Cory Booker Looks Set to Expand Democratic Control of the Senate
Around the State
The Democrats look well-positioned to expand their majority in the U.S. Senate next week as Newark Mayor Cory Booker has a solid lead in the polls over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate, in a special election in New Jersey. The seat is currently held by U.S. Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, R-N.J., who was appointed to the seat after the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.
Quinnipiac University released a poll of likely voters on Wednesday which finds Booker taking 53 percent while Lonegan follows with 41 percent. Only 5 percent remain undecided as the race enters its final week, while 1 percent support other candidates.
The poll finds Booker’s lead rests on women voters who break the Democrat’s way by a large margin, with 62 percent backing him and only 31 percent behind Lonegan. A slight majority of men -- 51 percent -- support Lonegan while 44 percent are for Booker.
"It's still not the predicted blow-out, but with a week to go, Newark Mayor Cory Booker hangs on to a nice, if not exactly comfortable, double-digit lead," said Maurice Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Carroll noted that Booker’s tweets to a stripper aren’t impacting the race and pointed to the Democrat’s support with women. A large majority -- 76 percent -- of those surveyed say the tweets are not a legitimate issue. Despite the gender gap in the election, 79 percent of men and 73 percent of women think Booker’s tweets aren’t a major issue.
"Can a U.S. Senate candidate exchange Twitter messages with a stripper? Apparently so, at least in New Jersey," Carroll said. "Three-quarters of voters think it's a nonissue.”
Carroll suggested Booker’s financial advantage has helped propel him to the lead in the Garden State.
"Money talks, at least on TV,” Carroll said. “Booker's on a lot and Lonegan only a little, and almost a third of New Jerseyans haven't seen enough of Lonegan to make an up-or-down judgment."
The Quinnipiac poll of 899 likely New Jersey voters was taken from Oct. 5-7 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.
A poll from Rasmussen Reports released on Tuesday showed the exact same results, with Booker taking 53 percent, Lonegan garnering 41 percent, with 1 percent supporting other candidates and 5 percent still undecided.
The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely New Jersey voters was taken on Oct. 7 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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