Twenty-eight percent of New Jersey voters would cast their ballots for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., while 24 percent back his likely Republican challenger Bob Hugin, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll says.
Forty-six percent said they remain undecided in the contest. In addition, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
"Senator Menendez's recent federal trial and bipartisan censure by his Senate colleagues are clearly taking their toll," Krista Jenkins, the director of the poll, said. "It's not uncommon for incumbents to cruise to re-election, but these numbers suggest he's going to have to woo voters like he hasn't had to in a long time."
A Monmouth University poll in April showed Menendez with a 53 to 32 percent lead over Hugin. And a poll by Quinnipiac University in March showed him ahead of Hugin by 49-32 percent.
The Senate Ethics Committee has said the senator accepted gifts of value, failed to report them and advanced the personal and business interests of the donor who provided the gifts. His federal bribery trial last year ended with a hung jury. Prosecutors decided against retrying the case.
In the latest poll, 33 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Menendez, while 39 percent had an unfavorable view of him.
The poll, conducted May 16-21, surveyed 856 registered voters in New Jersey.
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