Democrats widely agree on the need for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to drive strong numbers in Essex and Hudson counties in an increasingly competitive U.S. Senate contest.
InsiderNJ this afternoon asked Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones about a Quinnipiac University Poll today that shows Republican challenger Bob Hugin closing in on Menendez in a six-point race, and the implications in Essex.
“Hugin has been up on TV all summer and Menendez never laid a glove on him till just this week,” Jones said. “You would expect some movement.
“Hugin has not been defined yet,” the chairman added, referring to 54% of voters who haven’t heard of the former Celgene executive, according to the poll.
“Menendez is already leading among non-whites and that will increase as we go forward,” Jones said, “as Menendez defines Hugin and his relationships with Trump, which is obviously a huge lightning rod.”
Today’s poll showed President Donald J. Trump with a 33% disapproval rating in New Jersey.
“We are going to put the foundation of what Menendez has been in the senate, and all the other nonsense with the trial, which they are exaggerating, will be overshadowed,” he said. “As it pertains to me and my county – out of the gate we were with Bob Menendez and we are going to ride that to victory. We motivate people on what’s happening now with Bob Hugin, Donald trump, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.”
He mentioned the triple-A rating Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo secured for the county.
DiVincenzo is on the ballot this November.
“There will be a motivated campaign in Essex County,” the chairman insisted.