Team of Experts:
         Christopher Dorval
         Andrea LaRue
         Peter Brodnitz
         Cassandra Q. Butts
         Celinda Lake
         Simon B. Rosenberg

Races to Watch

         New Jersey


         Arizona 8
         Indiana 8
         Colorado 7
         Florida 13
         Pennsylvania 6


[email protected]

New Jersey Senate

Senator Robert Menendez (D) v. Tom Kean Jr. (R)

Sen. Bob Menendez was running for a full term in the Senate (he filled Gov. Corzine's open seat) and his race with Tom Kean Jr., the son of the former popular Governor, was close. Kean returned to the immigration issue over and over, and embraced the strict enforcement-only approach of the U.S. House Republican leadership. He hoped it would make him look tougher than Menendez, who voted for the bipartisan Senate-passed comprehensive approach to immigration reform.

Election Outcome and Statistics:

Menendez, 1,161,859 (53%)

Bush-Kerry 2004: Kerry 53% , Bush 46%
Voter Registration: Democrat 39%, Republican 27%
Senate Election Results 2000: Corzine (D) 51%, Franks (R) 47%


Tom Kean: Tom Kean Hails Border Fence Bill Signing

Bob Menendez: Menendez Statement on Passage of Immigration Reform Bill

Tom Kean: Immigration
"Tom Kean strongly disagrees with President Bush's immigration plan and would have voted against the bill recently passed by the United States Senate that granted amnesty for those who have broken our laws and entered our country illegally."

Polling: Menendez has a narrow lead, but it's Kean N.J. trusts (October 29, 2006)

CBS News/New York Times: The Senate Race in New Jersey (October 26, 2006)

Los Angeles Times: Democrats' Senate hopes lie with rural voters, poll finds (October 25, 2006)
In New Jersey, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez held a 45%-41% edge over his GOP challenger, Tom Kean Jr.

Monmouth University/Gannett Poll: Menendez leads in latest poll (October 22, 2006)

Quinipiac University: Menendez Up 49 - 45 Percent In Senate Race, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; Kean Seen As More Ethical (October 12, 2006)

Courier Post (South Jersey): Senate Allies Stump for Menendez, Kean (referencing 2 polls) (October 6, 2006)

Press World: Kean Leads In Senate Race 46% to 41% (October 5, 2006)

Associated Press: Democrat Leads N.J. Senate Race (October 5, 2006)

Jersey Journal: Senate race too close to call, poll says (September 29, 2006)


Kean: Jersey First

Kean: Law

Clips Related to Immigration:

Media Matters: MSNBC's Shuster made no distinction between true and misleading claims when discussing "five nastiest ads" run during election (November 3, 2006)
"Shuster then aired an advertisement by Menendez's Republican opponent, Thomas Kean Jr., in which the announcer claimed: "Bob Menendez believes sometimes you just have to break the law ... Is that why ... he wants to give your Social Security money to illegal aliens? Or why he's under federal criminal investigation?" The ad appears to be referring to the Senate immigration bill, which, as Media Matters noted, would do nothing to change the current prohibition on illegal immigrants receiving Social Security benefits."

New York Times: Undecided Voters Hold Key to Senate Race in New Jersey (November 3, 2006)
"As for Mr. Kean, he said he would try to sway undecided voters by emphasizing lowering property taxes, fighting public corruption, tightening immigration and bolstering homeland security." (Morris County, NJ): Tom Kean best option (November 2, 2006)
Arguably, the most important issue in the race is Iraq. Kean has criticized the war and wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld replaced. That would be a step in the right direction. The Republican is not all that straight forward on other issues. He waffles, for instance, on how to deal with immigration, not fully saying if he prefers the House's tough approach, or the Senate's conciliatory approach.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Kean, Menendez, work seniors (November 1, 2006)
"That was the case when Kean, addressing a question about helping jobless black men, moved the conversation toward illegal immigration and strengthening small businesses. "We need to have real immigration reform," Kean said. "And I mean no amnesty." Then he hammered Menendez, saying he backed total amnesty and even Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants"

New York Times: In Tight Senate Campaign, Racial and Ethnic Factors Could Be Pivotal (November 1, 2006)
"Mr. Menendez and his supporters have accused Republicans of using racially charged terms and images to stoke the prejudices of suburban white voters who may be uncomfortable pulling the lever for a Hispanic candidate. One recent television ad for Mr. Kean showed a split screen with Mr. Menendez on one half of the frame and illegal immigrants, presumably streaming across the Mexican border, on the other side. …But Republicans have been using immigration as a wedge issue against Democrats of all races this year, and Mr. Kean said it was "absurd" to suggest that the ad was racially biased."

Courier Post (South Jersey): Menendez, Kean lock in on issues (October 29, 2006)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Ethnicity could be crucial in tight race (October 29, 2006)
Menendez supporters say Kean has been subtly reminding voters of Menendez's ethnicity with his frequent use of immigration as a wedge issue and his call for English to be legislated as the nation's official language. Kean would deport illegal immigrants and characterizes a Senate bill, which he opposes and Menendez voted for, as providing "amnesty" for them. Menendez has said that English already is the nation's official language, and that he voted for the bill because it allows for a fair and orderly legalization process.

Herald News: Hispanic Group Snubs Kean (October 21, 2006)
"We didn't invite him (Kean) for one reason and one reason only: because of his position on immigration reform," he said, "which we feel is an insult to New Jersey and an insult to our community." --Daniel Jara of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

Asbury Park Press: Where do they stand on other issues? (October 20, 2006)
"Menendez supports a bill passed by Congress that tightens borders and provides a process for illegal residents already here to earn citizenship, including paying a penalty, learning English and paying taxes. "The totality of that seems to be both tough and smart," Menendez said. "Otherwise, we've got the most massive deportation in the history of mankind." Kean opposes Menendez's "pathway to citizenship," calling it amnesty. He would not answer questions about what to do with illegal immigrants already here, saying it's more important to stop further illegal immigration and prevent terrorism. "It starts with real border security," Kean said. "I think what we need to focus on first and foremost is knowing who's coming across our borders, when and how. We need to stop the illegal influx."

Asbury Park Press: Group rates lawmakers on immigration (October 19, 2006)

Asbury Park Press: Senate rivals speak separately at forum (October 19, 2006)
"Menendez lasted 45 minutes before referring to Kean when asked about immigration. Before explaining his stance, he said Kean would call it amnesty. Menendez's plan calls for tougher borders and a pathway-to-citizenship program for those here illegally. He said those could attain citizenship after going to the end of the line, paying a penalty, going through a criminal background check and learning English. Kean did call Menendez's program amnesty. "We are a nation of immigrants . . . but we are a nation of laws," Kean said. "And I would oppose any program of amnesty. That's a clear difference between my opponent and myself." Kean called for tougher borders but did not say what to do with those already here illegally. Earlier, Menendez called Kean's proposal a massive deportation that would cost $250 billion."

Associated Press: Senate Foes Clash on Iraq, Immigration (October 11, 2006)
"On illegal immigration, the candidates agreed that borders should be secured and that employers should be punished for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. They differed on whether any of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants nationwide should be given an opportunity to become citizens. Kean said that would amount to an amnesty that would be unfair to those who have entered legally. He said mass deportations would not be needed if illegals could not obtain jobs because they would leave the United States on their own. Menendez, the child of immigrants from Cuba, said he supports a "pathway to earned legalization" that would require illegal immigrants to meet requirements such as paying fines and taxes and undergoing background checks. He said that is different from amnesty, which he described as "something for nothing." Immigration May Figure in NJ's Close Senate Race (October 4, 2006)
Kean has distinguished himself from New Jersey's incumbent senators by favoring an "enforcement first" approach to immigration reform that is more in tune with the House Republicans. … Kean told Cybercast News Service that he opposes the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration bill (S. 2611) because he believes it contains too many "amnesty" provisions. He also criticized Menendez for supporting the legislation. Specifically, Kean expressed opposition toward language in the Senate bill that he claims would make it possible for illegal aliens to collect social security and other government benefits. 'I would have opposed the Senate bill because it granted a direct path to citizenship and because it granted amnesty to people who entered this country illegally and broke our laws,' he said.

U.S. Newswire: U.S. Immigration Reform PAC Endorses Eight Incumbents and 12 Others in U.S. Senate Races (October 12, 2006)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Kean, Menendez duke it out (June 26, 2006)
"On illegal immigration, both candidates said the country needs to secure its borders. Menendez said he supported legislation that "is both tough and smart," requiring undocumented workers to learn English, pay taxes, become a permanent resident only after eight years, and punish employers who hire them. He also said Kean has changed his position too many times - first advocating the deportation of millions of immigrants - to be trusted on the issue. Kean accused Menendez of giving illegal immigrants "a direct path to citizenship for those individuals who have entered our country illegally and broken our laws. I think that's wrong."

New Jersey Profile:

Bush Kerry 2004: Kerry 53% , Bush 46%

Voter Turnout 2002: 37.5% (2,504,000 voters)
Voter Turnout 2004: 57.6% (3,693,000 voters)

NJ Voter Registration 2004: Democrat 39%, Republican 27%

Gubernatorial Election Results 2005:
Corzine (D) 37%, Forrester (R) 30%, Other 33%
Total Votes Cast: 2,230,099

Senate Election Results 2002:
Laughtenberg (D) 54%, Forrester (R) 49%
Total Votes Cast: 2,067,194

Senate Election Results 2000:
Corzine (D) 51%, Franks (R) 47%
Total Votes Cast: 2,863,462