Potential Disaster Brewing For Dems In Blue State After Indicted Senator Refuses To Step Down

Potential Disaster Brewing For Dems In Blue State After Indicted Senator Refuses To Step Down

Democrats could be in for a huge electoral upset thanks to an indicted U.S. senator who is thinking only about himself and not his party.

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez’s choice to run as an independent could potentially make the race for the Garden State’s senate seat much closer than it would have been, possibly causing him to act as a spoiler candidate for the Democratic nominee, the Daily Caller reports.

Menendez, who has held his Senate seat as a Democrat since 2006, recently filed to run as an independent amid his ongoing federal corruption trial. His decision to run as an independent has complicated the political landscape for Democratic nominee Andy Kim, tightening the race for a seat that Democrats have held for over 50 years.

“Absolutely Menendez could act as a spoiler,” Mike Duhaime, former chief strategist for Republican Chris Christie’s New Jersey gubernatorial campaign, told the Daily Caller. “He was a trailblazer for Hispanic politicians for decades, and he has a loyal following in his base of Hudson County where Kim would rely on a massive margin. Menendez would cut into that.”

In a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll from April, Andy Kim leads Curtis Bashaw by nine points in a two-way race, with Kim at 48% and Bashaw at 39%. However, when Menendez enters the race as an independent, Kim’s lead narrows to five points at 44%, while Bashaw remains at 39%. Menendez captures about 6% of the vote, likely pulling support from Kim.

In a three-way race against a hypothetical Republican and Democratic nominee, Menendez is polling at only 9% as an independent candidate, according to a poll conducted by Emerson College Polling/PIX11/The Hill in March. Among New Jersey voters, 49% would support the Democratic nominee, while 42% would support the Republican.

“With Joe Biden’s dismal approval ratings and Democrats in complete disarray, this is the best shot Republicans have to win a New Jersey U.S. Senate seat in a generation,” Jeanette Hoffman, a spokeswoman for Bashaw’s senate campaign, told the DCNF. “Polls show voters are tired of decades of corruption and machine politics served up by the New Jersey Democrats.”

Menendez’s approval rating has significantly dropped due to the recent indictments. In April 2022, a Monmouth University poll showed Menendez with a 44% favorability rating and a 39% unfavorability rating among New Jersey voters. However, following the indictments in 2023, his approval rating turned negative, with 45% disapproving and only 36% approving. Among voters, 75% believe he is probably guilty, and 63% think he should resign, the DC reported.


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