Cory Booker for Senate?

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

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

151240826
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.

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).
Advertisement

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.

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

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.
  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 2:56 PM How Faithful Is David Fincher’s Gone Girl?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 2:38 PM Scientists Use Electrical Impulses to Help Paralyzed Rats Walk Again
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.