What can we learn from the Booker-Lonegan contest?

aplesnorangesFor those who try to read political tea leaves, the only lesson to be taken from the results of the Special Election this week is that apples and oranges make fruit salad.

For conservatives and Tea Partiers enthused that Steve Lonegan lost to Cory Booker by a significantly lower margin than Joe Kyrillos lost to Bob Menendez last year, consider this; Kyrillos had more votes in the 2012 general election than Booker and Lonegan had combined on Wednesday.  More people voted for Joe Kryillos in the 2012 U.S. Senate race than voted for Chris Christie in the 2009 gubernatorial race.

For Trenton Republicans hopeful about taking control of the State Senate, consider this; If the fact that Lonegan lost Senate President Steve Sweeney’s district by only 347 votes, .9%, means that Sweeney is more vulnerable to Niki Trunk’s campaign than previously thought, does that mean that Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt is a shoe-in to defeat Senator Jeff Van Drew in Cape May where Lonegan won by almost 19%?   Does the fact that Booker won Mercer and Middlesex Counties handedly mean there is no hope of picking up the Senate seats in the 14th and 18th districts?  None of the above.

Should Monmouth County Democrats conclude that they have a fighting chance on November 5, because Lonegan beat Booker here by only 9%. Let them think that.

Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “What can we learn from the Booker-Lonegan contest?”

  1. What can we learn from the Booker-Lonegan contest? | The Save Jersey Blog said at 10:48 am on October 18th, 2013:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  2. Bob English said at 11:59 am on October 18th, 2013:

    Since so many things about the election were unique (filling in the remainder of a Senate term, election held two weeks before the general election, election held on a Wednesday, very low turnout, election held during govt shutdown, etc.) I think its almost impossible to take the results of this election and use those to forecast future outcomes.

  3. DavidE said at 1:16 am on October 19th, 2013:

    Lonegan generally ran a smart campaign generally and was very successful at undercutting Booker’s favorable image. The expectations when the campaign started were a 25% to 30% Booker blowout. It didn’t happen and Lonegan actually ran very well in Ocean County and some of the counties in South Jersey. Considering he was outspent 8 to 1, it was a fairly decent showing. But why does Lonegan emphasize opposition to abortion when he can’t do anything about it? He just plays into Booker’s hands there. He has to find an issue that moves voters and was unable to do so.

  4. barry said at 8:15 am on October 19th, 2013:

    The 25% was for registered voters. No poll of likely voters had a margin of greater than 15%. The next to last poll by Monmouth University had it at 10 % and the margin rounds to 11%. (10.8 to be exact), and the final poll had it at 12. So it appears the independent pollsters were correct after all.

  5. frithguild said at 10:49 am on October 20th, 2013:

    My SWAG about Lonegan putting the abortion issue out front was an appeal to conservative elements of the ethnic vote. If you can strip away only 3%, that’s huge. There was no down side to that strategy because he was going to be painted as an “extremist” no matter what he said. The best strategy was to put it out front and neutralize it for those who are polarized by the issue.

  6. Harold Kane said at 5:43 pm on October 21st, 2013:

    Booker won the Senate seat, but what did he win? He is leaving his NJ power base to be the JUNIOR senator from NJ. Out of sight, out of mind. With Booker following Menendez around DC then this removes the one name that the Democrats had. Now it is Christie and nobody. With Booker in DC Christie can begin to plan for his successor knowing that Booker should not be an issue.