Aside from an ongoing Ethics Committee probe, the legal cloud over Menendez appears to be lifting. But he still faces political headwinds in his bid this year for a third Senate term and in his purported attempt to retain the committee post. Menendez’s net approval rating among registered voters has fallen 20 points since the start of 2017 -- the biggest decline of any senator up for 2018 reelection, according to a recent Morning Consult poll based on a survey from October through December 2017. New Jersey voters will continue to be reminded of Menendez's dishonest schemes as the election approaches in November, Republican National Committee spokesman Bob Salera recently said. If Menendez indeed reclaims his top post on the foreign relations committee, he would push aside Maryland New Jersey Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who now occupies the ranking-member post. The liberal wing of New Jersey Democratic also has expressed concern about Menendez’s return, considering he’s regarded as more moderate than Ben Cardin. Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, did not support former President Barack Obama’s efforts to improve diplomatic relations with the Cuban government or the Iran nuclear deal, brokered by the Obama administration. Federal prosecutors decided two weeks ago not to retry Menendez on corruption charges, after their case ended last fall in a hung jury. Menendez, 64, was charged with trading his political influence for gifts and campaign contributions from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. He denied the allegations all along. The prosecutors ’ decision ended Menendez and Melgen’s 11-week trial and their roughly five-year investigation. From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail, Menendez said after prosecutors dropped the case. I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to re-evaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion. However, The New Jersey Democratic senator also issued a warning last year to those who were eager to replace The New Jersey Democratic senator in the Senate. To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I wo n’t forget you.