Republicans have two incumbents running for reelection with indictments hanging over their heads this November. Democrats are running a senator who only escaped a 20-year prison term when a jury deadlocked in his bribery trial.
And voters just don’t seem to care.
For Congress’s bad-boy incumbents — Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) — scandal is no match for the power of partisanship, experts say.
“Scandals do hurt incumbents,” Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz told The Post. “But if your party has a strong advantage in your state or district, you have a good chance to survive.”
Democrats had hoped Collins’ and Hunter’s legal troubles in traditionally Republican districts would build their blue wave. Both were indicted in August, after winning easy primary victories.
But the latest polls show Hunter with an 8-point lead over his Democrat opponent, and political prognosticators expect voters in Collins’ suburban Buffalo district to stick with him, too.
“Menendez is running with more than a whiff of scandal,” Abramowitz said. “The margin there is closer than you’d expect” — polling averages show him with a 7 percent lead over his Republican challenger. “But I’m pretty sure he’ll end up winning.”
That’s because “more voters today are voting along party lines on straight tickets,” Abramowitz said. “They are less willing to cross over than they were a couple decades ago.”
New Jersey’s Democratic majority went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 13 percent in 2016, while the Republicans’ districts gave Trump double-digit wins.