NJ Sen. Robert Menendez approval rating dives to 6% as Tammy Murphy racks up endorsements

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sen. Robert Menendez’s approval rating plunged to 6% among New Jersey voters in a new poll Monday as First Lady Tammy Murphy picked up endorsements from four more Democratic congressional representatives in the race for his seat.

The scandal-tarred lawmaker, who is accused of taking bribes from Egypt, scored a mind-blowing 9%-to-69% disapproval rating among voters surveyed in the Eagleton-Rutgers poll.

Even among Menendez’s fellow Democrats, the indicted lawmaker is underwater by more than 6-1 with just 9% supporting him. Among white voters, he’s got a microscopic 2% approval rating.

“Menendez’s ratings have now unsurprisingly hit rock bottom,” said Jessica Roman an Eagleton pollster. “He has likely scored the lowest favorability and approval ratings of any major New Jersey political figure we have ever polled in our five-decade history.”

Despite the scandal that has engulfed his career, Menendez says he is still running for reelection to a third term in 2024.

Murphy picked up the endorsements of five of the state’s congressional lawmakers, raising to six the number in her corner since she launched her bid last week.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill joined Josh Gottheimer, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, and Donald Norcross in backing Murphy.

Just two Democratic members of the state’s delegation remain uncommitted: Bonnie Watson Coleman and Menendez’s son, Robert J. Menendez, a freshman congressman from Hudson County.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-New Jersey), a rising liberal star from a suburban Central Jersey district, has led Murphy in polls of the race although no surveys have emerged since Murphy officially threw her hat in the ring.

The previous polls showed Menendez trailing far behind both Kim and Murphy. The new Menendez poll did not ask about the senate primary race.

Murphy has also picked up the endorsements of some of New Jersey’s powerful county Democratic bosses.

The county parties have the power to determine the position of endorsed candidates on the primary ballot, especially in traditionally machine-dominated cities like Camden, Newark and Jersey City, a potentially huge advantage for Murphy.

Kim, who flipped a traditionally GOP seat in the 2018 Democratic wave, could have a strong appeal in New Jersey’s sprawling suburbs where Democrats are increasingly dominant.

Republicans are hoping that the Menendez scandal and Democratic infighting might crack open the door for a GOP upset in the increasingly deep blue Garden state.

But that seems a long shot, especially in a presidential election year in which general election turnout among the Democratic base will be strong.

Menendez, who was the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is awaiting trial along with his wife on charges tied to a bribery scheme engineered by Egyptian agents to protect the country’s massive foreign aid program from scrutiny over human rights violations.

FBI agents found gold bars and envelopes stuffed with cash at the Menendezes’ home. He denies the charges and says he will beat the rap like he did with previous corruption allegations.