Cory Booker for Senate?

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 30 2012 10:53 AM

Why We May Not Get a Christie-Booker Showdown After All

Cory Booker speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 4, 2012 in Charlotte

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Political pundits have widely speculated that Newark Mayor Cory Booker could challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie next year. The logic behind such predictions makes sense: the Garden State is a decidedly blue state and Booker is a popular mayor with a knack for finding his way into the national spotlight. (Running into a flaming building to save your neighbor's daughter tends to help.) It also doesn't hurt that a Booker-Christie battle is one that political observers would no doubt love to see given the excitement it would drum up in one of the nation's largest media markets.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

While that showdown is still very much a possibility (the last time we checked our calendar says it's still 2012), the fact that Christie's popularity with New Jersey voters is currently approaching Springsteen-like levels has speculation shifting to a different path to the national stage for Booker. Instead, the new theory goes, he would be smarter to pursue the path of least resistance, which in this case would involve a 2014 run for Senate. The Washington Post explains:

The new poll from Democratic automated pollster Public Policy Polling shows that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has worn out his welcome. Just 36 percent of New Jersey Democrats think he should run for another term (Lautenberg would be 90 in 2014), and almost three times as many prefer Booker as their nominee (59 percent) over Lautenberg (22 percent).
Even in a crowded primary with Reps. Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone, Booker would begin the race with a 30-point lead. And in the general, he would start out with a 23-point lead on Christie’s No. 2, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R).

If Booker opts for a Senate run in two years as opposed to the high-drama battle for governor next year, the most likely scenario would probably involve Democrats giving Lautenberg a nudge out the door ahead of a primary. But even if the then-90-year-old senator decided to stay put, it's hard to imagine a scenario where he could hold his own with Booker given his rising profile.

It's worth pointing out, of course, that it's all speculation at this point. Booker hasn't committed one way or the other on a gubernatorial run, a Senate campaign or anything else that may come up.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 21 2014 1:36 PM Single Quotes or Double Quotes? It’s Really Quite Simple.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller's Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Doctor, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.