A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds Cory Booker with an early lead in the potential Democratic primary for Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat, with 53 percent of the vote. Rep. Rush Holt comes in second at 10 percent, followed by Rep. Frank Pallone at 9 percent. 23 percent said they are undecided.
In a potential general election match-up, Booker also leads Republican Steve Lonegan by a margin of 54 - 27 percent.
From the poll:
New Jersey voters have a 57 - 14 percent favorable opinion of Booker, while 25 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion. The "don't know enough" measures for the other contenders are:
- Pallone - 68 percent;
- Holt - 67 percent;
- Lonegan - 62 percent.
The Q poll was conducted before Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver reportedly said that she will likely also be running in the Democratic primary.
Gov. Chris Christie announced that the special election primary to replace Lautenberg, who died last week, will be held in August, with a general election in October. Christie is up for reelection himself in November, and reportedly wanted to avoid being on the same ballot as Booker, and risking a wave of Democratic turnout. The same Q poll shows Christie beating his Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono, by a margin of 2-1.