New numbers in battle for Senate
June 21st, 2011
12:16 PM ET
11 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. larry

    The Democrats keep spending and spending!! It is easy to spend other peoples money and Obams is a professional at that!!!

    June 21, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Why do you think the American people rewarded the Republicans with control of the House in 2010?"

    Truthfully? Because dumb-ss Democrats stayed home. That's why. Election turnout was something like 40% compared to 61% in November 2008. If there's one thing the GOP is praying for come 2012, it's that they can dishearten Democrats and liberals in similar fashion as 2010 and get them to stay home. Astroturf fakers are already popping up in droves on liberal blogs "ooooh, I'm so disappointed in Obama and there hasn't been progress...[insert talking point suspiciously similar to something Limbaugh said]." When voters show up, GOPers lose...that's fact...which is why they spend so much time and energy trying to suppress the vote.

    June 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Bob in PA

    Ahh, a ray of hope Mr. Steinhauser ?
    A fifth grader could have told us this.
    Are you a reporter or just an PR man for the democratic party ? CNN should demand better quality work.

    June 21, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. C. Howe Yulikit

    "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."

    DiFi is polling low because the California voters have seen which right wing nut job the GOP will try to run against her. When they do, her numbers will rise.

    June 21, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Enough is Enough

    Menendez the best friend that the illagals have. You can't be for taxpayers and illegals Menendez has picked the wrong group to support.

    June 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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