By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey voters will go to the polls in August for a special primary election to fill the unexpired US senate term of the late Frank Lautenberg. A new poll strongly suggests the people have already made their minds up.
The survey released by Monmouth University has Newark Mayor Cory Booker with 49 percent of the Democratic vote.
The next two hopefuls, Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, garner 12 and 8 percent respectively with Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver at just 3 percent.
Booker leads in every part of the state and in every demographic category, according to pollster Patrick Murray who says, given Booker’s name recognition and his statewide media campaign, this race is his for the taking.
“It’s hard for these members of Congress and the speaker of the assembly; even though they’re tried and true and tested in their own districts they just are not known outside,” he says.
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonigan is expected to take the Republican primary, but Murray believes Booker will enjoy the same political advantages come the final vote in mid-October.