Title: Republican Frontrunner for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s Special Statewide Election (and former Mayor of Bogota).
Campaign Status: Last Thursday afternoon, the Walking Drudge Hit from Bogota was annihilating his no-name Republican opponent in a U.S. Senate snoozer. On Friday morning, he was imploding. Saturday evening, he was still imploding. Monday morning? That’s now. So we’ll see.
The Question on Operatives’ Minds: Will last Thursday’s offensive campaign trail tweet about Newark turn off Republicans – or serve as precisely that rage-inducing fuel to drive base GOP voters in a low-turnout Republican Primary?
Going from Bad to Worse: “I have a handicap, you know. I am a white guy running in the state of New Jersey. That is my handicap.”
Campaign Message: Booker’s a bad mayor. Just look at Newark. And I’m a good mayor. Just look at Bogota.
Best Weapon: Chris Christie, whose self-protective decision to schedule the special election on any other day besides his own re-election date made Lonegan the Republican frontrunner as half a dozen GOP establishment figures sat out what they believed was an impossible election task against Cory Booker.
Most Infuriating Ally: Christie, who after Thursday actually has a reason for why he won’t be campaigning for Lonegan.
Biggest Campaign Challenge: He’s in it right now. To this point he had nothing to worry about in the primary.
How He’ll Fix it: Play the victim card, that should work in a hard-boiled state like New Jersey.
Campaign Spin: He was running for senator when he was actually running for governor.
The Reality: He’s running for governor right now.
Prognosis: Eck is from Somerset County – then again, so was Christie Todd Whitman.