Professional pollsters call the tactic “unethical” and “fraudulent”
Senator Cory Booker and freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo have deployed a campaign tactic dubbed “unethical” and “fraudulent” by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. photo via facebook
The Democratic Party is deploying a controversial campaign tactic known as “Push Polling” in Monmouth County on behalf of Senator Cory Booker and their county freeholder candidates. MMM has received reports of such calls being delivered to unsuspecting voters in Shrewsbury, Neptune and Manalapan.
The automated calls, which do not disclose who they are being made on behalf of or who is paying for them, purport to be opinion surveys. If the voter responds that they favor Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jeff Bell rather than Booker, they are subject to a series of “If you knew” questions that distort Bell’s record and lie about his positions.
If the voter responds that they intend to vote for Monmouth County Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich for reelection, the are subject to “If you knew” questions that accuse the incumbents of unethical hiring practices, dirty dealing on Open Space acquisitions and criticizing the length of their public service in various municipal and county offices.
The political landscape in New Jersey is ripe for a historic shift this November. But a shift in New Jersey’s representation in Washington is not likely to happen because the New Jersey Republican Party is wholly unprepared for the opportunity. The nincompoops who lead the NJGOP gave up on the U.S. Senate race in January. They gave up on picking up seats in the Congressional Delegation in 2012 when the new congressional map was drawn.
According to a Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy Public Mind Poll released this morning, President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey registered voters is a dismal 36%. 49%, including 21% of Democrats and 45% of Independents, disapprove of the President’s job performance. Senator Cory Booker is 8 points below the magic number of 50% that an incumbent needs to be comfortable in a reelection race. Those are the kind of numbers any opposition party/candidate would pray for 8 weeks before an election.
Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission
Had the late Senator Frank Lautenberg lived to complete his term, Geraldo Rivera might have been the Republican nominee to be New Jersey’s junior member of the United States Senate. Cory Booker would still be mayor of Newark and the two celebrities would have been engaged now in an expensive high profile race with national implications.
In early 2013, Rivera was very publicly exploring the possibility of running for Launtenberg’s seat. Booker had just declined to challenge Governor Chris Christie’s reelection bid and announced that he would run for Lautenberg’s seat. Booker’s announcement came before the ailing Lautenberg’s announcement that he would not seek another term.
Lautenberg’s June 2013 death and Christie’s call for an October Special Election to fill the seat scuttled the plans of the television and radio personality/journalist to enter politics on a national level. He was not able to rearrange his life or gain support of his family in the short time required to compete in an August GOP primary.
What might have been a high profile exciting battle between Rivera and Booker this fall is now reduced to bragging rights as to which man will raise more money for his respective Party in Monmouth County. Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden will announce this afternoon that Rivera is the keynote speaker at the GOP Fundraising Gala on October 15 at the Navesink Country Club. Rivera’s office and Golden both confirmed that Geraldo is coming.
Confronted with independent polling data that shows him to be in a surprisingly tight 7-10 point race against Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Jeff Bell, Booker has labeled his opponent a “right-wing ideologue,” according to a report on PolitickerNJ.Booker beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan for the job of filling the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term last October by only 11 percent.
I don’t think we need to send any more right-wing ideologues down to the U.S. Senate. I think we need to send bridge builders to get Congress moving again,” said Booker, the former Newark mayor, said.
Booker touted the work he has done with Republicans in Congress, including such bridge builders as Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to PolitickerNJ, as evidence that he will break the partisan gridlock in Washington.
On his website, Bell says he’s pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and pro-religious freedom. He’s against Internet gambling and drug legalization. Some would say those positions make him a right-wing radical.
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.
Senator Cory Booker is lending his star power and fund raising prowess to the Democratic Freeholder candidates who are looking to unseat Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich in November.
Booker is headlining a July 25 fundraiser for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo at the Wall Township home of Gary and Linda Faraci.
Establishment favorite Brian Goldberg has 33,194 votes, 25%. Murray Sabrin has 20% of the vote, 26,249.
Bell defeated the last Republican U.S. Senator from New Jersey, Clifford Case, in 1978 GOP primary and lost the general election to Bill Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar and famous NBA basketball star. This year he will take on Booker, a Rhodes Scholar and famous social media star.
Bell did not participate in any of the Republican County conventions this year. He has won the nomination without any county “Party Lines” on the primary ballot.
Bell sent out mail that Republican primary voters are used to receiving and he advertised MMM.
Follow Jeff Bell on twitter. He has 175 followers to Booker’s 1.47 million.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Mayor Fred Rast greeting voters in Atlantic Highlands last year. photo by Art Gallagher
Several MMM readers have asked me to endorse of a U.S. Senate candidate to take on Senator Cory Booker. I can’t endorse, or vote for, any of the four candidates who are on the ballot this Tuesday.
I’m writing in Joe Kyrillos on Tuesday. If this post goes viral, Joe Kryillos could be the U.S. Senate Republican nominee on Tuesday night. That’s how bad the U.S. Senate primary campaign has been. Booker would then have a fight on his hands. Share this post.
None of the four candidates on the ballot can make Booker break a sweat this fall.
None of the candidates on the ballot have raised enough money for a county freeholder race, never mind a statewide race for U.S. Senate. Booker has spent over $12 million on his re-election bid since the first of the year. He had $2.9 million in cash on hand as of May 14.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in 2012, has refunded more money to his federal donors this year that any of the current Republican candidates have raised.