A Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday has Newark mayor Cory Booker’s lead in New Jersey’s special election, set for October 16, down to twelve points.
Booker, who is running against Republican Steven Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., is heavily favored to win the race, and currently leads by a margin of 53 to 41 percent, with 5 percent undecided. Among independents, Booker leads by three points, 47 to 44 percent.
Nonetheless, the celebrity mayor’s lead has narrowed: Several polls had Booker ahead by more than twice as much in previous surveys. Quinnipiac’s pre-primary poll, for example, had Booker leading 54 to 29 percent.
“Today’s results could be driven by the bad news about Newark crime, plus the publicity about Booker’s business ventures,” said Quinnipiac polling director Maurice Carroll. She noted, however, that New Jersey has not elected a Republican senator since 1972, when it sent Clifford Case to Washington.