Newark Mayor Cory Booker, fresh off a convincing win in last Tuesday’s Senate primary, leads his opponent in the race by 16 points, according to a new poll.
The Monmouth University poll puts Booker up by 16 points over Republican former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the race to fill the seat vacated with the death of former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
The number is nearly identical to a pre-primary poll, which put Booker up by 16 in June.
Each man garners solid support from his base with Booker appealing to 92 percent of Democrats and Lonegan to 79 percent of Republicans. But independents are nearly evenly split with Booker pulling in 43 percent to Lonegan’s 41 percent.
“Cory Booker appears to be in the driver’s seat after his big primary win, but his personal ratings declined over the course of the campaign. Steve Lonegan, on the other hand, remains basically unknown to half the electorate after coasting to the GOP nomination,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Booker’s favorability ratings, which currently stand at 57% favorable to 23% unfavorable among likely voters, with 20% having no opinion, have dropped slightly since the June poll. That poll put the mayor’s favorability at 61 percent to just 15 percent unfavorable.
Lonegan’s numbers stand at 31 percent favorable to 20 percent unfavorable and 49 percent having no opinion, a sign that Lonegan is not nearly as well known as Booker, despite several past statewide runs.
The special election is set for Oct. 16, with the winner filling the remaining year of Lautenberg’s term.