Lonegan team says it’s a single digit race
With two weeks left in the special election campaign for U.S. Senate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s lead over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in down to 13 points, from 16 points in August, according to a Monmouth University poll of likely voters released this morning.
Despite holding his lead within the margins of error in the Monmouth polls, Booker’s favorability rating has taken a 20 point hit since August. The percentage of those who view Booker favorably dropped 7% while those who view him unfavorably increased by 13%.
Lonegan’s overall favorability rating declined 4%. 35% said they view Lonegan favorably, up from 31% in August. 28% said they viewed Lonegan unfavorably, up 8% since August.
Lonegan’s name recognition has jumped 11% since August when 49% said they had no opinion of him. 38% said they have no opinion of him in today’s survey.
Booker has widened his lead with Independent voters from 2% in August to 6% today. Monmouth Polling Director Patrick Murray said this figure is statistically insignificant.
Lonegan has shored up his support among Republicans a bit. 83% of Republican likely voters say they will vote for Lonegan, up from 79% in August. 14% of Republicans said they would vote for Booker, down from 16% in August.
Lonegan’s strategist and pollster Rick Shaftan says his man is down by only 6%, 48-42. Shaftan thinks Booker’s shallow support in his base will translate into a lower turnout among Democratic voters than Republcans and conservatives. “Maybe I’m undercounting African-Americans who I have at 8% of the turnout,”Shaftan said, “I know others expect more. I do not.” Shaftan said that the African-American vote was 12% of the turnout in last year’s election in New Jersey.