July 17, 2006 - Kean Catches Menendez In New Jersey Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Independent Voters Shift To Republican
New Jersey State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., the Republican challenger, has closed the gap with Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and now has 40 percent to Menendez' 38 percent in their U.S. Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 18 percent remain undecided and 48 percent of those who have selected a candidate say they might change their mind.

This compares to a 43 - 36 percent lead for Sen. Menendez in a June 15 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Independent voters have shifted slightly from 37 - 35 percent for Menendez June 15, to 38 - 33 percent for Kean today, with 23 percent undecided.

In this latest survey, Republicans back Kean 76 - 8 percent, while Democrats back Menendez 71 - 11 percent.

"As more New Jersey voters focus on the Senate race, the gap has closed between the rookie Senator, Robert Menendez, and the challenger who carries one of the great names in state Republican politics, State Sen. Tom Kean," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But about half of the voters say they don't know enough about the candidates to have an opinion, so there is still a lot that has to be sorted out in this contest before a trend emerges. But already it is clear that independent voters, who now give Kean a slight edge after supporting Menendez in the last poll, will play a key role in this campaign."

"And it is also clear that the budget crisis and the shutting down of the state government earlier this month had minimal impact on the Senate race," Richards said.

When asked their opinion of the candidates, 47 percent of New Jersey voters say they don't know enough about Menendez to form an opinion. For Kean, 54 percent say they don't know enough.

By a 46 - 26 percent margin, voters agree with Menendez' claim that Kean is a "George Bush Republican" who would support Bush Administration policies.

Voters disagree 39 - 25 percent with Kean's claim that Menendez "is a political party boss who is unethical." President Bush's Approval New Jersey voters disapprove 61 - 34 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing, compared to 69 - 28 percent June 15.

From July 8 - 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 985 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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 Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 31% 19% 42% 32% 36% 27% Disapprove 30 46 19 29 32 29 DK/NA 39 35 39 39 32 44

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 35% 35% 26% 29% 28% Disapprove 28 29 34 27 31 DK/NA 37 35 39 43 41

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

                        Jul 17  Jun 15  Apr 27  Mar 20
                        2006    2006    2006    2006


Approve 31 37 34 39 Disapprove 30 29 25 19 DK/NA 39 34 41 42



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 34% 74% 11% 27% 41% 28% Disapprove 61 24 87 66 53 68 DK/NA 5 2 2 7 5 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 28% 29% 44% 36% 39% Disapprove 68 66 49 61 57 DK/NA 4 5 7 3 3

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jul 17  Jun 15  Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Oct 18  Apr 27
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2001    2006


Approve 34 28 26 31 36 90 26 Disapprove 61 69 69 65 59 7 69 DK/NA 5 3 5 4 5 3 5



5. 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 18% 12% 30% 15% 23% 14% Unfavorable 15 24 8 17 20 11 Mixed 18 22 13 20 19 18 Hvn't hrd enough 47 41 49 47 37 56 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 - 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 32% 20% 14% 16% 12% Unfavorable 14 14 22 13 17 Mixed 17 18 18 18 21 Hvn't hrd enough 37 47 45 52 50 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 0

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)

                        Jul 17  Jun 15  Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2005 *


Favorable 18 20 20 21 16 22 Unfavorable 15 13 12 10 7 10 Mixed 18 16 13 10 12 12 Hvn't hrd enough 47 50 55 57 64 56 REFUSED 1 1 1 2 1 1



6. 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% 28% 12% 16% 19% 18% Unfavorable 11 7 18 9 14 8 Mixed 16 14 14 20 15 17 Hvn't hrd enough 54 52 54 54 52 56 REFUSED 1 - 2 1 - 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Favorable 18% 21% 20% 9% 20% Unfavorable 4 13 8 10 13 Mixed 14 15 20 15 17 Hvn't hrd enough 63 50 52 65 49 REFUSED - 2 - 1 1



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

                        Jul 17  Jun 15  Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2005


Favorable 18 20 16 18 17 20 Unfavorable 11 10 7 6 5 8 Mixed 16 13 14 11 15 9 Hvn't hrd enough 54 56 63 64 64 61 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 1 2



7. 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 38% 8% 71% 33% 37% 39% Kean 40 76 11 38 43 37 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 3 2 2 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 1 3 3 2 DK/NA 18 11 14 23 16 19

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Menendez 50% 44% 21% 39% 32% Kean 28 37 53 38 42 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 4 2 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 3 - 3 DK/NA 17 16 18 21 21

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?

                        Jul 17  Jun 15  Apr 27  Mar 20  Jan 25  Dec 15  Nov 22
                        2006    2006    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005


Menendez 38 43 40 40 38 44 41 Kean Jr. 40 36 34 36 36 38 39 SMONE ELSE 2 2 2 3 1 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 DK/NA 18 17 20 19 22 16 18



8. (If candidate choice on q7) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                        CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q7..
                                CAND OF CHOICE
                        Tot     RM      TK


Made up 52% 55% 48% Might change 48 44 51 DK/NA 1 1 1



9. Robert Menendez has said that Tom Kean Jr. is a George Bush Republican who would support the Bush administration policies. Do you agree or disagree?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree 46% 54% 49% 41% 49% 44% Disagree 26 26 25 26 26 26 DK/NA 28 20 26 34 26 30

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Agree 39% 46% 44% 49% 51% Disagree 30 29 24 17 25 DK/NA 30 25 33 34 24

TREND: Robert Menendez has said that Tom Kean Jr. is a George Bush Republican who would support the Bush administration policies. Do you agree or disagree?

                        Jul 17  Jun 15
                        2006    2006


Agree 46 49 Disagree 26 24 DK/NA 28 27



10. Tom Kean Jr. has said that he thinks Robert Menendez is a political party boss who is unethical. Do you agree or disagree?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree 25% 38% 14% 25% 28% 21% Disagree 39 31 54 35 40 39 DK/NA 36 32 32 40 32 40

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Agree 20% 25% 32% 21% 24% Disagree 51 41 31 39 36 DK/NA 28 34 37 40 40

TREND: Tom Kean Jr. recently said that he thinks Robert Menendez is a political party boss who is unethical. Do you agree or disagree?

                        Jul 17  Jun 15
                        2006    2006


Agree 25 23 Disagree 39 41 DK/NA 36 36



20. As a result of the recent state budget crisis and the state sales tax increase are you more likely to vote for Robert Menendez for Senator, less likely to vote for Menendez for Senator, or doesn't it make a difference?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 13% 5% 24% 11% 12% 13% Less likely 17 35 7 15 19 16 Doesn't make a diff 62 56 66 63 62 62 DK/NA 8 4 4 11 7 9

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

More likely 16% 14% 8% 12% 14% Less likely 11 18 23 13 18 Doesn't make a diff 63 63 63 64 57 DK/NA 10 6 6 11 11



21. As a result of the recent state budget crisis and the state sales tax increase are you more likely to vote for Tom Kean Jr. for Senator, less likely to vote for Kean for Senator, or doesn't it make a difference?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 18% 39% 6% 13% 21% 15% Less likely 13 3 22 13 12 14 Doesn't make a diff 59 54 65 60 59 59 DK/NA 10 4 7 13 8 12

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

More likely 8% 18% 22% 18% 19% Less likely 15 14 8 12 15 Doesn't make a diff 67 59 62 59 53 DK/NA 10 9 8 11 12