This article originally appeared on NJ Spotlight.
At first blush, a look at the new Monmouth University Poll of Nevada Democrats would seem to indicate that New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is still where he has been since he entered the presidential race in February — stuck in low single digits.
shows former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the pack with 36 percent support among Democrats likely to attend the February 2020 Nevada caucuses. Biden is followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (19 percent), Sen. Bernie Sanders (13 percent), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (7 percent) and California Sen. Kamala Harris (6 percent). Booker is tied for sixth with former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 2 percent.
But a closer look at the numbers reveals what Booker strategists say is the strength of the campaign: Booker’s positive message. The senator has been stressing unity and love as campaign themes, and the Monmouth poll suggests that his positive message is resonating with potential caucus attendees.
Respondents were asked to rate their favorable/unfavorable feelings toward candidates. In that category Booker ranks fourth with a net favorability of 52 percent (61 percent favorable to 9 percent unfavorable) following Biden (65 percent), Warren (59 percent) and Harris (58 percent).
Booker has traveled to Nevada three times since he made his official announcement in February, most recently in May when he visited several cities to discuss gun control and reproductive rights.