Robert Hugin (R)
Robert Hugin (R)
Robert Menendez (D – Incumbent)
Robert Menendez (D – Incumbent)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,,,, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see from the League of Women Voters and For more detailed information visit their pages.

Visit and to volunteer. Other senate candidates include Murray Sabrin (L) & Madelyn Hoffman (G). Due to limited space, we can only include candidates who poll 15% or higher, but encourage you to check out their websites. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.

Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Hugin – Legal. “Pro-choice.” Opposes late-term abortions unless life of mother is at risk.

Menendez – Legal. “Strongly support a woman’s right to choose.” Cosponsored bill preventing medically unneeded restrictions.


Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders? Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate political donations?

Hugin – No position on disclosure laws or Citizens United.

Menendez – Yes. Cosponsored DISCLOSE Act  requiring disclosure. Says Citizens United ”rolled back decades of progress.”


Climate Change: Consider human activity the major factor driving climate change? Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases? Support US participation in Paris Climate Accord despite President Trump’s withdrawal?

Hugin – Mixed. “Climate change is real. Humans play a role.Also gave $500,000 to Heritage Foundation, which rejects the significance of human-caused climate change & opposes regulations to address it. Says Paris Accord “unfairly balanced.” Didn’t support it as written.

Menendez Yes. “[W]e, as a global community, have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions & the US must be at the forefront of that effort.Called withdrawal from Paris Accord a rejection of science.


Contraception: Can employers withhold contraceptive coverage if oppose it?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – No. Women have the right to affordable contraceptive services.


Corruption: Scandals being discussed for both candidates.

Hugin – The pharmaceutical company that Hugin led, Celgene, spent $2.8 million lobbying to block cheaper generic alternatives to a key drug. Celgene also paid $280 million to settle claims that its drug marketing defrauded state & federal health programs.

Menendez – Menendez was charged for allegedly doing political favors for a friend while accepting six-figure campaign contributions & undisclosed gifts like luxury hotel stays. Prosecutor dropped charges after jury hung 10-2 for acquittal & judge said the case didn’t hold up. Senate committee then “severely admonished” him.


Court: Support President Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court? (After hearings)

Hugin – Yes. “Based on everything I know now, I would support Judge Kavanaugh.”

Menendez – No. To confirm “Kavanaugh with what we know now would be to forever tarnish” the Court’s credibility.


Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Hugin – Yes. “In the end, we’re going to get a better deal with China.”

Menendez – No. They drive allies “into the arms of our adversaries” instead of addressing China’s economic policies.


Education: Help parents send children to private schools with public money?

Hugin – No stand found, but supports expanded charter schools.

Menendez – No. They drain money from public schools.


Environment: Support cutbacks in Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)?

Hugin – Unclear. “Will encourage the President to enter into agreements that protect our environment” but are fair for American taxpayers & businesses.

Menendez – No. “Will not sit idly by while this President & his administration undermine the integrity of our agencies.”


Financial Regulation: Cut back Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – No. Criticizes disbanding of CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board.


Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Hugin – Yes.

Menendez – Yes.


Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Hugin – Supports some measures, including expanded background checks & barring people with mental illnesses.

Menendez – Yes. Supports universal background checks & closing gun show loopholes. Voted for assault weapons ban.


Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Hugin – Said Republican repeal effort would be “great for the country.” Keep good aspects of Obamacare like protecting people with preexisting conditions.

Menendez – Supports. Repeal would have “hiked premiums… gutted the guarantee of essential benefits, disproportionately hurt women & the disabled…to pay for a massive tax cut for the richest.”


Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – No. “Some Medicaid recipients physically cannot work.


Immigration: Path to citizenship for DACA (“Dreamers”), who grew up in US after being brought here illegally?

Hugin – Yes. “I support a path to citizenship for people who are here building a constructive, productive life.

Menendez – Yes. “These kids have grown up as Americans.Also helped craft broader bipartisan immigration bill.


Iran: Support Trump withdrawal from multinational Iran nuclear treaty?

Hugin – Yes. “Iran has used the resources they received from the United States [as part of the deal] to export terrorism.

Menendez – No. “Grave mistake to walk away without a plan” to ensure Iran doesn’t restart nuclear weapon program.


Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Hugin – Decriminalize small amounts but opposes recreational legalization.

Menendez – Urged administration to respect state laws & submitted bill to study states that have legalized. Supports giving pot businesses access to banking services.


Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hr?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – Yes. Supported 2014 bill to raise to $10.10/hr within 2 years.


Net Neutrality: Make internet providers provide equal access to all users?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – Yes. Otherwise higher prices & higher barriers to small business.


President Trump: Response to President Trump’s actions & policies?

Hugin – Gave $100,000 to Trump Victory PAC.

Menendez – Strongly critical. Called Trump’s racial remarks “heartbreaking, maddening & disgusting.” Voted with Trump 23%.


Privatization: Support full or partial privatization of Social Security?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – No. Opposes.


Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies or support for renewables?

Hugin – Mixed. Supports research in areas like battery technology, but not direct subsidies that pick winners & losers.

Menendez – Yes. Has supported expanding renewable energy credits by cutting oil company tax breaks.


Saudi Arabia: Should US sell arms to Saudi Arabia? (before Kashoggi murder)

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – Hesitant. Concerned that Saudi war in Yemen furthers human rights crisis.


Student debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates by raising high-earner taxes (Elizabeth Warren bill)? Increase federal student financial aid, like Pell grants?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – Yes. Supports Warren proposal.  Backed America’s College Promise Act making 2 years of community college free.


Taxes: Support President Trump’s proposed tax cuts?

Hugin – Yes. Delivers “real relief” & will spur economic growth & job creation. But would reverse state tax deduction cap.

Menendez – No. “Cannot & will not support a tax bill that reads like one giant hit job on New Jersey’s middle class.”


Voting Rules: Prioritize preventing possible fraud, even if this limits access?

Hugin – No stand found.

Menendez – No. “Must do everything in our power to protect all Americans’ right to vote.