A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning finds that Newark mayor Cory Booker is the overwhelming favorite to win New Jersey’s special election for U.S. Senate.
Booker has long been expected to triumph in the contest to fill the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-N.J) seat, but the Quinnipiac poll shows how easily he seems to be crushing his rivals.
In a hypothetical matchup between Booker and likely Republican nominee Steve Lonegan, Booker came out on top, 53 percent to 30 percent. That 23-point margin is especially impressive, considering that no other Democrat holds more than a 4-point lead against Lonegan in the survey.
According to the poll’s findings, the only other Democratic candidates who lead Lonegan are U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (38 percent to 34 percent) and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (37 percent to 36 percent).
The poll finds that Booker leads the Democratic primary with 52 percent, followed by Pallone at 10 percent, Holt at 8 percent, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver at 3 percent. The remaining 26 percent are undecided.
Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, explained one of the reasons behind Booker’s lead by saying, “In the favorable-unfavorable measure, only Booker comes close to being a household name.”
According to the poll, the “don’t know enough” measures for several candidates are particularly high: 63 percent don’t know Pallone, 68 percent don’t know Holt, and 71 percent don’t know Oliver. On the Republican side, 54 percent say they don’t know enough about Lonegan, and 91 percent say the same about Dr. Alieta Eck.
The poll comes just one day after the late Senator Lautenberg’s family announced their support for Frank Pallone. In a statement released by the Pallone campaign, Lautenberg’s family indirectly slammed Booker and referred to him as a “showhorse” more concerned with his own “glory” rather than “New Jersey” and his “principles.”
But Booker’s strong lead seems to indicate that even support from Lautenberg’s family will not be enough to help Pallone — or any other candidate — defeat the mayor of Newark.
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