MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey’s ugly senate race – filled with attack ads on both sides – is coming to an end.
Polls are shifting in N.J. and give the Democratic incumbent more of a lead over his Republican challenger, CBS2’s Meg Bakers reports.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez brought out the biggest Democrats in the state to rally for him ahead of Tuesday’s election.
“The stakes have never been higher. There is only one way to stop Donald Trump and that’s to vote for someone who will stand up for him,” Menendez claims.
The theme for the incumbent becoming “vote Menendez or vote Trump” as the Democrat ties his Republican challenger Bob Hugin to the president.
But Hugin, a U.S. Marine, has pitched himself as an independent. He’s focused his attack ads on Menendez’s scandalous corruption trial and his public admonishment by the Senate Ethics Committee.
“It’s a referendum on him,” the challenger claims. “I’m going to stand up to anybody, President Trump. I’m going to work with anybody… to do things better for people of New Jersey.”
The most recent poll shows Menendez with a 15-point lead. Quinnipiac University shows a shift by likely independent voters, giving the Democrat a 55 to 40 percent lead over Hugin.
Hugin sees things differently than what one poll says.
“We are this close, internal poll shows us up two points,” the challenger argued.
Hugin added he will use his years as a pharmaceutical executive to improve healthcare.
Among his other priorities, “infrastructure – people who ride NJ TRANSIT, bus or train, know what a disgrace it is.”
Voters CBS2 spoke to on both sides of the aisle say the cost of living in the state is a big concern.
“Everybody is moving out of Jersey. I want to stay in Jersey… very, very expensive,” Karen Volino said.
The polls say only four percent of likely voters remain undecided however, six percent of voters who do name a candidate say they could change their mind by Election Day.