Cory Booker Leads Frank Lautenberg In Early New Jersey Poll

If Newark Mayor Cory Booker ends up facing Senator Frank Lautenberg in a Democratic Primary in 2014, an early poll suggests he’d have a pretty good chance at winning:

(CNN) - Should it come down to a Democratic Senate primary next year in New Jersey between incumbent Frank Lautenberg and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a new survey suggests at this point, Booker would have the upper hand.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll of registered voters in the Garden State indicates that 42% of self-identified Democrats and Democratic leaners say they would prefer the two-term mayor, who’s considered a rising star in the party, as the Democratic nominee, with 20% saying they would prefer Lautenberg.

Among all voters, Booker has a 66% favorable rating, 21 points higher than the 45% who say they see Lautenberg in a favorable light.

Lautenberg, who turns 89 this month, has not decided on whether he’ll run for re-election in 2014.

Last month Booker announced that he would not challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie in November’s gubernatorial election, and instead said he would explore a Senate bid in 2014.

According to the poll, in a possible Democratic primary showdown next year, Booker would be favored among men, women, younger and older voters, and white and non-white voters.

“These numbers suggest that some difficult days may lie ahead for the incumbent senator should he seek reelection,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “Senator Lautenberg’s unfavorables, coupled with voter preferences for Booker as the Democratic standard bearer in the general election, complicate the landscape for this living legend amongst New Jersey politicians.”

Perhaps it’s the case that, after 30 years, Frank Lautenberg has outlived his welcome with New Jersey Democrats, especially if he’s pared against the young, popular, dynamic Mayor of Newark. If Lautenberg doesn’t run, then current speculation has Congressman Frank Pallone possible seeking the seat, but I’ve got to honestly believe that Booker would poll pretty well against him as well. It would appear that the Mayor made the correct choice in declining to run for Governor in 2013 and setting his sights on 2014 and the Senate.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CB says:

    I dont really see a path that leads to anything other than a Senator Booker. And im not sure that that would be an entirely good thing.

  2. stonetools says:

    Lautenberg needs to move on. He’ll be 90 on January 2015! He has served his day. Let a well qualified younger guy take over.

  3. edmondo says:

    Wall Street will be happy. Another Congresscritter who has been bought and stays bought.

  4. bill says:

    good for him, 88 yr olds shouldn’t be working at all- let alone trying to lead from the senate.