Senator Cory Booker’s support for reelection took a sharp drop since March, according to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released this morning.
In the March Monmouth/APP poll, 55% of NJ voters said Booker deserves to be reelected. Today, only 44% say the former Newark Mayor deserves his own six year term in Washington. Booker was elected last October to fill the remainder of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term. He faces off with Republican Jeff Bell in November.
Booker would beat Bell easily if the election where today, 43%-23%, but 15% say they would vote for a third party candidate and 17% are unsure. But the vast majority of voters, 82%, don’t know enough about Bell for express a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. The GOP nominee for U.S. Senate against Bill Bradley in 1978, Bell scored a surprise victory in the GOP primary for Senate last month. Of those who do know enough about Bell to express an opinion, the overwhelming impression, 2-1, is favorable.
Perhaps the worst indicator of support for Booker is his favorability rating. While net positive by a significant 43%-14% margin, 43% said they have no opinion of Booker. That is a stunningly high number for a man who was elected to the U.S. Senate last fall, served as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city for over seven years, has over 1 million twitter followers and who has spent over $12 million on his reelection effort since the first of the year.
The best thing that Booker has going for him this year is that Governor Christie and the NJ Republican establishment decided Booker could not be beaten and took a pass on the race, leaving the Republican nomination race to four unknown candidates who never held elected office. Bell prevailed by running the smartest campaign in which he largely ignored his opponents. They in turn ignored him while beating each other up. Bell delivered his message to the low turnout Republican primary voters.
Christie’s political energy will be spent outside of New Jersey this election, as he works to elect Republican Governors throughout the country as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. But if New Jersey’s Republican County Chairmen, especially in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, turnout their voters this November like they have the past two Novembers, Booker could be starting a new career as the male Oprah come January.