What blue wave?
For all the buzz about Democratic sweeps this fall, at least one Republican may buck the trend: Bob Hugin, the right-wing candidate running for Senate in New Jersey against incumbent Bob Menendez.
"People in New Jersey are smart," Hugin said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar.
Despite trailing his Democratic opponent by up to 17 points at the start of the race, Hugin is now down just six points, according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University last week.
Menendez has taken a hit after battling corruption charges ー his trial ended last year with a hung jury. In June, he received just 62 percent of the primary vote, despite running against a virtually unknown contender. The six-term incumbent maintains his innocence, but many in New Jersey think his political end is near.
"It's just embarrassing for New Jersey," Hugin said. "We were offended morally that this guy was going to run virtually unopposed if we didn't step in and give the people of New Jersey another choice."
Hugin is a former CEO of the drug company Celgene. He was a Trump delegate at the 2016 GOP Convention, served as finance chairman for the president's New Jersey campaign, and donated more than $100,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC. Now, the unlikely candidate in a state that's voted blue in the last seven presidential elections is trying to focus on the issues.
"It's not about party politics," he said. "It's Bob Hugin verses Bob Menendez."
Unlike many of his Republican peers, Hugin is pro-choice, supports marriage equality, and is opposed to offshore drilling.
He also disagreed with Trump's response to Sen. John McCain's death. Initially, the president posted a terse Tweet then recanted, issuing a longer-than-Tweet-length statement praising the Republican late lawmaker a full two days after his death.
"Anybody who disrespects [McCain] should be called to task," Hugin said.
"His memory should be revered in all of us."
For full interview click here.