Republicans see chance for major upset in New Jersey Senate race

August 27, 2018

Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat

Republicans are increasingly optimistic about their chances to take out Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., as their nominee Bob Hugin has turned what many expected to be a Democratic cakewalk into a close contest with two months to go before Election Day.

In just a few months, Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, has made this blue-state Senate race surprisingly competitive in a Democratic year. Since announcing in February, he has poured at least $15 million into the race, and promised upwards of $20 million, and has flooded the airwaves statewide unopposed from mid-May until Menendez went on the air on Tuesday.

That strategy paid off in the polls, as Quinnipiac and Gravis show him down by 6 and 2 points, respectively, in the only two surveys taken since the state’s primary contests. An internal poll conducted by Hugin’s campaign shows him in a neck-and-neck race against Menendez, which has given both national and state Republicans hope.

“I think he’s our best chance in the last 40 years,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., of the possibility of Republicans winning a Senate seat in New Jersey. “He’s a good man. He’s really had an American dream kind of life … It’s going to be an ugly fight; it already is. But I think there couldn’t be a starker contrast between those two men.”

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