With polls showing Cory Booker the runaway front-runner in the Democratic primary for the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, the Newark mayor has begun signing up several veterans of President Barack Obama's political team for his bid in the special election later this year.
Addisu Demissie, Obama's get-out-the-vote chief in Ohio in 2008 and later national political director of the president's Organizing for America political organization, will be Booker's campaign manager.
In addition, former Obama staffers Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart will on the Booker staff and the Berenson Strategy Group, which handled much of the polling for the Obama campaigns, will do survey research for Booker.
According to a just-completed Rasmussen Poll of likely Democratic voters in the August primary, Booker leads with 54 percent of the vote, followed by Rep. Rush Holt with 11 percent, Rep. Frank Pallone at 8 percent, and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver with 5percent
In a test race in the October election with former Bogota Mayor and Republican front-runner Steve Lonegan, Booker wins among likely voters statewide by a margin of 50 percent to 33 percent.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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