Cory Booker

Is Cory Booker Blowing It in NJ Senate Race Against Steve Lonegan?

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How poorly is Cory Booker's Senate run in New Jersey going? The high-profile but low-impact Democratic mayor of Newark is struggling against Republican former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. The two are squaring off in a special election on October 16 to replace late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

As The New York Times reports,

The Senate campaign Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is running in New Jersey — at times sputtering, unfocused and entangled in seemingly frivolous skirmishes over Twitter messages involving a stripper — has unnerved his supporters, who thought that a robust and unblemished victory over his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan, would catapult him onto the national stage.

As his allies move to shore up what was supposed to be a painless path to Congress, the biggest and wealthiest of them, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will start spending more than $1 million on Monday to broadcast television commercials on Mr. Booker's behalf, a vast sum to pour into a single candidacy.

More here.

Remember that $1 million cash infusion from Billionaire Bloomberg the next time liberals start bitching about money in politics (the subject of yet another huge Supreme Court case).

Most polls still show a 12-point or 13-point advantage for Booker, who used to have a 35-point lead. An internal pollster for Lonegan says a recent poll shows a three-point spread (for what that's worth). Whether Lonegan is pulling close enough for a long-odds upset or not, the race is clearly much tighter than expected. As the director of polling at Monmouth University told the Times, "This should be a 20-point lead and not anything less than that."

Why are things going this way? For all of Booker's charm and geniality, his supporters have trouble pointing to any sort of substantive policy success. As the Times' summarizes things:

Under his watch, Newark has attracted new businesses like Pitney Bowes, a mail management company, and out-of-town largess from wealthy tech leaders, like the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. But Mr. Booker raised taxes, and violent crime has remained largely unabated.

Although Booker is about the only under-60 Democrat who seems to excite younger voters nationally, he's also redefining what it means to be an empty suit. He's gotten money from Hollywood types, has engaged in odd Twitter exchanges with strippers, and has also cut ties with a start-up after the association became an "embarrassment" to him (that's the Times' word).

But surely part of the reason the race is at least a bit too close for comfort is Lonegan (whom I've met briefly). In a state that has among the highest state-and-local tax burden in the country and where unemployment is high, folks are responding to blunt talk about out of control spending. Lonegan is the former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey (1997-2007) and the former head of the Garden State chapter of Americans for Prosperity. He's probably best-known for pulling 42 percent against Chris Christie in the 2008 GOP primary for governor. On the fiscal side, he's a hard-core cut-government-type who can point to a strong record as mayor. On the social side, he's a dicier proposition from a libertarian perspective (he's anti-abortion under all circumstances, once pushed to make English the official language of Bogota, and is a grudging acceptor of gay rights). He's pulled endorsements from Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, and Rand Paul, among others. Like Christie, he's a real Jersey-style brawler who dishes out statements such as 

"Mayor Booker issued a tweet mourning someone's passing. But it wasn't the two men shot dead in Cory Booker's Newark on Friday night. It was Michael Ansara, the Klingon from Star Trek."

He also said that New Jersey shouldn't have taken federal aid after Hurricane Sandy. Depending on how much Superfund-infused New Jersey water you drank growing up, that can either be attractive or off-putting. But in a New York Times piece in late August, the Times said Lonegan comes across as "a younger, more New Jersey-esque version of Ron Paul: formal, serious, not so much flamethrower as simply annoyed."

Read that story here.

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  1. Doesn’t help that his Newark constituents are making big headlines by shooting each other in rising numbers.

    1. It doesn’t matter how awful Booker is, there are too many leftys in New Jersey for Lonegan to win.

      1. Probably, but the off year election works in Lonegan’s favor. The vote for governor won’t happen until Nov.

        Low information voters won’t bother to come out and only the hardcore will show up.

        1. Make the second sentence: The vote for president won’t happen until ’16. I’m thinking Christie and presidential elections already.

  2. Remember that $1 million cash infusion from Billionaire Bloomberg the next time liberals start bitching about money in politics (the subject of yet another huge Supreme Court case).

    Like remembering that is going to matter at all with the Leftists.

    1. “We have to have our big money donors like Bloomberg, Soros, Buffett et al to keep up with the Kochtopus.” /left-tard

      1. I’ve literally gotten the argument that these billions are ok because it’s going to a good cause unlike the evil billions that go to bad causes.

    2. MoveOn is pushing a documentary about the evil Kochtopus right now.

      Apparently there’s a vast rightwing conspiracy to keep it from showing on PBS stations.

  3. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will start spending more than $1 million on Monday to broadcast television commercials on Mr. Booker’s behal

    Confused… Bloomberg is a Christfag.

    /shrike.

    1. Blommberg is a Republican like shreeky is a libertarian.

  4. Is Cory Booker Blowing It in NJ Senate Race Against Steve Lonegan?

    I wish. Lonegan needs a perfect storm of continued bumbling by Booker, Dem apathy over their lackluster gubernatorial candidate, and Republican excitement over re-electing Christie to squeak out a win. Not gonna happen.

    Booker’s finally stated to run ads, and once people find out how much he wants to preserve free healthcare and free uteri he’ll recover just fine. His centerpiece economic proposal of increasing unemployment amongst youth and minorities will play quite well here as well because New Jerseyans are dumb.

  5. Remember that $1 million cash infusion from Billionaire Bloomberg the next time liberals start bitching about money in politics (the subject of yet another huge Supreme Court case).

    Yeah, that never goes anywhere when you confront progressives with that fact. The response is always something along the lines of, “Well, yeah, but in today’s climate of hate, sometimes you’re forced to do unsavory stuff to keep the bad guys from winning. And this is more proof of why CFR is more important than ever.

    Remember how Bill Clinton was thumped for his acceptance of big money, and how he replied he was proud of the fact, while still supporting campaign finance reform?

    1. Yeah, that never goes anywhere when you confront progressives with that fact.

      FTFY. I mean, who needs those silly old facts when Booker is just so dreamy?

  6. It’s hilarious that Lonegan is even close. He’s a perpetual run. He’s always running and losing a statewide race.

    Booker is the ultimate celebrity politicians. Newark is as Newark has been for decades – a crime infested crap heap. Other than being known for being known, Booker hasn’t done much – but, then neither did Obama before his election. Possibly, this is a reflection of that reality. A mini-backlash, if you will.

  7. Remember that $1 million cash infusion from Billionaire Bloomberg the next time liberals start bitching about money in politics

    Bloomburg money is good, Koch money is bad.

    Who matters more than what.

  8. How is there not a Libertarian candidate for this race?

    1. New
      Jersey

  9. Lonegan looks like your typical Team Red shitbird, so I don’t have any use for either of them.

    1. He’s at least proved that he’s willing to back up his bullshit at the local level, and managed a long term in charge of a place where Team Blue has a 2:1 advantage. Skepticism is warranted though, local politics don’t necessarily translate as you move up in the world.

      1. That last bit is the problem with trying to find libertarians among office holders in small jurisdictions, unless they’ve done something stupid like join the LP (which would disqualify them on judgment ground alone). There’s really not much in terms of their official actions you can judge them on, no Democratic or Republican way to sweep the streets.

  10. …he’s also redefining what it means to be an empty suit.

    I think the current definition was set a few years ago.

    1. The left was so successful with that the first time around they are looking to repeat.

      1. Yeah, Booker and Obama are the perfect representations of the perfectly modern progressive man. “Clean”, articulate, well-educated, and without any real accomplishments. They accomplish by being, not doing.

        1. You left out “slightly more tan than the average politician, but not enough so as to be offputting to kinda racist but in denial liberals.”

          1. Both are charmingly bi-racial. How exotic! Without being too much. Perfect for the Whole Foods Jersey palette and righteous to the inner city types.

            1. And, saying ‘clean and articulate’ is code for black – Joe Biden demonstrated that.

  11. The irony of this race is that Christie(FFF) scheduled the Senate election on a different day than the govenatorial election because he thought Booker would draw low info voters to the ballot box and thereby weaken his (Christie’s) chance. And the way things are shaping up, Lonegan could win a squeaker on Christie’s coattails if they were on the same ballot.

  12. Oh and why do libertarians think that Booker is a libertarianish dim?

    I mean it’s cool that he has an imaginary drug dealer buddy, and all, but what’s liberty friendly about him?

    1. If I recall, he made some remarks to a reporter during a cocktail party about education reform. Libertarian hero!

      1. Well, he’s marginally better than the standard NJ poll only in the fact that he’s seemingly stayed away from outright correuption. I know that’s not saying much, but he seems to be a reasonably non-machine dem.

        1. Yes, there’s a long an hallowed history of us dying-of-thirst libertarians quickly latching onto any mainstream pol who makes overtures towards libertarian-ish reforms.

          It almost always ends in disappointment (Sen. Moynihan).

  13. But wait, wasn’t there something sort-kinda-libertarianish about Booker a year or two ago? Like maybe he was for legalizing some drug or prostitution or food trucks?

    1. Darn, didn’t read upthread.

  14. Hey, now, Michael Ansara was a great actor. Remember the episode “Soldier” from “The Outer Limits?”

    That’s all the defense Booker gets from me today. A winning campaign needs more than star power going for it.

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