Three weeks ago, the "Cory Booker stumbling toward the finish line" narrative began with a Quinnipiac Poll that revealed his lead was less superhuman than his rep. Republican candidate Steve Lonegan was "closing in" on Booker, trailing by a mere 12 points. When a Monmouth poll confirmed that Booker was winning by a low double digit margin, Politico asked why Booker was up by so little when Gov. Chris Christie was up by 20 points. (The election in which the incumbent of one party dramatically outpaces the same-party candidate for another office is actually pretty common. Christie's running around 25 points ahead of Lonegan; in 2006, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal outpaced his party's U.S. Senate candidate by 40 points.)
The next Quinnipiac poll put Booker up by 12. The new one: Up by 14. The simplest explanation for this consistency is that Booker's late-game attacks on Lonegan as a right-winger have driven down the opponent's favorable numbers. Since mid-September, Booker's favorable margin has fallen from +23 to +18. Lonegan's fallen (starting with lower name ID) from +13 to +0. This poll included two days of questions after Lonegan rallied with Sarah Palin. It's not like Lonegan had any clear path to victory, but maybe the high-profile rally with the unpopular conservative icon ended up emphasizing Booker's message.
But wait—does Lonegan have a secret weapon? Via the transom of scammy mailing lists I see that Dick Morris has glommed on to the birther-driven "Booker doesn't live in Newark" story.
With the election for Senate two days away (Wednesday, October 16th) and the media biased in his favor, this startling development probably won't be enough to derail his candidacy.
But the U.S. Constitution has the last word. It says nobody shall be elected a Senator who "does not inhabit" the state from which he is elected.
Please sign this petition to block Cory Booker's election because he is not an inhabitant of New Jersey.
I take it back. Booker's doomed.