Newark Mayor Cory Booker has opened a large lead over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., according to the results of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released on Wednesday.
With just over a month before the special election, 64 percent of likely New Jersey voters support Booker, a Democrat, while 29 percent favor Lonegan, a Republican. Another 6 percent are undecided.
The poll suggests that Booker benefits from strong name recognition as well as a positive favorability rating. Sixty-three percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Booker, while just 19 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
Meanwhile, a majority of likely voters said they don't have an opinion of Lonegan. Among those with an impression, Lonegan's favorability rating is split 22 percent to 22 percent.
David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers said, "Booker's name recognition, celebrity-type status and stances on issues that align more with New Jersey's 'blue' political climate seem to be driving momentum toward him and away from Lonegan."
"On top of that the Republican's most recent news highlights attacking Booker's masculinity have been quite unflattering," he added.
The special election is scheduled for October 16th, with the winner to serve the remainder of Lautenberg's term, which expires in January of 2015.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll of 462 likely New Jersey voters was conducted September 3rd through 9th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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