U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a longtime Democratic congressman appointed to the seat this year, and Republican Thomas Kean, son of a popular former governor, are in a tight race. The poll by the Eagleton Institute of Politics for the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., gave Menendez a 4-point edge, just within the poll's margin of error.
The poll found that 42 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of Menendez, up 15 points since September, while 34 percent have an unfavorable view of Kean, up 13 points, and 28 percent say that neither man is honest and trustworthy. Asked about advertising, 45 percent say Kean's commercials are unfair and 37 percent voiced the same opinion about Menendez's.
Asked which candidate they would prefer to have over for dinner, coach their child or manage their finances, from one-fifth to one-third said neither, although Kean would get more invitations than his rival.