A majority of New Jersey voters want indicted Sen. Bob Menendez to resign, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University and released Thursday, found 52% of respondents said Menendez — who weeks ago pleaded not guilty to 14 criminal counts, including charges of bribery — should step down. Thirty-nine percent say he should not.
While more than 60% of Republicans believe Menendez should step down, Democrats are split, with 46% saying he should resign, while 44% disagree.
Menendez is alleged to have inappropriately used his official powers to boost the business and personal interests of a man he’s called a “good friend,” Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. According to the indictment against Menendez, the senator helped move along visa applications for Melgen’s girlfriends and personally lobbied administration officials on Melgen’s behalf, while the doctor contributed nearly $1 million in trips, political donations and other perks to Menendez.
Those details appear to have New Jersey voters of both major political parties doubting Menendez’s character.
Fifty-four percent of voters say the senator is not honest and trustworthy, and even a plurality of Democrats agree, with 43% of voters within Menendez’s own party saying he’s not honest and trustworthy in the poll.
A plurality of voters, 45%, believe what he did was illegal; another 38% said while it’s not illegal it was unethical.
And since January, Menendez’s job-approval rating has plummeted, down from +13 to -11, with 46% now disapproving of the job he’s doing in the Senate.
The survey was conducted among 1,428 New Jersey voters from April 9-14, and has a margin of error of 2.6%.