(CNN) - A new poll may serve as an early wake up call for Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who's up for re-election in 2012.
A Quinnipiac University surveys released Tuesday indicates that 38 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the job Menendez is doing as senator, with 41 percent disapproving, and one in five undecided.
According to the poll, Menendez has a 57 to 17 percent approval rating among Democrats, with just one in five Republicans giving him a thumbs up. Forty-eight percent of independent voters disapprove of the job Menendez is doing, with 37 percent saying they approve.
"Sen. Robert Menendez is said to be getting into gear for his 2012 campaign. He'd better. Not only did Democrats lose Bergen County, right next door to Menendez' Hudson County home, on Election Day; he gets a slightly negative job approval measure," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Menendez was appointed senator in January 2006 when fellow Democrat Jon Corzine gave up his seat to take over as governor. Menendez won a full term in office in the 2006 midterm elections, capturing 53 percent of the vote.
Menendez, the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is one of 23 Democrats in the chamber up for re-election in 2012. Ten Republican senators face re-election.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted November 3-8, with 1,362 New Jersey voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
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