Poll: Booker ahead in NJ Senate race

Newark Mayor Cory Booker holds a commanding lead in the Democratic primary for New Jersey's special Senate election with more than 50 percent support, according to a new poll.


In the Quinnipiac University survey released Monday, Booker takes 53 percent support, while Rep. Rush Holt takes 10 percent and Rep. Frank Pallone holds 9 percent.

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All three have been joined by state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver in their pursuit of the Democratic nomination for deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D) seat.

Booker's strong lead is likely due in part to his high name recognition within the state. Booker is known nationwide as a prominent Democratic politician and prolific surrogate for President Obama during the 2012 campaign cycle.

Only a quarter of those polled say they don't know enough about Booker yet to have an opinion. Sixty-eight and 67 percent, however, say they don't know enough about Pallone and Holt, respectively.



The winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win the seat in the general election. A Republican has not held the seat in blue state New Jersey in more than four decades.


Booker is by far the most competitive against the only announced Republican candidate, conservative activist and former Mayor Steve Lonegan.

Booker trounces him, with a 27-percentage-point lead, while Pallone leads by 10 percentage points and Holt leads the GOP candidate by 5 percent.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) set the special election primary for Oct. 16, while the general will take place on Aug. 13.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted among 858 New Jersey voters from June 7-9 and has a 3.4 point margin of error.