Cory Booker Remains Way Ahead In Least Suspenseful Race Of 2013

Cory Booker

The latest poll in the New Jersey Democratic Senate Primary tells us the same thing that all the others have so far:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is blowing away the rest of the field in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s Senate seat, according to a new poll on Tuesday.

Booker had the support of 52 percent of those Democrats surveyed in the Quinnipiac poll, compared with 10 percent for Rep. Frank Pallone, who on Monday got the endorsement of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s family.

The other candidates in the race were in single digits: Rep. Rush Holt was supported by 8 percent and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver got 3 percent.

Booker also topped potential Republican challengers. Asked about the general election, voters chose Booker over former Bogota, N.J., Mayor Steve Lonegan 50 percent to 30 percent. Pallone topped Lonegan 38 percent to 34 percent, according to Quinnipiac.

Holt led Lonegan by 1 percentage point, and Oliver fell behind Lonegan by 2 percentage points.

The Lautenberg family endorsement of Pallone was particularly biting at Booker:

Frank R. Lautenberg resisted retiring from the United States Senate because he did not consider the politician who declared his interest in taking over his seat, Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, enough of a Democrat.

Now, in the race to fill the opening created by Mr. Lautenberg’s death last month, his family has endorsed Representative Frank Pallone Jr., one of Mr. Booker’s three opponents for the Democratic nomination.

The endorsement from Mr. Lautenberg’s widow and children did not mention Mr. Booker, who is leading in the polls, but it included some obvious shots at him.

“Frank Pallone knows that gimmicks and celebrity status won’t get you very far in the real battles that Democrats face in the future,” the written endorsement said, adding, “While it may not always attract glamorous headlines, Frank knows that to be effective you must put New Jersey and your principles first, not your own glory.”

Mr. Booker, who was described as the rock star mayor by Oprah Winfrey, became one of the nation’s best-known politicians through frequent television appearances and Twitter posts, but has been criticized by some Newark residents who claim that he has tended more to his political ambitions than his city’s needs.

Mr. Pallone and Representative Rush D. Holt, both from central New Jersey, are promoting themselves as the best candidate to carry on the legacy of Mr. Lautenberg, a five-term senator who crusaded against secondhand smoke and toxins in consumer products and credited the G.I. Bill with allowing him to rise from poverty to great wealth as a founder of the payroll giant ADP.

With only 36 days to go between now and the August 13th primary it’s unclear what impact, if any, this endorsement will actually have on the race. My guess, given the fact that Lautenberg’s own criticisms of Booker earlier this year failed to move the needle in the polls, is that it won’t have much of an impact at all. Booker’s path to the Senate seems to be all but certain.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2013, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
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. edmondo says:

    Jamie Dimon will be so happy. He bought himself a new senator and it didn’t even cost that much.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Just keeping my 2 cents in for the record: Cory Booker is eventually going to self destruct. No overwhelming evidence for that, just based on a half century of watching how politicians act and talk right before they self destruct.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    Another example of the future of politics in the U.S. The establishment hand picks their candidate and the elections are really moot.