With six days to go before the New Jersey U. S. Senate primary, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has a solid lead over his fellow Democratic opponents with 54 percent of the vote, a poll of likely voters released Wednesday finds.
According to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, Rep. Frank Pallone earned 17 percent of the vote, 15 percent went to Rep. Rush Holt, and State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver got 5 percent.
In the Republican primary, businessman, and former gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan has 74 percent of the vote over physician Alieta Eck's 10 percent. Thirteen percent of likely Republican voters are still undecided.
"August 13 looks like an easy day for Lonegan," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
When Booker and Lonegan are polled against each other, Booker has a lead of 54 percent to 29 percent among registered voters.
"Unless the sky falls, Newark Mayor Cory Booker can start looking for a Washington apartment," Carroll said.
Carroll says the variable for both the primary and general election in the New Jersey Senate race is the timing. The primary election is August 13; the general election is October 16, just three weeks before another general election to decide the governor and other legislative seats.
"The first question is if voters will abandon the shore for the day for this oddly-timed August primary," the Quinnipiac director said.
"The second question is if they'll take their eyes off the governor and legislative races for the oddly-timed October vote for U.S. Senate."
It is the first Quinnipiac poll that looked at likely primary voters in addition to registered voters in the race. The poll, taken August 1-5, surveyed 2,042 New Jersey voters, with 388 likely Democratic voters and 257 likely Republican voters also polled.
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