FDU Poll: Kim leads Republicans in poll of Senate Election

In the first public statewide poll to ask about this year’s New Jersey Senate race with named candidates, Representative Andy Kim, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leads either of the two leading Republican challengers by a nine-point margin, 48 percent to 39 percent among registered voters who say that they plan to vote in November. But according to the latest results from the FDU Poll, that lead is cut almost in half when incumbent Senator Bob Menendez is included as an option.

“Right now, this race isn’t close enough for Menendez to serve as a spoiler,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at FDU, and the director of the poll. “But if he’s on the ballot, the race gets a lot more interesting.”

Senator Menendez declined to seek the Democratic nomination for Senate but has said that he may run in the general election as an independent. When the Menendez is included in the list of candidates, he has the support of six percent of voters, drawn mostly, but not exclusively, from voters who would otherwise go to the Kim. Menendez’s support comes largely from Black and Hispanic voters, and includes many voters who say that they don’t know who they would vote for if Menendez is not included, as well as Republicans who say that they would vote for Kim if Menendez were not on the ballot. The net effect of Menendez being included on the ballot is a decrease in Kim’s margin over either of the Republican candidates, from nine points (48 to 39) with 14 percent undecided to five points (44 to 39) with 11 percent undecided.

“Despite all of his legal problems, Menendez still has a base, and if he’s on the ballot, that base is going to come out for him,” said Cassino. “He’s not going to win, but he might be able to make things uncomfortable for Democrats.”

The poll also looked at differences in support for the two leading Republican contenders for the nomination. Respondents in the poll were randomly assigned to be asked about one of the two leading candidates, Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner or Real Estate Developer Curtis Bashaw. In terms of overall support, both Republican candidates perform almost identically against Kim in the general election, garnering 38 or 39 percent of the vote regardless of who is named, and whether or not Menendez is included as an option.

“Neither Glassner nor Bashaw have much in the way of statewide name recognition yet,” said Cassino. “So it’s not surprising that we’re not seeing a big difference between them.”

However, there are some substantial differences in the geographic base of the two Republicans. Glassner, the Mayor of Mendham Borough, does better in the northeast part of the state and the adjacent parts of the urban core counties than Bashaw, while Bashaw, who hails from Cape May County, does better in the coast counties and in the southern part of the state.

 

Methodology

The survey was conducted between April 1 and April 8, 2024, using a voter list of adult New Jersey residents carried out by Braun Research of Princeton, New Jersey. Voter lists were obtained from Aristotle International of Washington, DC. Respondents were randomly chosen from the list, and contacted via either live caller telephone interviews, or text-to-web surveys sent to cellular phones, resulting in an overall sample of 809 registered voters in New Jersey. 212 of the surveys were carried out via live caller telephone interviews on landlines, 262 on live caller interviews to cell phones, and the remainder (351) were done on a web platform via weblinks sent via SMS to cell phones. Surveys were conducted only in English.

The data were weighted to be representative of the population of New Jersey voters, according to data from Pew Research. The weights used, like all weights, balance the demographic characteristics of the sample to match known population parameters. The weighted results used here are balanced to match parameters for sex, age, education and race/ethnicity.

SPSSINC RAKE, an SPSS extension module that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using the GENLOG procedure, was used to produce final weights. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis helps to ensure that the demographic characteristics of the sample approximate the demographic characteristics of the target population. The size of these weights is used to construct the measure of design effects, which indicate the extent to which the reported results are being driven by the weights applied to the data, rather than found in the data itself. Simply put, these design effects tell us how many additional respondents would have been needed to get the weighted number of respondents across weighted categories: larger design effects indicate greater levels of under-representation in the data. In this case, calculated design effects are approximately 1.4.

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. Sampling error should be adjusted to recognize the effect of weighting the data to better match the population. In this poll, the simple sampling error for 809 registered New Jersey voters is +/-3.5 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence interval. Including the design effects, the margin of error would be +/-4.3 percentage points, though the figure not including them is much more commonly reported.

This error calculation does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording, differences in translated forms, or context effects. While such errors are known to exist, they are often unquantifiable within a particular survey, and all efforts, such as randomization and extensive pre-testing of items, have been used to minimize them.

The FDU Poll is a member of the AAPOR Transparency Initiative and is devoted to ensuring that our results are presented in such a way that anyone can quickly and easily get all of the information that they may need to evaluate the validity of our surveys. We believe that transparency is the key to building trust in the work of high-quality public opinion research, and necessary to push our industry forward.

 

 

Weighted Telephone Sample Characteristics

809 Registered New Jersey Voters

Figures do not include individuals who declined to answer demographic items.

 

Man                                   49%                 N = 401

Woman                           50%                 N = 414

Some Other Way             1%                  N = 6

 

18-30                                    17%                 N = 137

31-44                                    24%                 N = 199

45-64                                    36%                 N = 296

65+                                        23%                 N = 192

 

White                                                    49%                 N = 257

Black                                                    15%                 N = 86

Hispanic/Latino/a                          21%                 N = 106

Asian                                                    9%                   N = 40

Other/Multi-racial                         3%                   N = 15

 

No college degree                          61%                 N = 495

College degree or more              39%                 N = 324

 

Region Classifications

Northwest: Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren Counties
Northeast: Bergen and Passaic Counties
Urban Core: Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, and Union Counties
South: Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties
Coast: Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties

 

 

 

Question Wording and Order

First off, we’d like to ask you a few questions about the government here in New Jersey.

NJ1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Phil Murphy is handling his job as governor?

  1. Approve
  2. Disapprove
  3. Not Sure/Don’t Know [Vol]
  4. Refused [Vol]

 

NJ2. [Shuffle Order of Arguments] The New Jersey legislature is currently considering a bill that would make it harder for citizens to access to public records, and limit what records they can request. Supporters of the bill say that answering public records requests can be a burden on municipalities. Opponents of the bill say that access to public records helps uncover corruption and illegal behavior. What do you think? Should the state limit access to public records, or keep the system as it is?

  1. Yes, should limit access to public records
  2. No, should keep the system as it is
  3. [Vol] Don’t Know/Refused

Intervening Questions Held for Future Release

[Shuffle Order of General Election Match-Up Qs]

[In the following four questions, randomly assign the name of the Republican (and code which name respondent gets). Half of the questions should have “Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican,” and half should have “Curtis Bashaw, the Republican.” Randomization should be on the respondent level, so one respondent will get either Bashaws or Glassner for both E1 and E2]

There will be an election later this year for the US Senate seat currently held by Bob Menendez, but it’s not yet clear who the candidates for the seat will be. I’d like to give you a few potential match-ups, to see who you would vote for in each case.

E1. [Shuffle Order of Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Christine Serrano Glassner/ Curtis Bashaw, the Republican. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner/Bashaw, or would you not vote?

  1. Democrat Kim
  2. Republican Glassner/Bashaw
  3. Would not vote
  4. Don’t Know/Refused [vol]

E2. [Shuffle Order of first two Candidates, keeping Menendez in third spot] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Christine Serrano Glassner/ Curtis Bashaw, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner/Bashaw, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?

  1. Democrat Kim
  2. Republican Glassner/Bashaw
  3. Menendez
  4. Would not vote
  5. Don’t Know/Refused [vol]

Further Questions Held for Future Release

Release Tables

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 45% 81% 38% 4%
Republican Glassner 39% 3% 41% 86%
Independent Menendez 7% 8% 3% 5%
[Vol] Don’t Know 10% 8% 19% 5%

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Curtis Bashaw, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 44% 85% 22% 5%
Republican Bashaw 38% 1% 24% 85%
Independent Menendez 6% 6% 14% 4%
[Vol] Don’t Know 12% 7% 41% 7%

 

[Combined Republican Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Curtis Bashaw/Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw/Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 44% 83% 30% 4%
Republican Bashaw/Glassner 39% 2% 32% 85%
Independent Menendez 6% 7% 8% 5%
[Vol] Don’t Know 11% 8% 30% 6%

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 49% 87% 38% 5%
Republican Glassner 39% 3% 41% 85%
[Vol] Don’t Know 13% 10% 21% 10%

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Curtis Bashaw, the Republican. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 47% 88% 22% 8%
Republican Bashaw 38% 2% 28% 84%
[Vol] Don’t Know 15% 10% 50% 8%

 

[Combined Republican Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Curtis Bashaw/Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican . Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw/Glassner, or would you not vote?
All Dem Indp Rep
Democrat Kim 48% 88% 30% 6%
Republican Bashaw/Glassner 39% 2% 35% 85%
[Vol] Don’t Know 14% 10% 35% 9%

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
Northwest Northeast Urban Core South Coast
Democrat Kim 35% 38% 51% 48% 41%
Republican Glassner 51% 50% 33% 29% 42%
Independent Menendez 4% 7% 5% 8% 13%
[Vol] Don’t Know 11% 5% 11% 15% 5%

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat,  Curtis Bashaw, the Republican, and Bob Menendez, the independent . Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw, the independent Menendez, or would you not vote?
Northwest Northeast Urban Core South Coast
Democrat Kim 35% 33% 56% 49% 29%
Republican Bashaw 50% 32% 24% 43% 60%
Independent Menendez 4% 15% 3% 3% 5%
[Vol] Don’t Know 10% 20% 17% 4% 5%

 

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Christine Serrano Glassner. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
Northwest Northeast Urban Core South Coast
Democrat Kim 36% 44% 54% 55% 45%
Republican Glassner 48% 51% 33% 29% 42%
[Vol] Don’t Know 16% 5% 13% 15% 13%

 

 

Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and Curtis Bashaw, the Republican . Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw, or would you not vote?
Northwest Northeast Urban Core South Coast
Democrat Kim 40% 43% 58% 50% 30%
Republican Bashaw 49% 30% 24% 44% 61%
[Vol] Don’t Know 11% 28% 18% 6% 9%

 

[Combined Republican Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Curtis Bashaw/Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw/Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
All White Black Asian Hispanic
Democrat Kim 44% 43% 61% 39% 41%
Republican Bashaw/Glassner 39% 45% 9% 37% 30%
Independent Menendez 6% 4% 14% 12% 10%
[Vol] Don’t Know 11% 8% 15% 25% 19%

 

[Combined Republican Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, and  Bashaw/Glassner, the Republican. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw/Glassner, or would you not vote?
Northwest Northeast Urban Core South Coast
Democrat Kim 38% 43% 56% 53% 37%
Republican Bashaw/Glassner 49% 40% 29% 37% 51%
[Vol] Don’t Know 13% 16% 15% 11% 11%

 

 

[Combined Republican Candidates] Suppose that November’s election for Senate were between Andy Kim, the Democrat, Curtis Bashaw/Christine Serrano Glassner, the Republican and Bob Menendez, running as an independent. Would you vote for the Democrat, Kim, the Republican, Bashaw/Glassner, the independent, Menendez, or would you not vote?
All White Black Asian Hispanic
Democrat Kim 44% 45% 71% 51% 48%
Republican Bashaw/Glassner 39% 45% 9% 27% 34%
[Vol] Don’t Know 11% 11% 20% 21% 18%

 

 

 

 

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