U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) beats state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13) 44-22% in a statewide head-to-head, according to this morning's Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.
An additional 26% say they are unsure and 7% say they would not vote.
An unnamed Republican does better than Kyrillos in the Senate race, though still loses to a generic Democrat by a 46 percent to 34 percent margin.
Lack of name ID dogs the veteran Kyrillos, as 50% have no opinion or are unsure (30%) about the GOP challenger. Eleven percent have a favorable impression and 9 percent do not.
Menendez doesn't pack much of a wow factor either, according to the poll.
Thirty-seven percent to 24 percent feel more positive toward him, but nearly 40 percent have no opinion of the Democratic incumbent.
“Menendez’s favorability numbers crept up slightly early last year, but for an incumbent, he has a very low profile,” said poll Director David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Kyrillos, however, is completely unknown at this point, a huge advantage for Menendez. We certainly expect that the numbers will tighten as the campaign develops, but Menendez starts off in a good position.”
Democrats also hold a significant lead over Republicans statewide in an early 2012 U.S. House election ballot test, according to the poll.
Statewide, 45 percent of registered voters would support an unnamed Democrat, 28 percent would vote Republican, 11 percent would not vote and 15 percent are unsure.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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