponent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday that shows a tighter race than earlier this year.
Menendez leads state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, 44 percent to 35 percent, according to the poll. Twenty-one percent of registered voters are undecided, would select another candidate or would not vote at all. In late February, Menendez held a larger lead, 49 percent to 34 percent.
Despite Kyrillos' limited name-recognition -- 79 percent of New Jersey voters haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion -- he performs as well among Republicans as Menendez does Democrats. Kyrillos captures 78 percent of the GOP vote, while the incumbent retains 79 percent of Democrats.
Among independents, Menendez holds just a four-point advantage, 38 percent to 34 percent. That is down from an 11-point advantage in the previous poll.
Menendez's job ratings remain positive: 45 percent of voters approve of how he is handling his job as senator, while 31 percent disapprove. But his personal ratings lag, as just 35 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Menendez, while 27 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
"No one knows Kyrillos, but Menendez's numbers are lackluster, to say the least," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director Mickey Carroll. "This race could get interesting."