Credit where it’s due: Yesterday in New Jersey’s primary elections, Republican Steve Lonegan received more votes statewide (102,481) than the Democrats’ second-place finisher Frank Pallone (69,311) and third-place finisher Rush Holt (59,922).
Of course, Newark mayor/media superstar/Silicon Valley schmoozer Cory Booker ran away with the Democratic primary with 207,891 votes and is an extremely heavy favorite for the October 16 general election.
A signficant reason that Barack Obama was able to generate the messianic coverage he enjoyed in 2007 and 2008 was the fact that A) he didn’t face a competitive opponent in his 2004 Senate race, meaning he coasted into office with 70 percent of the vote, and B) no one had done significant opposition research or poked holes in his heroic narrative. Republicans cannot afford to give the Democrats’ rising stars free passes to statewide office.
Lonegan is highly unlikely to win. But he can make sure the state — and the nation — know how modest Booker’s record as mayor really is.