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PPP just came out with their newest poll from the Garden State where they test both the Governor and Senator race.  In the Senate race, Frank Lautenberg (D) has a 43/36 approval rating and would crush potential GOP nominee, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno by 15 points:

Democratic primary voters are happy with Lautenberg but they are ready for a fresh face:

63% approve of the job he's doing to 18% who disapprove. Nevertheless they're ready for a fresher face in the Senate. Only 36% of them think Lautenberg should seek another term in 2014, while 45% think he should retire and 20% are not sure. - PPP, 11/29/12
And who would that fresh be you ask?  None other than Newark Mayor and Democratic rising star, Cory Booker:

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If Lautenberg was to retire- or even if he doesn't- the choice of New Jersey Democrats to be their next Senator is clear: Cory Booker. By a 59/22 margin Democrats say they would prefer their candidate in 2014 be Booker than Lautenberg. And Booker emerges as the strong favorite in an open seat situation too. 48% would want Booker as their candidate compared to 17% for Rob Andrews and 13% for Frank Pallone, both Congressmen who have shown an interest in moving up. - PPP, 11/29/12

If Booker were to challenge and defeat Lautenberg, would that cause a major upset and put the Senate seat in play?  PPP says "no":

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Booker would be even stronger than Lautenberg in a head to head match up with Guadagno, leading her 52 to 29. 48% of New Jersey voters have a favorable opinion of Booker to only 20% with a negative one. He's very popular with Democrats (60/13) and independents (45/21) and even comes close to breaking even with Republicans at 29/34. In the match up with Guadagno he takes 21% of the GOP vote while losing only 7% of Democrats, and wins independents by an 18 point margin. - PPP, 11/29/12

So whether it's Lautenberg or Booker, this seat is safe but PPP also tested Congressmen Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone against Guadagno and showed a tighter race:
An open seat situation could be a little bit dicier for Democrats if Booker didn't choose to run. Andrews leads Guadagno 35/34 in a hypothetical match up and Pallone ties her at 32. There are more than twice as many undecided Democrats as Republicans in each of those scenarios though so it still seems unlikely this seat would prove to be a top tier pick up opportunity for the GOP even in an open seat situation. - PPP, 11/29/12
So I know there has been speculation about Booker running against Governor Chris Christie (R) in 2013 but PPP will be confirming Quinnipac's polling showing an uphill battle for Booker.  Christie's approval ratings are up big because of how he handled Hurricane Sandy and worked with President Obama so Booker may want to rethink about whether he wants to become a Senator or take a gamble on the Governor race.

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I know this race isn't exactly the primary challenge race we wanted this year.  We are all hoping for outgoing Montana Governor, Brian Schweitzer (D) to primary challenge Senator Max Baucus.  Not sure if that will or will not happen.  I like Booker a lot and his candidacy would certainly bring some excitement to the 2014 midterms and would generate a large voter turn out but as I mentioned in my previous diary, Lautenberg isn't crazy about Booker running for his seat and forcing him into retirement:

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Some Democrats would like to see Newark Mayor Cory Booker fill the seat but Lautenberg may not give it up without a fight. He criticized Booker in May for undermining Obama’s re-election effort after Booker said the president’s campaign should drop efforts to vilify Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital. - The Hill, 11/25/12

I like Booker a lot and he is a true public servant.  I mean this is the guy who saved a woman from a burning building and has helped bring business to Newark but his past comments about Obama going after Bain Capital do give me reservations about his run.  I don't doubt that Booker would run a great campaign against Christie if he chose to run for governor but timing is everything.  Who do you think the Dem nominee for the New Jersey U.S. Senate race should be?


Who should New Jersey Democrats nominate for the U.S. Senate race in 2014?

22%14 votes
63%39 votes
13%8 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  the shame is that frank Pallone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, gooderservice, ZoBai

    may never get a senate seat. and he would be a great senator. He is lacking in star power, but he is a wonk who has been very good on environmental issues especially with fisheries. But we need the seat and if Booker can keep it, fine.

    •  Yes, it is a shame. Frank Pallone would be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      near perfect.

      I wouldn't be surprised (and I'm just totally guessing here) that if Booker did primary Lautenberg, that Lautenberg might "drop out" and encourage and support and campaign for Pallone and call in numerous chips to get others with star power to help get Pallone elected.

      Yes, I do dream... but sometimes dreams do come true ;)

    •  I'd definitely take Frank Pallone over Booker. (0+ / 0-)

      But he's blown too many opportunities to move up when the path was wide open before him. He chose not to which leads me to believe somebody's got something on him.

      So were probably going to be stuck with Mayor Loudmouth.

  •  Lautenberg, while he seems to be quite lucid, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, ZoBai

    will be 90 in 2014. If he wants to run, he ought to be given that right. He retired once, but jumped back in when Bob Torricelli screwed up. So, it's really up to him. Booker apparently has close ties to the financial community. He may be good at doing physical work around Newark, but how would he be on fiscal work in the Senate? That's something we need to find out.

  •  I won't vote for Booker ever. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Paleo

    He's a DINO.  Lautenberg is a hundred times the progressive Booker could ever hope to be.

    I know age is a problem, but I'll stand with Lautenberg because of his stance on policies.

    These are only a few of the many reasons why I support Lautenberg:

    Environment and energy

    Senator Lautenberg, who has a pro-environment voting record, co-sponsored the Consumer First Energy Act of 2008, which would have repealed $17 billion in tax breaks for oil companies and reinvested the $17 billion in renewable energy development and energy efficiency technology.[14] However, the Senate rejected a cloture motion on the bill in June 2008.[15] Lautenberg favors alternative energy sources and has voted in favor of giving tax incentives to those who use them.

    Social issues

    Lautenberg is pro-choice and has voted against banning partial-birth abortions in 1999. He has voted in favor of expanding embryonic stem cell research. The NAACP gave him a 100% rating, indicating his strong support for affirmative action. He is a consistent supporter of gun control.

    Lautenberg is a strong supporter of gay marriage, and also voted to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation and to expand the federal definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation. He voted against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and has expressed his support for equal marriage rights for LGBT couples in recent years. Lautenberg did, however, vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. The Human Rights Campaign has given him a 100% rating, indicating his strong support for gay rights.

    No, he's not "perfect," but people change.
  •  This tells me Booker's given up on running for (0+ / 0-)

    Governor, and the Dems have essentially conceded the race to Christie.  Shit.  I was really hoping to pick that one up and nip that fat fuck's career in the bud before he could become REALLY dangerous.  Too bad.

    •  I know. He was shameless in attacking (0+ / 0-)

      people like me and our unions, essentially cutting public employee pay to finance tax cuts for the rich. And he still hasn't solved the pension mess; his solution would be to ge rid of it. Plus, despute his reputation as a straight shooter, he really is full of shit and has appointed cronies across theboard, steeping his education reforms in secrecy and seeking to shove " reforms" ( the erosion of worker pay and rights ) down everyone's throats. So he says nice things about gays and Muslims. So? He is against a woman's right to choose, supports tax cuts for the wealthy, and hates unions and public works. He sure wants public money now, though, doesn't he? When it was Sweeney who said the best thing is not to rebuild much of the wreckage on the beach and the barrier islands. Will the feds pay to rebuild houses on stilts on the beach? i hope not.

    •  My guess is they Run Barbara Buono (0+ / 0-)

      knowing she will lose, which is not fair to her, as she would be a great governor. Even if 101.5, the APP, and the Ledger would attack her from day one, which is what they always do to Dems.

  •  I like Booker period. (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with him that Wall St. isn't all horrible. There is some good things to it. It just a lot of the people who are in it suck.

    Maybe I'm not that much of a purist hard ass enough to say Booker shouldn't get a shot. I say he deserves one.

  •  The US Senate needs some diversity so I guess (0+ / 0-)

    Booker could help.

    But it should be left to NJ voters to decide

    I still believe Christie can still be beaten. 12 months is a life time in politics and he can still open his big mouth and screw this up. Remember how in November 2011 how MSM declared Obama doomed and Romney the future president?

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:41:27 AM PST

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