Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, and Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon were tested as challengers to U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez in a new 8th District congressional poll that hit last night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The 20-question poll, which could only be accessed if 8th District voters received a text message with a link, first tracked voter demographics, concluding with the question “Do you consider yourself a: Strong Democrat [or] Not so strong Democrat.”
The next question asks which 2020 presidential candidate the individual being surveyed voted for, before asking on a scale of 1-10 how motivated the person is to vote in the June 4th, 2024 primary.
The poll begins to get interesting at the 13th question, the first time Bhalla, Solomon, Suarez, and Menendez are introduced, with reactions ranging from “very favorable” to “never heard of them.”
Former President Donald Trump (R), the current frontrunner to challenge President Joe Biden (D) in what would be a 2020 rematch, First Lady Tammy Murphy, and U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) – who are both U.S. Senate candidates – are polled on the same scale as well.
The next questions asks who the voter would support if the 8th District congressional race was today, with the choices being Menendez, Bhalla, Solomon, and Suarez, with a “not sure” choice available as well.
In three separate questions, the poll then asked if the voter would consider casting their ballot for Bhalla, Suarez, or Solomon, with the choices being “no chance of voting for” or “would consider voting for.”
The same question was not asked of the incumbent.
Sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak on the matter, said that neither Bhalla, Suarez, Solomon, Menendez, or anyone linked to them, paid for the poll.
The only declared 8th District congressional candidate, Kyle Jasey, was not included in the poll.
Menendez announced his re-election bid in late September, hours after Bhalla said through a spokesman that he is “seriously considering” a congressional run in the 8th District. He also paid for his own poll in early October, as HCV first reported.
Bhalla and Solomon, a potential candidate for Jersey City mayor, have called on U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob’s father, to resign in the midst of a large-scale federal corruption probe where he is accused of accepting thousands of dollars in cash, a car, and gold bars in exchange for his influence.
New Jersey’s senior senator is also accused of acting as a foreign agent to Egypt.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has intimated that he may seek re-election, most recently after Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy (D) declared her Senate candidacy and immediately got the endorsement of the HCDO – a group he used to chair.
The HCDO is yet to support a candidate in the congressional race, but Hudson County Executive-elect Craig Guy expressed support for Rob Menendez just two days after he announced his re-election bid (it was not a formal endorsement though).