Timing is running out for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos as he tries to close incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Menendez's double-digit leads in the polls.

State Senator Joe Kyrillos
State Senator Joe Kyrillos (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media)

Election Day is two weeks from tomorrow. Kyrillos, a current State Senator says he's in it to win it this year, but one political expert thinks he may really have his eye on a future prize.

"The reality is that most people recognize that this run was really a trial balloon," says Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison. "Not people expected Joe Kyrillos to come in and knock off Bob Menendez."

Harrison thinks many of the Republican faithful are just hoping for a respectable outcome so that when a future seat opens up Kyrillos would be viewed as a contender who has run statewide, has raised money from a national constituency and has commanded the issues. She believes that's what Kyrillos is really fighting for this year.

"I know this isn't one of the hot-button races this year, but this is one of the few opportunities that New Jerseyans have to have a voice in who they're sending to the U.S. Senate," explains Harrison. "We're getting down to the wire in terms of Mr. Kyrillos being able to make up that double-digit fall that he's had."

For his part, Kyrillos has shown no indication that he's conceding anything this year. He has campaigned seemingly non-stop and has recently been on the trail with his friend and political ally, Governor Chris Christie.

Kyrillos continues to attack Menendez daily claiming the incumbent Democrat is not fighting for the middle class and telling New Jerseyans that they deserve better.


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