With a 22-point lead in his bid for re-election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning, Frank Lautenberg is likely to break two new records — he’ll become the first five-term United States Senator in New Jersey history, and he’ll break his own record as the oldest person to ever win a statewide election in this state. But there is one more record that Lautenberg could break — the biggest winning percentage in a U.S. Senate race. That record belongs to Bill Bradley, who won 64.2% against Mary Mochary in 1984.
Lautenberg could become the fifth Senator in state history to win more than 60% of the vote; if this is the last campaign for the 84-year-old Democrat, it’s not a bad way to go out — especially since Lautenberg has never passed the 54% mark before. He won 50.9% against Millicent Fenwick in 1982, 53.5% against Peter Dawkins in 1988, 50.3% against Chuck Haytaian in 1994, and 53.9% against Douglas Forrester in 2002.
The other New Jersey Senators to hit the 60% mark: Clifford Case (62.5% in 1972 and 60.0% in 1966), Harrison Williams (61.9% in 1964 an 60.7% in 1976), and Walter Edge (61.8% in 1924). Case, Williams and Lautenberg are the only four-term Senators, and if he’s re-elected, Lautenberg will pass Case’s record for the longest tenure as a Senator from New Jersey on January 3, 2009.