Booker is not a lock

By Alan Steinberg

alan steinbergDon’t believe for one minute that Cory Booker’s victory in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary in August is a lock.

Let me say that Cory Booker is a good friend of mine.  He and I had an excellent personal and working relationship while I served as Region 2 EPA Administrator under President George W. Bush.  I actually think that he would make an outstanding U.S. Senator.

There must be something in the poll data, however, that makes both Rush Holt and Frank Pallone think that they can defeat Booker in the August primary. I would say that Booker’s chances of winning the primary are 65 per cent, but no greater.  If Democratic Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Oliver runs, Booker’s chances of a primary victory will be reduced – by how much I do not know.

If Cory Booker wins the August primary, however, he will be elected U.S. Senator in October and will be there for life.

If Cory Booker loses the August primary, there will be a massive NON-turnout of the urban vote in the October special election – and the next U.S. Senator from New Jersey will be Republican conservative STEVE LONEGAN.  This prediction goes against conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom often isn’t very wise.

A Lonegan-Holt or a Lonegan-Pallone race could be the reverse of the Pennsylvania 1991 U.S. Senate special election won by Democrat Harris Wofford over Republican Richard Thornburgh – where Wofford, who started off 40 points behind,  was successful in energizing the voters to send a message to an increasingly unpopular President, George H.W.Bush, who had carried Pennsylvania in  the previous 1988 presidential race.  Wofford’s campaign largely focused on the Bush record on healthcare – or lack of same. In the case of Campaign 2013, Lonegan’s major national issue focus would, as in the case of Wofford 1991 be health care, in this case, ObamaCare.  The expanding scandals of the Obama administration could likewise give Lonegan an enhanced basis for a campaign in which his message is “Send President Obama a message.”  I know that Obama remains popular in New Jersey, but this is June, not October.  One can expect the turnout in the October Senate race to be very low – and even lower if Booker is defeated in the August primary, in which case the urban Democratic vote stays home in October. In the words of famed Chicago columnist Mike Royko , I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Region 2 EPA consists of the states of New York and New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Indian nations. Under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He currently serves on the political science faculty of Monmouth University.

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

12 Comments on “Booker is not a lock”

  1. Really? said at 9:27 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    Nice try Alan. It must be boring being a former regional administrator for an agency your party would like to eliminate. You seem to exist in that same weird space as former RA Chris Daggett-how to keep busy when the patronage is gone. There is something inherently racist in your wishful thinking prediction- i.e- dark skinned people will stay home if a dark skinned person is not on the ticket. Oh, I meant “urban turnout”

    Either stick to teaching or stop asking Steve Lonegan to write your pieces.

  2. Kenneth Trison said at 9:27 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    I agree with Alan that opponents of Booker must have based their run on data. With that being said Rullo announced today to run independent with an interesting argument. He stated with no partisan lines combined with nasty primary election people may look at alternatives. In a normal general election Rullo would have problems overcoming the partisan line vote in Ocean County. However, if he was able to substantially win Ocean County while utilizing his existing base it could be interesting. During the announcement he mentioned his long ties to political process helped him defeat last years Tea Party candidate soundly. I give him allot of credit for taking a shot at it.

  3. bill said at 9:28 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    Sorry you are overrating Booker and underestimating Pallone.Don’t look at personalitys look at records Frank Pallone wins.Frank is a tireless campaigner.No one knows what the turnout will be everyone is grussing but Pallone will have a ground game.Sorry no way will Steve Lonegan with his right-wing agenda will beat Frank Pallone.

  4. tom said at 9:44 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    Atleast MMM doesn’t delete the Rullo bots like APP, lol.

  5. Say no to Frank! said at 10:14 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    And to Holt! Come on, NJ- last thing we need are two basic commie-types – at least Booker is an interesting new face- and, if the rank and file D’s don’t like him, sign me up- notice I have no hope for an R, at all.. Lesser of 3 evils for me.. Wow,- people- time to wake up.. In the meantime, please, no Holt or Pallone!!

  6. Mike said at 10:36 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    It’s not over unitl it’s over!

  7. bill said at 10:54 pm on June 9th, 2013:

    I’m very impressed with Speaker Oliver and now that she running it is a new ball game.The Speaker would also make a great Senator. but we as Democrats can and must not forget about making Barbara Buono our next Governor.Keep talking about Christie record 400,000 people out of work Property Taxes up 20%,45th in job creation.Christie wants this so votes forget about his NO jersey comeback.

  8. bill said at 12:39 am on June 10th, 2013:

    Plz ignore my last comments. I have decided to become a republican after I have had a moment of clarity!

  9. Larry said at 1:10 am on June 10th, 2013:

    What I can’t figure out is why Booker doesn’t just drop the facade and run as a Republican?!?!? He’d probably have an easier race.

  10. Word is, said at 7:26 am on June 11th, 2013:

    Booker has problems with his leadership- he may be too much of his own person , and not enough of a toe the party line lib,like Frank.. (can’t have anyone not 100 per cent of the time voting for more taxes and more big government, and that’s Frankie)..It is true, the unions will be paid big bucks to do the effective knock -and -drag that kept him in the congress for far too long.. am very scared we may get Frank, and feel he and Holt are the two worst of the pack as to ideology.. which we sure already have too much of, down there.. the frustration for NJ mounts!.. although, Lonegan would tear Frankie up, if we could drag him to a real debate on core issues!.. since it’s an outside shot for Steve now, I still hope for Booker as the least offensive D of the year..

  11. » MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Booker is not a lock said at 2:35 pm on June 11th, 2013:

    […] MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Booker is not a lock Go to this article […]

  12. We will be in worse shape said at 6:57 am on June 12th, 2013:

    if we get either Holt or Pallone…check their records and philosophy.. it is total socialism, and that is being mild.. we would be a tiny bit better served with Booker- if the bigwigs in his organization think he too much has his own mind, then that’s what we want..I will support Lonegan, uphill battle though it will be.. Thanks, Guv..