3:29 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey reveals an astonishing trend: Cory Booker, the state's Democratic senator running for a full term this fall, frequently polls below 50 percent support against his Republican challenger, Jeff Bell. The latest survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University shows 42 percent of registered voters say they support Booker, while 29 percent say they support Bell. Twenty-seven percent, meanwhile, say they haven't made up their minds yet.
That's a 13-point advantage for Booker, to be sure, but it's not exactly a ringing endorsement for the former Newark mayor, who won a special election for the open seat last year. The New Jersey seat is a likely Democratic hold, but the FDU poll is one of several polls taken over the past few months to show Booker below 50 percent. In fact, just two polls, both from the New York Times and CBS News, have Booker breaking that threshold, with the most recent of those giving 52 percent to Bell's 37 percent. One poll last month even had Booker leading by a mere 10 points.
Booker isn't quite the juggernaut he may appear. He won his special election in 2013 by just 10 points, despite facing an underfunded and underwhelming opponent in former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan. And as Eliana Johnson of National Review has demonstrated, Booker hasn't been fully vetted. But the Democrat is well-funded, having raised more than $16 million this cycle. New Jersey remains a strongly Democratic state on the federal level; the last time the Garden State elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate was 1972. That was Clifford Case, who would go on to lose the GOP nomination in 1978 to one Jeff Bell, then a young conservative upstart.
Now the 76-year-old Bell is running his longshot campaign on a shoestring budget and an almost singular message: the gold standard. His name recongition is nothing compared to Booker's, and help from the state's leading Republican, governor Chris Christie, has been minimal. The Republican establishment in Washington has all but ignored the race.
So why is Booker taking so long to seal the deal?
Or does it?7:14 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Do Washington Republicans smell blood in New Jersey? The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the GOP's Senate campaign apparatus, issued a press release Wednesday knocking New Jersey's Democratic senator Cory Booker for being a "tax & spend liberal."
The release groups Booker with another incumbent Democrat, Alaska's Mark Begich, as two former mayors (of Newark and Anchorage, respectively) with liberal records. Here's an excerpt:
Majority don't trust Fed to fix it.1:01 PM, Aug 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Things are getting more expensive, and the American people know it. A new poll from Rasmussen Reports found three-quarters of Americans say they are concerned about inflation, with 81 percent saying they are paying more for groceries and 71 percent saying they expect to pay even more for groceries a year from now. Here's more:
Jeff Bell’s unorthodox Senate campaign. Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
"Welcome to our campaign headquarters,” Jeff Bell said to an out-of-town reporter the other evening, standing in the lobby of a convention hotel here, hard off the Interstate. He wasn’t kidding: This is indeed the headquarters of the Jeff Bell for U.S. Senate campaign, for the moment anyway. He could do worse. The lobby is airy and spacious, the bathrooms are clean and commodious, and the location can’t be beat.
1:44 PM, Aug 8, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At National Review Online, Eliana Johnson has a piece documenting many of the unanswered questions about the life and career of New Jersey senator Cory Booker. Johnson provides this example for how the Democratic senator's stories about himself don't always add up:
3:51 PM, Aug 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican challenger Jeff Bell trails incumbent New Jersey senator Cory Booker by just 10 points, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac. Among registered voters in the Garden State, just 47 percent say they support Booker, the Democrat who won a special election to the Senate last fall and is running for a full term. At 37 percent support is Bell, a conservative activist who was the GOP nominee for Senate in 1978.
8:41 AM, Jun 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a new editorial, the New York Post notes the odds are stacked against New Jersey's Jeff Bell, the Republican challenger to incumbent Democratic senator Cory Booker:
Booker has a war chest of $2.9 million, against a mere $76,000 for Bell. Booker is a Democratic incumbent running in a mostly blue state where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by 700,000. And according to a recent Rassmussen poll, 39 percent of New Jerseyans don’t even know who the heck Jeff Bell is.
5:15 PM, Jun 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Cory Booker of New Jersey won a special election last November with 55 percent of the vote, but the former mayor of Newark is now under 50 percent against a little-known Republican challenger, according to a new poll. Rasmussen Reports finds in a survey of likely voters in New Jersey that Booker has 48 percent support over Republican nominee Jeff Bell, who has 35 percent support. Thirteen percent remain undecided.
12:18 PM, Oct 17, 2013 • By JEFFREY BELL
In his concession speech to Senator-elect Cory Booker in Bridgewater, N.J., on election night, Steve Lonegan announced that he would retire from elective politics and enter private business, rather than mount another U.S. Senate race against Booker next year or return to his post as New Jersey director of Americans for Prosperity, a high-profile position he held from 2007 until mid-2013. Whether or not he holds to this withdrawal, conservatives not just in New Jersey but the nation owe Lonegan a debt of gratitude for the underfunded yet exciting campaign he waged, and what it suggests for the future of Republican politics.
9:43 PM, Oct 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, has defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in New Jersey's special election for the U.S. Senate Wednesday night. The Associated Press called the race for Booker just after 9:30 pm.
With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Booker leads Lonegan in the vote, 56 percent to 43 percent.