Lonegan camp says its a 3 point race
GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan is leading Democratic nominee Cory Booker among Independent voters, 50%-44%, and Republicans, 87%-10%, but women in all demographics are breaking strongly for Booker, 62%-31%, giving the Newark mayor an overall 12 point lead, 53%-41%, in the race to be New Jersey’s next U.S. Senator, according to a Quinnipiac poll of likely released this morning.
Booker’s lead is unchanged since a September 24 Quinnipiac poll that energized Lonegan supporters. The 12 point lead in September revealed the race to be a lot closer the 30%+ margins most were expecting for Booker.
The poll of 899 likely voters was conducted between October 5 and 7. If the Senatorial debate between the candidates moved the needle either way, it is not likely to be reflected in these numbers. The debate was held on the fourth, but not broadcast until the 6th.
There is some indication that Quinnipiac may be over weighting Democrats or under weighting Independents in their turnout assumptions. The poll indicates that NJ voters favor ObamaCare by a 51%-44% margin. Yet Independents oppose ObamaCare by 56%-38%. Democrats support ObamaCare, 92%-4%. Republicans oppose it 87%-8%. Lonegan has been campaigning against ObamaCare as strongly as he has been attacking Booker’s record in Newark.
In a general election, Independents are usually the largest percentage of voters. With Independents breaking for Lonegan and against ObamaCare, it is surprising that Democratic voters are predicted to carry the day. But nobody knows who will turnout for a Special Election on the third Wednesday in October.
Quinnipiac’s assumptions could be on the money. Democratic turnout in the August 13 primary was higher than expected by most.
The Lonegan campaign continues to believe the race is within three points. Strategist/pollster Rich Shaftan, who celebrated the Quinnipiac poll in September, posted the following critiques on facebook this morning:
Q-Poll is not a registered voter poll. It is a random digit dial survey where the results are weighted to the 2012 turnout model. They are weighting the numbers because they have too many Republicans completing the surveys and not enough Democrats. This the opposite of what happened in 2012, leading people to claim “the polls” were “skewed.” Pollsters should look at the raw data and not weight it for what they believe turnout will be.
Just spoke to Douglas Schwartz at the Quinnipiac Poll. He admitted to me they upweight African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians to match the 18+ Census Data. If he released the unweighted raw data it would show a 3 point race. And that doesn’t account for their sample being drawn from random phone numbers, instead of registered voters or better yet, registered voters who have voted in two of four general elections.