It’s two days before New Jersey elects a U.S. Senator to replace the late Frank Lautenberg in Washington and Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s lead over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan has shrunk to 10%, according to a poll released by Monmouth University this morning. Democrat Booker led Republican Lonegan by 13% two weeks ago and by 26% in August.
Polling Director Patrick Murray surveyed 1,393 likely voters who have voted in at least two of the last four general elections between Thursday and Saturday of last week. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.6%.
The poll results are weighted with the assumptions that Democrats will be 38% of the turnout, Independents 34% and Republicans 28%. Monmouth expects that women will be 52% of the turnout. The expected racial demographic of voters is 75% White, 12% Black, 8% Hispanic and 5% Asian/Other.
Democrats favor Booker by a margin of 90%-6%. Independents favor Lonegan, 48%-43% with 6% undecided. Republicans favor Lonegan 86%-11%.
55% of respondents said that Booker’s views on issues are generally in line with most of New Jerseyans. 30% said Booker is out of step with most voters and 15% are not sure. 48% said Booker is more interested in being on the national stage than he is in serving the people of New Jersey. This perception accounts for Booker’s weakened support, according to Murray.
“Concerns about Cory Booker’s intentions to serve New Jersey continue to persist and his favorability ratings continue to drop. At the same time, voters clearly prefer Booker’s political views over Lonegan’s. The message seems to be that Garden State voters don’t like to feel that their support is being taken for granted,” said Murray.
Booker’s net favorable/unfavorable rating has declined to +21 from +26 two weeks ago, +34 in August and +46 in June.
Lonegan’s net favorable/unfavorable rating stands at +3%, a decline from +7 in September, +11 in August and +14 in June.
Lonegan’s name recognition as improved substantially over the course of the campaign. In June, 45% said they had no opinion of Lonegan. In the poll released today, that figure is down to 27%.
Murray expects that between 35% and 40% of New Jersey’s registered voters will cast a ballot this week.