Politics
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013 file photo, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013 file photo, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  

Poll: Menendez’s trustworthiness takes big hit as scandals continue to swirl

Photo of David Martosko
David Martosko
Executive Editor

Forty-four percent of New Jersey voters believe Sen. Bob Menendez is not honest and trustworthy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Two-thirds of those polled said allegations against the Democratic lawmaker should be investigated.

Menendez has been accused of having sex with underage prostitutes; intervening with Medicare officials on behalf of Salomon Melgen, a Florida donor who is under FBI investigation; taking multiple trips to the Dominican Republic in Melgen’s private jet without declaring the perks to the Senate Ethics Committee; and lobbying the State department to favor enforcing a Dominican port security contract controlled by a company Melgen owns.

Overall, the senator now has a 36 percent approval rating, a number that was 51 percent the last time Quinnipiac asked that question, in a survey released Jan. 23.

Seven out of 10 voters in the Garden State have read or heard something about the scandals swirling around Menendez and Melgen. That tracks with a Monmouth University poll, released Feb. 15, that found 68 percent had heard about Menendez’s ethics problems.

That poll put Menendez’s approval rating at 41 percent, five points higher than the Quinnipiac poll, which surveyed New Jerseyans just a week later. (RELATED: Menendez poll numbers hold steady, despite allegations of financial and sexual misconduct)

The Daily Caller first reported in November that two Dominican women said they were paid to have sex with Menendez.

In January TheDC reported that a cache of documents posted online raised new allegations, including claims from two women that they were 16 years old when their sexual contact with the senator began. (RELATED: Dominican prostitute: Sen. Bob Menendez “likes the youngest and newest girls”)

“U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez took an overseas trip and the poll numbers he left behind in New Jersey are dreadful — down 15 points in less than a month,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release.

“So much for a reelection honeymoon. More than two thirds of voters have heard of his troubles and the more they know, the less they approve.”

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