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 Lautenberg’s term. The seat is being temporarily filled by Republican Jeffrey Chiesa, the state’s former attorney general, who was Christie’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 year’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 — with the costly special election slated just three weeks before regularly scheduled statewide elections on Nov. 5 -— 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.