Over a year into his first term of office, Fairleigh Dickinson’s PublicMind poll shows that three of five or 58% of those who have heard of him have a favorable opinion of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, against one in five who see him unfavorably.
"That's down from the good ol' days when just 8% of those who knew anything about him said their opinion was unfavorable," said FDU pollster Dr. Peter Woolley – but still an enviable rating statewide, he noted.
Leroy Jones, chair of the Democratic Party Committee in neighboring East Orange and a former Essex County Freeholder, spoke to the falloff factor. "Governance of a major urban city will cost some popularity," Jones said in the FDU release. "Jerseyans have refocused on Booker as he begins to deal with major issues confronting the city, from layoffs to a mounting number of violent fatalities."
Booker does about equally well in the measure of favorable-to-unfavorable opinion among Democrats, independents, and Republicans as well as men and women, whites and African-Americans, Wooley said.
"This is a big city mayor with rare crossover appeal to a largely suburban state," said Woolley. "To the extent that he succeeds in Newark, he will become a statewide–if not a national–force."
Dr. Clement Price of Rutger’s University Newark doesn’t take much from the poll.
"Things are very much in a state of flux in Newark right now and Mayor Booker has emerged as a celebrity elected official," said the historian. "Much like a celebrity his numbers are going to go up – and they’re going to go down when there’s a negative story here. It’s unwise to give any poll regarding the mayor a lot of reception."