ai express – Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) is currently leading First Lady Tammy Murphy in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, although his lead is not insurmountable. This information comes from a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In the latest poll, Kim emerges as the front-runner in the closely watched contest with a significant advantage over Murphy among potential Democratic primary voters. The poll shows Kim leading with 32% of the support, while Murphy trails behind with 20%. Incumbent Senator Bob Menendez receives 9% support, followed closely by Patricia Campos-Medina, identified as a “labor activist,” at 8%. However, a significant portion of respondents, 31%, remain undecided. It is worth noting that Larry Hamm, another notable Democratic candidate, was not included in the poll.
Menendez, a three-term incumbent, faced federal corruption charges last fall, which led to an extensive and costly campaign to find his replacement. While he has yet to announce whether he intends to run for re-election, his desire to do so has been strongly suggested. Nevertheless, the race for his seat will proceed without any hindrance, regardless of his final decision.
Next weekend, Kim, Murphy, Campos-Medina, and Hamm will participate in the Monmouth County Democratic convention, which will serve as the initial public evaluation of their support among Democratic party supporters. While Murphy has already secured significant party endorsements in several of New Jersey’s major counties, FDU poll director Dan Cassino pointed out that this advantage could potentially assist her in surpassing Kim as the campaign progresses.
According to a release accompanying the poll, Cassino stated that in New Jersey, having institutional support is usually sufficient to secure a primary victory. However, with Murphy’s decline in popularity, the upcoming election will serve as a test to determine if county organizations still hold the same level of influence in selecting a candidate.
However, there is potential for Kim to further expand his influence, as only 52% of the participants stated that they are familiar with him, compared to 68% for Murphy. Kim boasts an impressive approval rating of 38%, with only 2% disapproving, and 24% of respondents expressing strong approval. On the other hand, Murphy’s approval rating is somewhat more varied, standing at 29% with 14% disapproving.
According to a recent survey, a staggering 90% of the participants were familiar with Menendez. However, the majority of their perceptions about him were rather negative, as indicated by his low approval rating of 22% to 68%. On the other hand, Campos-Medina remains relatively unknown, with only 14% of the respondents being aware of her existence.
The poll also revealed significant racial disparities in support for the four candidates. However, it is important to approach these numbers with caution due to small sample sizes.
Kim is currently leading Murphy among white voters with a 47% to 15% advantage. Among Asian voters, Kim holds a 34% to 24% lead, although the sample size for Asian voters is relatively small at only 40 respondents. On the other hand, Murphy is ahead of Kim among Black voters with a 24% to 16% lead, and also among Hispanic voters with a 26% to 10% lead. Interestingly, Kim is currently in fourth place among Hispanic voters, trailing behind both Menendez and Campos-Medina.
In addition to Kim’s campaign releasing two internal polls last year, today’s poll marks the first independent survey of the race. The November poll showed Kim leading Murphy, who had not yet entered the race at that time, with a 40% to 21% advantage. Similarly, the December poll indicated Kim’s strong position with a 45% to 22% lead. While the FDU poll doesn’t present as favorable results for Kim as those internal polls, it does support the idea that if the election were held today, Kim would likely emerge as the winner.
The big question is whether Murphy’s impressive fundraising skills and backing from the state’s Democratic establishment can make up the difference in the next four months. Back in February 2000, a Quinnipiac poll showed that former Gov. Jim Florio had a commanding lead over Goldman Sachs executive Jon Corzine, with a margin of 57% to 22% in the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. However, despite these odds, Corzine managed to secure the support of most county parties and ultimately won the primary with a 58% to 42% victory.
Kim expressed his lack of surprise regarding the FDU poll numbers in a statement provided earlier today.
“These results reflect the sentiment we have witnessed at every event and in every conversation I have had across our state,” Kim emphasized. “People are enthusiastic and ready for change. They are frustrated and weary of the political elite, who seem out of touch, determining their representatives in Washington. They want their voices to be heard. This is more than just a campaign; it is a grassroots movement aimed at ensuring that working families, not just the affluent and well-connected, have a strong advocate in the Senate. I have already demonstrated my ability to deliver for the people of New Jersey, conquering the toughest political battles in this state. With the support of grassroots voters, I will provide the people of New Jersey with a voice that fights for their interests in the U.S. Senate.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll surveyed 504 potential Democratic primary voters from January 21-28. The sample included individuals who had previously voted in Democratic primaries as well as individuals randomly selected through a digital dial sample. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.