New numbers in battle for Senate
June 21st, 2011
12:16 PM ET
3 years ago

New numbers in battle for Senate

(CNN) - Two news polls are giving us a better indicator about how voters feel about two Democratic senators up for re-election next year.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, 45 percent of New Jersey voters say they approve of how Sen. Robert Menendez is handling his job, with 38 percent saying they disapprove and 18 percent unsure.

The 45 percent approval is the highest recorded for Menendez in Quinnipiac polling. Among crucial independent voters, 36 percent approve of Menendez is handling his duties, with 45 percent saying they disapprove and 18 percent saying they are unsure.

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 will be on the ballot next year alongside President Barack Obama. The poll indicates that 50 percent approve of how Obama is handling his duties as president, with 46 percent saying they disapprove.

Two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political report, both consider Menendez's seat currently solid and safe for the Democrats.

In California, a new Field Poll indicates that 46 percent of Golden State voters approve of the job that Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein's doing in office, with 31 percent saying they disapprove and nearly one in four not sure. Feinstein's approval rating in Field Polls has remained in the mid to upper 40's over the past three years.

Feinstein is bidding for a fourth full term in office next year, and according to the survey, by a 43 to 39 percent margin, people are inclined to vote for her in 2012. That's a much smaller margin than her 19 to 29 percent margins of support in her past two re-election bids, according to Field Polls.

As with Menendez, both the Cook and Rothenberg reports consider Feinstein's seat solid and safe at this time.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 14-19, with 1,610 registered voters in New Jersey questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

The Field Poll was conducted June 3-13, with 950 registered voters in California questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Democrats currently have a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate. They are defending 23 seats (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) next year, with the GOP defending 10 seats.


Filed under: 2012 • Dianne Feinstein • Robert Menendez • Senate
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    As with Menendez, both the Cook and Rothenberg reports consider Feinstein's seat solid and safe at this time.
    ========================================================================================
    By November 2012, these states will be looking to change the disaster these two have brought in terms of Obamacare, wasting a trillion dollars and a dismal economy. Considering nobody is even opposing them, their numbers seem rather soft. I'd say they are ripe for the picking given a decent opponent, But the loons in California returned worthless Boxer to the Senate so there may be no saving them from their liberal insanity.

    June 21, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Voters should take note of the Republican record in the Senate for the last two years. While we were trying to pull out of a terrible recession the Republicans in the Senate were filibustering every initiative – even those they approved in committee. The Republicans were the equivalent of a political terrorist, trying to harm America to improve their political fortunes. Sadly, the tactic worked and continues to gain them support.

    June 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. bb

    Voters aren't going to do any better electing a Republican into Senate. They have done absolutely nothing to create jobs since running on that sole platform in '10. Looks like the only thing they've done is work to eliminate as much of medicare as they can only to fund more tax breaks for the very rich. Left to them, our country would be set back decades, while the emerging countries whiz by us.

    June 21, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    These are two of the worst Senators. Menendez can probably buy re-election and Feinstein is in, well, California, so she should get the loon vote without much effort.

    June 21, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. paul

    Hopefully, we can get rid of some the right wing Republicans that were elected in 2010. Once in office, they forgot about the jobs, jobs, jobs, platform that they campaigned on and instead went after social agenda's. Trying to force their beliefs on to the rest of us. The Republican party has swung way too far to the right and that needs correcting. I'm switching from tea to coffee.

    June 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Tony

    I agree with Larry. The Republicans have log jammed the legislative process almost to a halt with petty partisan politics. Their mandate of just say NO to any policy or procedure from President Obama should be rewarded with a pink slip.

    June 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Voters should take note of the Republican record in the Senate for the last two years. While we were trying to pull out of a terrible recession the Republicans in the Senate were filibustering every initiative
    ==================================================================================================
    Thank God they did!!! We'd be in a 1930's depression if they hadn't acted as a brake to the insane Obama, Reid, Pelosi agenda. Why do you think the American people rewarded the Republicans with control of the House in 2010?

    June 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Larry L. wrote:
    Sadly, the tactic worked and continues to gain them support.
    ===============================================
    It won't work anymore. The Republicans have really over reached and exposed their true selves after the 2010 elections. Haven't you noticed the results in recent special elections. Republicans are batting "Oh for the Ryan Plan." Their only political victories this year have come from conservative judges, not elections.

    June 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Tony

    The Republicans have so alienated thinking Americans they have lost any chance they had to gain control of the Senate.

    I would be surprised if they hang on to the House, and they can forget about the White House.

    Thank God!

    June 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:
    Why do you think the American people rewarded the Republicans with control of the House in 2010?
    ==========================================
    Because the Republicans lied? Yeah, that's it. They promised jobs in 2010, but instead of been pursuing a right wing social agenda. No jobs. They sucker punched the American people. Haven't you been paying attention to the results of the special elections held since then? The game is up. Republicans drove the economy off a cliff, and now they have driven their own party of a cliff. The G.O.P. will R.I.P.

    June 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. gt

    no jobs... the all bs wont help ... ..the ones who drink the kool aid from both parties are in a rude awakening ...its jobs and only about jobs ...

    June 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    The Republicans have really over reached and exposed their true selves after the 2010 elections.
    ===============================================================================
    You mean fiscally responsible adults??? If you think Obama's sales pitch of "Give me 4 more years to finish off America" is going to fly, you are severly delusional. 2010 was simply the warm up to 2012. Liberals and Progressives are on notice. Your days in power are counting down.

    June 21, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Ash

    CA and Jersey?? Please. We would be Greece before they voted for anyone that would not hand out money out to the unions in those districts.

    June 21, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Erik S.

    How can anybody still vote for Feinstein? California is such a mess and a lost cause, people just don;t learn their lessons, especially in California, dopes.

    June 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Tulsa

    I think the Senate will remain solidly in the Progressive. The House will probably get closer all though I don't think it will go Democratic....... unless people actually THINK. If that happens, there will be a LOT of Republicans wishing they had worked on JOBS instead of social engineering.
    It could be a buyer's remorse election The Pres. is safe because he has made progress on the majority of his campaign promisses and kept this Country from going into another great depression... and, well, just look at the Republicans running for POTUS. The Republicans in the Congress should be more than a little worried though. Buyer's remorse indeed!

    June 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Kenny

    Senate Republicans have been filibustering every initiative, putting holds on every Federal Appointment and have had a ball on Abortion and Women’s rights all while forgetting about “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.” Now why would they do all of the very things that harm our economy? The simple answer is so cruel it hurts to think a group of people would even consider doing what Republicans are doing. Republicans are doing everything possible to insure our economy remains in a bad way until they can get a Republican President. What that amounts to is that Republicans care more about being back in power than the well being of the poor and middle class of this country. Republicans are cruel and I’m seeing more and more of it every day. Look at what they are doing in the states where they have been elected Governors and think about if you want them doing to the country what they are doing to their states? I have many friends that have left the Republican Party to become Independents and Democrats and most of them are embarrassed at what their former party members are doing to this country. Like many of them, I agree that not all Republicans are evil but you really have to look hard to find them.

    June 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. gt

    these two old lifers think they should be there forever..new blood both sides...

    June 21, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Steve in Denver

    Democrat class warfare: You continue your factually challenged posts. The voters are having buyers remorse for electing Rs in 2010; why do you think two deep red seats turned blue in special elections?

    The facts of the 1930s depression are opposite to your rant. You do realize the stock market crashed in 1929, under a republican president, which caused the depression? Economists blame the depression on robber barrons, greed, and a lack of financial regulations (kind of like 2001-2007, huh?) Economists also endorse FDR's handling of the depression, and if anything, say the cutbacks in deficit spending in 1937 prolonged the depression.

    It would be nice to read something from you that was accurate. However, given your moniker, I'm not holding my breath.

    June 21, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Ken

    Voters should take note of the Democratic record in the Senate for the last two years. While Republicans have been striving to control costs and focus on legislation to create jobs, Democrats in the Senate were voting down every initiative passed by the Republican lead house – to the point of blocking them in committee so their votes would not have to be made public. The Democrats are the equivalent of a political terrorists, harming America to improve the political and financial fortunes of themselves an their labor allies. Luckily, the tactic continues to fail, as the failure of their proposals to reinvigorate the economy came back to haunt them in 2010, and will do so again in 2012.

    June 21, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. R

    @ Tony
    "The Republicans have so alienated thinking Americans..."

    Guess what – so have the Democrats. Sadly, our political system, in regards to re-election, has digressed to something like a popularity contest amongst a group of 5 year olds. Sure, someone will probably win, but whoever wins won't know what to do after that. Meanwhile, we continue to blame one another instead of doing what is right for this country, and we wonder why nothing ever gets done.

    June 21, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. AZ Dem

    There is a chance that the Dems will lose their Senate majority in 2012 but these two seats are as safe as Democrats can get...Scott Brown is a potential GOP seat the Dems can take but most of the seats they are defending are in solidly Republican districts..the Redistricting because of the Census is going to cost Dems and if anything their majority will be eroded or we will have a pretty even Senate split (ideally)

    June 21, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Ralph S. Brax

    Democrats won't only hold on to these seats easily but will pick up several more. Republicans will continue to lambast Medicare, do nothing about the economy and slide down the isolationist pole to oblivion.

    June 21, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Rickster

    Democrats never learn.....they just continue to vote in the same loons that have driven their states(and country) to the brink of bankruptcy. What's the definition of insanity?

    June 21, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. John

    Yes I guess any Republican can just say NO for two years and get make 1,088,000 a year for each Republican In the House and Senate. That over 1 Millions Dollars just for saying NO and Lying. This really make you Republican look like a bunch of IDIOT. You ever think If they would have help President Obama thing In America may not be as back as they are now. But you see the Republican are only concern with two thing (1) to make sure President Obama Is a one term President. (2) To give the RICH AND BIG BUSINESS as many tax cuts they can. The Republican prove In the Last two years just how much they care about America. Just one more thing were are the JOBS the Republican Promise when they were running on getting JOBS In 2010 , Just another LIE that the Republican are good of. the American People have to take the control of the House away from the Republican and as many seat from the Senate as we can In 2012. Or we won't have any right at all, Just look all all the state Republican GOV have taking the Right away from people.

    June 21, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. larry

    Open your eyes!!!! The Democrats have got us so far in debt we will never get out!!!!

    June 21, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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