Early absentee ballot counts: Bergen, Middlesex and Ocean

Bergen, the major bellwether county in the state, reports a 59% absentee ballot haul for Democratic candidate Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, sources say.

He has just about an 18-point lead over Republican Steve Lonegan (41%), the former mayor of Bogota, according to sources, who said they are counting the last 200 ballots now out of approximately 7,000.

In heavily Republican Ocean County, Lonegan has a 61-37% absentee ballot lead over Booker with nearly 8,000 of a total 10,000 absentee ballots counted, sources say.

A source observing Ocean performance said turnout was strong, and speculated that by the end of the night it would approach the high 30s or 40% – better than expected for a special election on a Wednesday.

In Middlesex County, Booker leads Lonegan, 1,902 to 850, with 70% of the absentee ballot votes counted.

Union County reported the following: Booker: 2,875, Lonegan:  1,708.

While acknowledging the good absentee ballot news for Booker in Bergen, a source in Hudson said the Booker Campaign put “no money on the street” in the urban areas, and consequently said he wouldn’t be surprised by an underwhelming Election Day performance by Booker voters. 

Early absentee ballot counts: Bergen, Middlesex and Ocean