N.J. voters cool to Geraldo Senate run

FOXNews reporter Geraldo Rivera arrives at the Orange County Courthouse for the murder trial of Casey Anthony, Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. Anthony is charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)

These days, the only absolute requirements for a shot at high office are a boatload of money and a certain sense of shamelessness.

By those measures, Geraldo Rivera should be a lock to become the next U.S. senator from New Jersey.

The talk-show host and Fox News commentator got the attention of state and national political folks with his recent comments that he was considering running as a Republican for the Senate seat to be vacated by retiring Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.,N.J.).

It’s an intriguing proposition, with one big problem: New Jersey voters don’t much like the idea, at least so far.

A majority of registered voters (51%) said they would not even consider voting for Rivera, should he be a candidate, according to a recent Monmouth University poll. Just 1-in-4 described themselves as very (9%) or somewhat (17%) likely to vote for Rivera, while 65% said they would not be likely to vote for him.

Rivera did better among registered Republicans in the Garden State, but not by much. Forty-four percent they would be at least somewhat likely to vote for Rivera while 48% said they would be unlikely to do so. About half of New Jersey voters have formed an opinion of Rivera, evenly divided between 26 percent favorable and 27 percent unfavorable.

Room to grow?

“Monmouth Poll shows me a long shot for Senate from NJ but I have not yet begun to fight,” Rivera tweeted last Saturday afternoon.

The poll, based on interviews conducted on land-lines and cell phones from Feb. 6-10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.