Democrat Cory Booker’s lead over Republican Steve Lonegan in the race to fill New Jersey’s vacant Senate seat has shrunk to 10 points with about 48 hours to go before Wednesday’s special election.
Mr. Booker, the mayor of Newark, still enjoys 52 percent of support from state voters compared to Mr. Lonegan’s 42 percent, according to a Monmouth University poll.
While he is still expected to win, Mr. Booker’s edge has faltered from the 13-point lead he had two weeks ago and a 16-point lead he held over the summer in his bid to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg in Washington.
The poll found that 12 percent of voters are undecided or could change their minds, and Mr. Lonegan — the conservative former mayor of Bogota, N.J. —holds a 48 percent to 43 percent lead among independent voters.
“Concerns about Cory Booker’s intentions to serve New Jersey continue to persist and his favorabilityratings continue to drop,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “At the same time, voters clearly prefer Booker’s political views over Lonegan’s. The message seems to be that Garden State voters don’t like to feel that their support is being taken for granted.”
Mr. Murray was referring to poll results that showed more voters think Mr. Booker is putting the national spotlight over the opportunity to serve New Jersey.
The pollsters also raised another question: Will anyone show up at the polls?
“Turnout continues to be a big question in this unprecedented situation: a mid-October Wednesday election held just three weeks before the regularly scheduled November election for governor, state legislature, and a variety of local offices,” the university said.
Both candidates are crisscrossing the Garden State on Monday with numerous campaign stops, even though it is a federal holiday, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.