Booker, Lonegan launch negative ads in U.S. Senate race

With the special election for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey just a little more than two weeks away, the candidates are going negative in their latest ads.

In a new 30-second TV spot, Democrat Cory Booker claims Republican Steve Lonegan would privatize Social Security, shut down government, and ban abortion.

“New Jersey, we’re better than that,” says Booker in the ad. “As senator, I’ll take on the tough problems like raising the minimum wage, talking on the gun lobby, and combating child poverty.”

Lonegan’s 60-second ad calls Booker an “Obama rubber stamp” for supporting the new health care law and blasts Booker’s record as mayor of Newark.

“Taxes are up 44 percent under Booker while unemployment has doubled, and violent crime is through the roof,” a narrator says in Lonegan’s ad.

Political analysts say negative campaign ads can be effective.

The latest Monmouth University poll shows Booker with a 13-point lead over Lonegan.

The special election for a successor to the late Frank Lautenberg will take place Oct. 16.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.