Sen. Robert Menendez' job approval rating has rebounded a little in a new poll following disclosures that his alleged involvement with Dominican prostitutes may have been fabricated.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll
of 1,120 registered New Jersey voters, 40 percent of respondents view him favorably compared to 37 percent who don't care for him.
That's four points higher than a similar poll five weeks ago that gave him a negative approval rating of 36 percent to 41 percent following reports that at least three women had claimed he paid them for sex while in the Dominican Republic. That rating in February marked a 15 point drop from a 51 percent to 33 percent approval margin Menendez received a month earlier in a January poll.
Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was apparently the target in an attempted prostitution scandal that U.S. authorities are still investigating. Three women have since reportedly recounted their claims, saying they were paid to lie about having relations with the senator.
Still, New Jersey voters remain a bit wary of Menendez. According to the Quinnipiac survey conducted March 19-24, respondents were almost evenly divided, by a margin of 35 percent to 36 percent, when asked whether he was trustworthy and honest.
While not great, that margin is better than it was a month ago, when 44 percent of respondents said he could not be trusted and 28 percent said he could.
“The fallout from these scandal stories has wounded Menendez, but it looks like he has stopped the bleeding and even recovered a little,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “A substantial number of voters say the attacks are just politics, but a majority thinks the allegations should be investigated.”
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