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84% want Menendez to resign if convicted

Michael Ahrens - September 25, 2017

New polling from Suffolk/USA Today shows that 84% of Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez’s own constituents want him to resign if he’s convicted, and only 20% of them have a favorable opinion of Menendez.

 

Meanwhile, 0% of Senate Democrats have said he should resign if convicted. Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats need to make it clear that a senator convicted of corruption and bribery belongs in jail, not in the United States Senate.

And check out the RNC’s latest digital ad showing how the Menendez trial is like an episode of Scandal:

The Menendez Trial: A Real-Life TV Drama

NJ voters overwhelmingly want Sen. Bob Menendez to resign if he is convicted of bribery
USA Today
Herb Jackson
September 25, 2017 – 12:04 PM

"New Jersey voters overwhelmingly want Sen. Bob Menendez to resign if he is convicted of bribery charges, and those with an unfavorable opinion of the Paramus Democrat outnumber those with a favorable view by more than 2-to-1, a Suffolk University poll conducted for the USA TODAY Network in New Jersey found.

Menendez, 63, went on trial Sept. 6 in U.S. District Court in Newark for allegedly taking bribes over a period of years to use his office to benefit the business and personal interests of his longtime friend and codefendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, also 63, of North Palm Beach, Fla.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks. Both men have pleaded not guilty, and Menendez has said repeatedly he will be exonerated and run for re-election next year.

If Menendez is convicted, 84 percent of likely voters said he should resign, while just 10 percent said he should not. Public opinion of Menendez is negative overall, with 20 percent having a favorable view while 46 percent have an unfavorable view of him.

Even groups with a net positive opinion of the senator say he needs to resign if convicted. Democrats say he should resign by a 77 percent to 14 percent ratio, yet Menendez's favorable/unfavorable ratio is 33 percent to 31 percent among them.

Hispanic voters say the son of Cuban refugees should resign by a 63 percent to 15 percent ratio, despite that group's favorable/unfavorable rating of 35 percent to 17 percent.

"You don't have blind loyalty among Democrats," said David Paleologos, who runs the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "Even though they’re saying they like him, they still believe if he's convicted he should resign.

If Menendez is convicted, however, he will face pressure to leave office. The Republican National Committee has been trying to stoke that pressure in advance, funding a series of ads on the Internet challenging Senate Democrats, especially those considering a run for the presidency in 2020, to say whether they would continue to allow a convicted felon to serve.

"Not a single Senate Democrat will say what almost all of Senator Menendez's own constituents believe – that he should resign if he's convicted," said RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens.

Ahrens said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and the Democrats he leads in the Senate "need to make it clear that a senator convicted of fraud or bribery belongs in jail, not in the United States Senate."

The RNC is keeping the pressure on this week with a new web ad highlighting some of the luxurious gifts Menendez is said to have received — including "international jet-setting [and] $1,500-a-night hotel rooms" — and comparing the case to the television drama "Scandal."

… Another recent poll showed the trial beginning to affect Menendez's popularity.

Menendez had a negative 31 percent to 49 percent job approval rating in a Quinnipiac University poll released Sept. 14.

And by a 50 percent to 20 percent margin, voters said he does not deserve re-election.

To read more, click here.


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