updated 10/12/2006 7:19:43 AM ET 2006-10-12T11:19:43

The race between Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. remains virtually deadlocked with less than four weeks remaining before Election Day, a new poll shows.

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The new Quinnipiac University poll shows Menendez favored by 49 percent of likely voters, compared to 45 percent of those polled favoring Kean. Six percent were undecided.

In the last Quinnipiac poll, released Sept. 20, Kean was favored by 48 percent of likely voters with Menendez at 45 percent.

Both polls have a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points, meaning the difference between the candidates is not clear-cut. Also, 18 percent of those polled said they could change their mind before Election Day.

The latest poll of 761 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 4-10.

"It looks like the two will be neck and neck down the stretch to Election Day," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the poll.

In the latest poll, Kean continues to outpoll Menendez on the issue of honesty.

Kean is viewed as honest and trustworthy by a margin of 51 percent to 18 percent, while voters are split on Menendez's honesty and trustworthiness, 38 percent to 39 percent.

Kean also gets a better favorable-unfavorable rating than his rival. His favorable-unfavorable split is 34 percent to 18 percent, compared with a 32-32 percent split for Menendez.

Kean has tried to make ethics a cornerstone of his campaign, while Menendez has tried to paint Kean as a mouthpiece of President Bush, whose job approval rating remains a low 38 percent.

The survey measured the degree to which those campaign tactics may be resonating with likely voters.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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