April 27, 2006 - Menendez Leads Kean By 6 Points In NJ Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; With Senate Candidates Unknown, Bush Approval Is Factor
Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez has opened a 40 - 34 percent lead over State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., his likely Republican challenger, with 20 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 40 - 36 percent lead for Sen. Menendez, with 19 percent undecided, in a March 20 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Republicans back Kean 70 - 10 percent, while Democrats back Menendez 72 - 8 percent. Among independent voters 37 percent back the Democrat and 35 percent back Kean.

Among Menendez voters, 38 percent back him mainly because he did a good job in Congress, with 23 percent who mainly agree with him philosophically and 5 percent who back him mainly because he is New Jersey's first Hispanic Senator.

Among Kean voters, 31 percent mainly agree with him philosophically, with 26 percent who like him because they liked his father, former Gov. Thomas Kean, and 19 percent who agree with his record in the State Senate.

"Sen. Menendez has a 6-point lead in his race for reelection mainly because New Jersey is a Democratic state more fed up with the Bush administration and the war in Iraq than it is with high taxes and the budget crisis at home," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But the bottom line in the Senate race is not national or state issues, but the fact that both Sen. Menendez and State Sen. Kean are still unknown by a majority of the voters in New Jersey," Richards added.

"When both candidates start mounting their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, New Jersey voters will seriously begin to pick a candidate based on what they see. Until then it's a tossup between the state's first Hispanic senator and the son of a popular former governor."

When asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Senate candidates, 55 percent of New Jersey voters say they don't know enough about Menendez to form an opinion and 63 percent say they don't know enough about Kean. President Bush's Approval?

New Jersey voters disapprove of the job President George W. Bush is doing 69 - 26 percent, his lowest rating in New Jersey. Voters disapprove 63 - 27 percent of the job Vice President Dick Cheney is doing.

Going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, voters say 63 - 31 percent, and they disapprove 71 - 25 percent of the President's handling of the war.

The U.S. should remove all troops from Iraq, 39 percent of New Jersey voters say, while 23 percent say decrease the level of U.S. troops; 20 percent say keep troop levels the same and 10 percent say increase troop levels.

"New Jersey may be the only state in the nation where the President is more unpopular than his controversial Vice President. President Bush's bad marks are clearly fueled by the fact that 62 percent of the voters want American troops in Iraq either decreased or withdrawn altogether," Richards said.

From April 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,414 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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 43% 28% 60% 42% 44% 43% Disapprove 32 52 13 33 34 30 DK/NA 25 19 26 25 22 27

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 47% 39% 46% 44% 46% Disapprove 21 33 35 32 34 DK/NA 32 28 19 24 19

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


Approve 43 47 44 49 48 55 41 Disapprove 32 30 34 34 29 22 34 DK/NA 25 23 22 18 22 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 34% 25% 47% 32% 33% 35% Disapprove 25 40 14 22 31 19 DK/NA 41 36 39 45 36 45

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 52% 33% 28% 33% 29% Disapprove 15 25 29 25 28 DK/NA 33 42 44 42 43

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

                        Apr 27  Mar 20
                        2006    2006


Approve 34 39 Disapprove 25 19 DK/NA 41 42



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 26% 61% 9% 16% 27% 25% Disapprove 69 34 90 78 69 70 DK/NA 5 5 1 6 4 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 17% 24% 32% 23% 35% Disapprove 77 72 64 72 60 DK/NA 6 4 4 5 4

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Jun 15  Apr 28  Oct 18  Apr 27
                        2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2001    2006


Approve 26 31 36 40 45 90 26 Disapprove 69 65 59 55 51 7 69 DK/NA 5 4 5 5 4 3 5



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 20% 9% 30% 20% 19% 20% Unfavorable 12 19 4 13 16 8 Mixed 13 15 12 13 13 13 Hvn't hrd enough 55 54 54 54 51 58 REFUSED 1 2 - 1 1 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 39% 21% 12% 12% 16% Unfavorable 10 13 10 11 12 Mixed 12 10 13 13 19 Hvn't hrd enough 39 54 63 63 52 REFUSED - 1 2 - 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)
                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2006    2005 *


Favorable 20 21 16 22 Unfavorable 12 10 7 10 Mixed 13 10 12 12 Hvn't hrd enough 55 57 64 56 REFUSED 1 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 16% 21% 10% 18% 15% 17% Unfavorable 7 5 9 7 9 5 Mixed 14 13 14 13 14 13 Hvn't hrd enough 63 62 67 61 61 65 REFUSED - - - 1 1 -

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 12% 16% 15% 12% 22% Unfavorable 6 8 4 8 7 Mixed 18 12 15 16 12 Hvn't hrd enough 64 64 64 63 59 REFUSED - - 1 1 -

TREND: Is your opinion of State Senator Tom Kean Jr. favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2006    2005


Favorable 16 18 17 20 Unfavorable 7 6 5 8 Mixed 14 11 15 9 Hvn't hrd enough 63 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% 10% 72% 37% 40% 41% Kean Jr. 34 70 8 35 38 32 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 1 3 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 1 3 3 3 DK/NA 20 15 17 23 17 23

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Menendez 63% 39% 33% 37% 36% Kean Jr. 18 34 43 35 40 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 4 3 4 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 3 2 4 2 DK/NA 17 24 18 21 18

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?

                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2006    2005    2005


Menendez 40 40 38 44 41 Kean Jr. 34 36 36 38 39 SMONE ELSE 2 3 1 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE 3 2 2 2 1 DK/NA 20 19 22 16 18



9. (If candidate choice q8) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                        CANDIDATE CHOICE GIVEN Q8
                                Cand of Choice
                        Tot     RM      TK    
                                              
Made up                 51%     53%     48%   
Might change            47      44%     50%   
DK/NA                    3       3%      2%   




10a. (If Kean voter q8) What is the main reason you support Kean? A) Because you think he has done a good job in the State Senate, B) Because you agree with him philosophically, or C) Because you liked his father?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


A) Good job in Senate 19% 16% 23% B) Agree philosophically 31 31 31 C) Liked his father 26 26 26 OTHER(VOL) 17 22 13 DK/NA 7 5 8



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

                        Tot     Men     Wom


A) Good job in Congress 38% 34% 42% B) Agree philosophically 23 22 23 C) First Hispanic NJ Senator 5 6 5 OTHER(VOL) 25 27 23



24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dick Cheney is handling his job as vice-president?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 27% 60% 9% 21% 29% 26% Disapprove 63 29 84 70 64 62 DK/NA 10 10 8 9 8 12

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 15% 24% 34% 28% 37% Disapprove 72 65 56 63 56 DK/NA 13 11 10 9 7



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 25% 56% 6% 19% 26% 23% Disapprove 71 37 91 77 70 71 DK/NA 5 6 3 3 4 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 14% 24% 33% 21% 31% Disapprove 83 71 63 73 64 DK/NA 4 4 4 6 5

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

                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25
                        2006    2006    2006


Approve 25 27 34 Disapprove 71 69 62 DK/NA 5 4 4



26. 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 31% 64% 11% 27% 36% 27% Wrong thing 63 27 84 69 59 66 DK/NA 6 8 5 4 5 7

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Right thing 21% 29% 39% 28% 40% Wrong thing 77 64 55 62 57 DK/NA 2 7 6 10 3

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

                        Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Oct 19  Oct 6   Sep 21  Aug 5
                        2006    2006    2006    2004    2004    2004    2004


Right thing 31 33 38 44 40 40 40 Wrong thing 63 62 58 51 52 55 54 DK/NA 6 6 4 5 7 5 6



27. From what you have seen or heard about the situation in Iraq, what should the United States do? A) Should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, B) keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, C) decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, or D) remove all its troops from Iraq?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Increase troops 10% 15% 6% 11% 13% 8% B) Keep same amount 20 34 12 18 22 18 C) Decrease troops 23 23 23 24 22 23 D) Remove all troops 39 21 53 38 34 42 DK/NA 8 8 6 9 8 9

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

A) Increase troops 6% 11% 11% 13% 11% B) Keep same amount 13 20 25 16 25 C) Decrease troops 17 23 24 23 24 D) Remove all troops 55 38 33 38 33 DK/NA 9 9 7 10 7



28. (If registered Republican) If the 2006 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were John Ginty or Tom Kean for whom would you vote?

                        REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                        Tot     Men     Wom


John Ginty 4% 3% 5% Tom Kean Jr. 61 67 55 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 5 - DK/NA 31 22 39