Newark Mayor Cory Booker is now thinking more seriously about running for the Senate in 2014, rather than challenging popular Republican Gov. Chris Christie next year, three knowledgeable sources tell The Wall Street Journal
Booker is considering an announcement later this week that he will form an exploratory committee to seek the Senate seat held by Democrat Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 88, two of the sources said. There has been speculation Lautenberg will retire rather than run for re-election.
To be sure, Booker could still change his mind and go for the gubernatorial race, the sources said.
Talk about a challenge by Booker against Christie has grown louder in recent months, and the mayor said last week that he would decide within two weeks whether to run for governor or senator.
The Democrat will face a formidable challenge if he tries for the governorship. Christie's popularity has soared since his deft handling of superstorm Sandy. A Quinnipiac University Poll last month showed Christie creaming Mr. Booker by 53 percent to 35 percent.
In an appearance on CNN last week, Booker scoffed at the polls. “We think to any Democrat, Christie is vulnerable,” he said. But Booker may have had second thoughts since then. And National Democratic donors are reluctant to throw big money into a race against Christie, a source told The Journal.
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