Incumbent Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has lost his slight midterm advantage and is now in a toss-up race to save his senate seat according to Cook Political Report. The backwards slide comes in the wake of a Senate Ethics Committee warning about gifts from a wealthy campaign donor tied to his legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. Rather than a Democrat vs. Republican battle, the election was cited by Cook Political Report’s Jennifer Duffy as being a referendum on his ethics or lack thereof. If the GOP Senate margin increases to 53, it’ll be due in part to Menendez’s political insider dealing.
Here’s more from Washington Examiner…
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who faced ethics questions this year, is now at risk of losing his Senate seat.
The race that was seen as “lean Democratic” is now a toss-up race, according to election analysts at the Cook Political Report.
Menendez received a warning this year by the Senate Ethics Committee about receiving gifts from a wealthy campaign donor and then trying to advance that donor’s interests in the Senate. And those ethics issues could be enough to unseat Menendez.
“The contest isn’t about anything else but Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and his ethics problems,” wrote Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report Friday morning.
Duffy said the Republican in the race, pharmaceutical CEO Bob Hugin, has outspent Menendez more than 2-1 in the race. But Duffy said the bigger problem for Menendez is voters who might have had enough of him.