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A Perfect Storm in New Jersey’s Senate Race?


A Perfect Storm in New Jersey’s Senate Race?
By Peter Roff

When New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg died earlier this year, there were few people who believed the Republicans had a chance of picking up the seat. Pundits, conservatives and liberals alike believed Newark Mayor Cory Booker would simply walk into the Senate as Lautenberg’s successor. They didn’t count on former Bogota, N.J. Mayor Steve Lonegan who, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll, is making it a real race.

Lonegan has been stumping up and down the Garden State making the case for his candidacy while Booker, who has apparently bought into all the pre-election hype, has spent a significant portion of his time campaigning out of state in places like California.

The Quinnipiac poll confirms what several private polls have already shown: it’s a 12 point race. Lonegan is down 41 percent to 53 percent among the 948 likely voters surveyed, meaning it’s still not quite a horse race; but the former businessman and long-time political activist has cut Booker’s lead in half with virtually no money and with almost no outside support.

Why is Lonegan as close as he is? Some people suggest it’s a by-product of the national environment. Voters are looking for an opportunity to register their disapproval with President Barack Obama’s leadership, as reflected in his falling approval numbers, and with his signature health care law, which on paper is scheduled to go into effect shortly but which has been beset by delays that have forced the administration to issue waivers and shift deadlines forward.

One thought on “A Perfect Storm in New Jersey’s Senate Race?

  1. Great story that gives nationwide visibility to the Lonegan-Booker senate contest. Lonegan’s candidacy should grow stronger and stronger as election day looms.

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