A Thin Silver Lining in New Jersey

by Jim Geraghty

Last night, Democrat Cory Booker won New Jersey’s special Senate election over Republican Steve Lonegan.

Booker won 713,594 votes and 54.6 percent; Lonegan won 579,388 votes and 44.3 percent.

Turnout was low for several reasons, most notably that it’s a special election held in October, and the election was held on a Wednesday. A “normal” November Senate election in New Jersey gets about 2 million votes, and in a presidential-election year it can reach around 3 million votes.

Republicans looking for a silver lining can note that Lonegan’s share of the vote tied the best performance for a GOP Senate candidate since 2000. In 2012, Joseph Kyrillos had 39.37 percent; in 2008, Dick Zimmer had 42.5 percent; in 2006, Thomas Kean Jr. also had 44.3 percent; in 2002, Doug Forrester had 43.95 percent; and in 2000, Bob Franks had 47.1 percent.

Booker’s drug-dealer friend “T-Bone” could not be reached for comment.