With New Jersey’s unusual U.S. Senate primary election just 11 days away, it is clear that Gov. Chris Christie did runaway frontrunners Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan a huge favor by compressing the campaign into nine summer weeks when voters are thinking about beaches not ballots.
“After the long presidential campaign in 2012, a lot of people said, ‘Why don’t we do it the way they do it in England with a short six-week campaign season?’ Well, this summer, we got our wish, and the shortness of the campaign clearly benefited the front-runners,” said John Weingart, associate director of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Booker and Lonegan were able to start out with national fundraising networks, political consulting teams, and cadres of volunteers already on tap, and a huge lead in name recognition “in a race that gives challengers less time than usual to catch up,” Weingart noted.
Booker, the Newark mayor who is a national political celebrity, and Lonegan, the most prominent New Jersey conservative activist over the past decade, consistently show polling leads that would be the envy even of Chris Christie, who has to settle for a 30-point lead in his own general election race. To read the rest of NJ Spotlight’s article, click here.