March 20, 2006 - Menendez-Kean New Jersey Senate Race Is Tight, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Bush Approval Drops To Lowest Point Ever In NJ
Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez leads State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., his likely Republican challenger, 40 - 36 percent, with 19 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 38 - 36 percent lead for Sen. Menendez in a January 25 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Republicans back Kean 76 - 8 percent, while Democrats back Menendez 76 - 6 percent. Independent voters are split with 37 percent for Kean and 34 percent for Menendez.

Among Menendez voters, 32 percent back him mainly because he did a good job in Congress, with 29 percent who mainly agree with him philosophically and 13 percent who back him mainly because he is New Jersey's first Hispanic Senator.

Among Kean voters, 32 percent point mainly to philosophical agreement, with 26 percent who like him because they liked his father, former Gov. Thomas Kean, and 18 percent who point to his record in the State Senate.

"Sen. Menendez holds a narrow lead in this race only because there are more Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey. Significantly, Kean holds a small edge among Independent voters who often swing the balance in New Jersey elections, " said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"It is significant that a quarter of Sen. Kean's supporters are voting for the son because they like the father. That could be a weakness for Kean as he becomes better known on his own by the voters," Richards added.

"Sen. Menendez, on the other hand, has the added benefit of loyal supporters who back him as the state's first Hispanic Senator." President Bush's Approval

New Jersey voters disapprove of the job President George W. Bush is doing 65 - 31 percent, his lowest rating in New Jersey and one of the lowest in any Quinnipiac University poll nationally or in New York, Connecticut, Florida or Pennsylvania.

Going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, voters say 62 - 33 percent, and disapprove 69 - 27 percent of the President's handling of the war, also a record low.

Voters also disapprove 53 - 43 percent of the way Bush is handling terrorism. A total of 91 percent of voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about terrorism in New Jersey.

"Democrats in New Jersey drag the President's approval rating down to an historic low. His handling of the Iraq war explains some of the low voter support," Richards said.

Among New Jersey Democrats, 48 percent would like to see New York Sen. Hillary Clinton nominated for President in 2008, followed by 15 percent for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and 10 percent each for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is the '08 presidential choice of 57 percent of Republicans, followed by Arizona Sen. John McCain with 25 percent.

In a possible presidential matchup in New Jersey, Mayor Giuliani beats Sen. Clinton 53 - 39 percent and Sen. McCain tops Clinton 54 - 39 percent.

From March 8 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,147 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. The survey includes 380 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points and 416 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida and nationally as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks or call (203) 582-5201.

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 47% 32% 59% 49% 45% 48% Disapprove 30 43 16 33 36 26 DK/NA 23 24 25 17 19 26

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 40% 46% 43% 49% 54% Disapprove 30 32 35 24 30 DK/NA 30 22 23 27 16

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator? * - also hit 55% on 9/23/1999 & 7/22/1999

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Jul 27  Jun 18
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2000 *  2003


Approve 47 44 49 48 52 55 41 Disapprove 30 34 34 29 27 22 34 DK/NA 23 22 18 22 21 23 25



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 39% 30% 51% 37% 39% 39% Disapprove 19 26 10 23 23 15 DK/NA 42 44 39 40 38 45

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 47% 37% 35% 32% 46% Disapprove 16 22 21 18 16 DK/NA 37 41 44 50 38



5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 31% 65% 9% 25% 36% 27% Disapprove 65 30 88 72 61 68 DK/NA 4 6 3 3 3 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 21% 31% 44% 26% 33% Disapprove 74 64 54 70 65 DK/NA 4 6 3 5 2

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Oct 18  Mar 20
                        2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2001    2006


Approve 31 36 40 45 44 90 31 Disapprove 65 59 55 51 53 7 65 DK/NA 4 5 5 4 4 3 4



6. Is your opinion of United States Senator Robert Menendez favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 21% 14% 31% 17% 24% 18% Unfavorable 10 18 2 13 14 8 Mixed 10 9 9 14 12 9 Hvn't hrd enough 57 59 55 55 49 64 REFUSED 2 1 2 1 2 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 28% 21% 15% 20% 19% Unfavorable 7 11 13 11 8 Mixed 12 11 9 9 10 Hvn't hrd enough 49 54 62 59 61 REFUSED 3 2 1 - 1

TREND: Is your opinion of United States Senator Robert Menendez favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him? (* = ... opinion of "Congressman" Robert Menendez...)

                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2005 *


Favorable 21 16 22 Unfavorable 10 7 10 Mixed 10 12 12 Hvn't hrd enough 57 64 56 REFUSED 2 1 1



7. Is your opinion of State Senator Tom Kean Jr. favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 18% 26% 10% 18% 17% 18% Unfavorable 6 3 10 5 8 4 Mixed 11 10 13 13 12 10 Hvn't hrd enough 64 61 66 64 61 67 REFUSED 1 1 2 - 1 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 14% 19% 19% 13% 22% Unfavorable 6 6 5 6 7 Mixed 12 10 13 11 11 Hvn't hrd enough 64 64 62 70 61 REFUSED 4 2 1 - -

TREND: Is your opinion of State Senator Tom Kean Jr. favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2005


Favorable 18 17 20 Unfavorable 6 5 8 Mixed 11 15 9 Hvn't hrd enough 64 64 61 REFUSED 1 1 2



8. If the 2006 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Robert Menendez the Democrat and Tom Kean Jr. the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Menendez 40% 8% 76% 34% 39% 41% Kean Jr. 36 76 6 37 39 34 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 2 3 3 4 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 2 3 3 1 DK/NA 19 14 13 22 16 22

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Menendez 56% 37% 30% 45% 36% Kean Jr. 21 38 50 33 39 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 1 - 7 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 3 3 1 DK/NA 20 22 16 19 17



TREND: If the 2006 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Robert Menendez the Democrat and Tom Kean Jr. the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2005    2005


Menendez 40 38 44 41 Kean Jr. 36 36 38 39 SMONE ELSE 3 1 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE 2 2 2 1 DK/NA 19 22 16 18



9. (If Kean voter q8) What is the main reason you support Kean? Is it -- A) Because you think he has done a good job in the State Senate B) Because you agree with him philosophically C) Because you liked his father

                        KEAN VOTERS Q8.....
                        Tot     Men     Wom


A) Good job Senate 18% 12% 24% B) Agree philosophy 32 36 28 C) Liked his father 26 29 23 OTHER(VOL) 16 17 15 DK/NA 8 6 10



10. (If Menendez voter q8) What is the main reason you support Menendez? Is it -- A) Because you think he has done a good job in Congress B) Because you agree with him philosophically C) Because he would be the first Hispanic Senator from New Jersey

                        MENENDEZ VOTERS Q8.
                        Tot     Men     Wom


A) Good job Congress 32% 38% 26% B) Agree philosophy 29 32 27 C) Hispanic Senator 13 10 15 OTHER(VOL) 18 18 18 DK/NA 8 2 13



11. Who would you like to see the Democrats nominate for President in 2008 if the candidates were New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards?

                        REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Clinton 48% 37% 55% Feingold 2 4 2 Warner 3 6 1 Biden 10 12 9 Kerry 15 17 13 Edwards 10 12 9 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 4 1 DK/NA 7 5 7



12. Who would you like to see the Republicans nominate for President in 2008 if the candidates were Arizona Senator John McCain, Virginia Senator George Allen, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?

                        REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                        Tot     Men     Wom


McCain 25% 31% 20% Allen 7 8 5 Frist 3 6 1 Giuliani 57 48 66 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - DK/NA 5 3 7



13. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democrat and Rudolph Giuliani the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Clinton 39% 5% 71% 35% 34% 43% Giuliani 53 91 19 56 58 50 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 3 2 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 - 4 3 3 2 DK/NA 3 2 3 4 3 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Clinton 63% 37% 22% 44% 33% Giuliani 29 54 73 49 59 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 3 1 - 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 - 1 5 DK/NA 2 4 3 6 -



14. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democrat and John McCain the Republican for whom would you vote?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Clinton 39% 9% 70% 32% 31% 46% McCain 54 85 26 57 59 49 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 - 1 4 3 - DK/NA 4 4 3 5 4 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Clinton 59% 36% 24% 51% 31% McCain 36 55 70 43 61 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 2 2 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 1 2 3 DK/NA 2 7 3 3 4



28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 27% 59% 6% 22% 34% 22% Disapprove 69 34 93 73 63 74 DK/NA 4 7 1 4 4 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 13% 26% 40% 22% 33% Disapprove 81 67 56 75 66 DK/NA 5 7 3 3 1

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?

                        Mar 20  Jan 25
                        2006    2006


Approve 27 34 Disapprove 69 62 DK/NA 4 4



29. Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Right thing 33% 65% 9% 27% 37% 29% Wrong thing 62 28 88 66 58 64 DK/NA 6 7 3 6 5 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Right thing 19% 32% 50% 23% 39% Wrong thing 77 60 43 71 57 DK/NA 4 7 7 5 4

TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?

                        Mar 20  Jan 25  Oct 19  Oct 6   Sep 21  Aug 5   Jun 23
                        2006    2006    2004    2004    2004    2004    2004


Right thing 33 38 44 40 40 40 41 Wrong thing 62 58 51 52 55 54 54 DK/NA 6 4 5 7 5 6 5



30. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling terrorism?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 76% 20% 41% 51% 37% Disapprove 53 21 76 56 46 58 DK/NA 4 4 4 3 4 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 29% 42% 62% 39% 46% Disapprove 68 53 37 55 50 DK/NA 3 5 1 6 4



31. Would you say you are very concerned, somewhat concerned or not concerned about terrorism in New Jersey?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very concerned 51% 50% 51% 47% 42% 59% Somewhat concerned 40 44 36 42 46 34 Not concerned 9 5 12 11 12 7 DK/NA - - - - - -

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very concerned 63% 51% 46% 36% 59% Somewhat concerned 25 40 47 51 32 Not concerned 12 9 6 12 8 DK/NA - - 1 - 1

TREND: Would you say you are very concerned, somewhat concerned or not concerned about terrorism in New Jersey?

                        Mar 20  Mar 7
                        2006    2002


Very concerned 51 47 Smwht concerned 40 35 Not concerned 9 17 DK/NA - -