New Jersey: Democrats Prefer Booker Over Lautenberg in New Poll
Posted at 9:35 a.m. on Jan. 23
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, above, led Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg in a poll of New Jersey Democratic primary voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
New Jersey Democrats are ready for Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg to step aside in favor of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, according to a Qunnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.
The survey showed that in a Democratic primary, Booker got 51 percent of the support, while 30 percent backed Lautenberg.
The poll’s key finding is that while Democrats might approve of Launtenberg’s job performance, they are ready for him to retire. Lautenberg’s job approval was at 50 percent, but 45 percent said he does not deserve to be re-elected, compared to 36 percent who said he does.
Another 71 percent of those surveyed said that his age, 90 years old at his next swearing-in, makes his job “too difficult.”
Like a recent Fairleigh Dickinson poll, the Quinnipiac survey lacked a key variable: the inclusion of Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., who is said to be eyeing the seat as well. New Jersey strategists say it is unclear how a three-man field would influence the race.
Meanwhile, the Quinnipiac poll showed Booker with strong favorability ratings. Fifty-four percent of respondents had a positive impression of the Newark mayor, while 16 percent had a negative view of him. Twenty-nine percent said they did not know enough about him.
Lautenberg’s image is above water, but voters view him less favorably than Booker. Forty-two percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Lautenberg, while 32 percent had a negative view of him. Twenty-three percent were unsure.
The Democrat who wins the party’s nomination is the safe bet to win the general election. The poll was conducted from Jan. 15 to Jan. 21 among 616 Democratic registered voters, with a margin of error of 4 points. Live interview via land lines and cellphones constituted the survey.