Poll: Booker Leads in NJ Senate Race, Despite Residency Questions

Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 12:07 PM

By Courtney Coren

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With one day to go before New Jersey's special Senate election, Newark's Democratic Mayor Cory Booker maintains a 14 point lead over Republican Steve Lonegan, a new poll released Tuesday finds.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll of 1,696 likely voters taken Monday night, Booker leads Lonegan 54 percent to 40 percent, marking little change since a Quinnipiac poll Oct. 9 put the spread at 53 percent to 41 percent in favor of Booker.

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The two are vying to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who died in early June.

Booker has maintained a solid lead throughout the race, although it has narrowed in recent weeks, apparently due in part to stories raising questions about the Newark mayor's personal life and behavior.

On Tuesday, a report in The Daily Caller also raised questions about whether Booker has actually lived in the city where he has been mayor since 2006.

The Newark mayor claims that he lives in a Newark housing project. But when a reporter and film crew with The Daily Caller visited Booker's home at 435 Hawthorne Avenue recently, most of his neighbors said they haven't seen the five-term mayor there in years. Some said they believe he actually resides in New York City.

"He comes over here once in a blue moon," said Booker's neighbor Tashay Thomas. "I saw him over there once and that was like in 2009. I come here every day."

Several neighbors said the home is occupied by Booker's security guards.

"Cory Booker doesn't live here," James Sharp told The Daily Caller, a conservative online publication. "Only his bodyguards live here."

Sharp also said that he hadn't seen the Newark mayor there.

The Daily Caller confirmed that the residence on Hawthorne as well as another house claimed by Booker on 19 Longworth Street were empty, "except for two police officers."

And the Hawthorne home is listed in the property records under someone named Ife Okocha, the conservative news site reported.

Local community activist Cassandra Dock said that Booker was not there when she helped take the 2010 Census. She referred to it as a police station.

"I know he don't live on Hawthorne because when I did the 2010 census I knocked on the door and asked and introduced myself as the census taker and asked the person that lived there and was told by the officer — cause that house is always filled with officers — that that was a police station so he can't possibly live in a police station," Dock told The Daily Caller.

"I really do believe he lives in New York," Dock said.

Related Stories:

Lonegan Backs Shutdown in Campaign With Booker

Cory Booker Banks on Hollywood Help in Senate Race
Cory Booker: The Politics of Newark Mayor, Aspiring Senator



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