Quinnipiac: Booker leads Lonegan by 12 points

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democrat, leads former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the Republican, 53 – 41 percent among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, closer than expected given Booker’s wide lead among registered voters last month, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

This is the first survey of likely voters by the independent Quinnipiac University in the campaign for the special U.S. Senate election Oct. 16 and can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters, according to Quinnipiac. 

Booker’s margin is based on women, who back him 60 – 34 percent. Men are divided with 48 percent for Lonegan and 46 percent for Booker. 

Independent voters are divided with 47 percent for Booker and 44 percent for Lonegan. Booker leads 91 – 4 percent among Democrats, while Republicans go to Lonegan 86 – 11 percent. 

In this likely voter survey, 5 percent remain undecided and another 5 percent of those who name a candidate say there is a “good chance” they will change their mind in the next three weeks. 

“Maybe that ‘show horse vs. work horse’ charge from Republican Steve Lonegan is having an impact,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “While we can’t make a direct comparison between registered voters and likely voters, Mayor Cory Booker did have a 54 – 29 percent registered voter lead over Lonegan in Quinnipiac University’s August 7 pre-primary survey.” 

“Today’s results could be driven by the bad news about Newark crime, plus the publicity about Booker’s business ventures,” Carroll added. 

“But if it’s not a blow-out, it still looks like a comfortable lead for Booker. New Jersey is a blue state and it hasn’t elected a Republican senator – let alone a conservative one – since Sen. Clifford Case in 1972.” 

New Jersey likely voters give Booker a 53 – 30 percent favorability rating. Lonegan gets a 35 – 22 percent favorability, but 43 percent of voters don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. 

Looking at qualities, likely voters say:
  • 46 – 36 percent that Booker understands their problems better than Lonegan;
  • 40 – 32 percent that Booker is more honest and trustworthy;
  • 44 – 36 percent that Booker has the best experience to be a U.S. Senator.
Lonegan is too conservative, 33 percent of voters say, while 3 percent say he is too liberal and 39 percent say he is “about right.” 

Booker is too liberal, 35 percent of voters say, while 2 percent say he is too conservative and 49 percent say he is “about right.” 

From September 19 – 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 948 New Jersey likely voters in the special U.S. Senate election, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. 
Quinnipiac: Booker leads Lonegan by 12 points