THIS IS not a surprise, with Cory Booker in a good position to win easily this fall. The only man as happy as Cory Booker tonight is Gov. Chris Christie, whose shenanigan election scheduling has set himself up for a landslide.
The most recent Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Booker topping Lonegan by 25 points in a general election matchup.
Whoever wins in the fall will serve out the remainder of Lautenbergâ€™s term. The seat is being temporarily filled by Republican Jeffrey Chiesa, the stateâ€™s former attorney general, who was Christieâ€™s interim pick.
If Booker wins, the balance of power in the Senate would return to a 55-45 advantage for Democrats, meaning Republicans need to win six seats in next yearâ€™s midterms to gain control of the upper chamber.
The winner of the special election would face voters again in 2014 for a full six-year term. Christie set the controversial special election timeline â€” with the costly special election slated just three weeks before regularly scheduled statewide elections on Nov. 5 -â€” saying, he wanted to give voters a choice as soon as possible.
But some critics charge that without a contested Senate campaign happening at the same time as his own re-election, turnout among Democrats is likely to be far lower, allowing Christie to run up the margin of victory in a race he is already a big favorite to win.