Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick offered support for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker at four campaign events in New Jersey Tuesday, but Booker wasn’t with him.
Patrick told students at Princeton University that Booker has the right qualities to be a U.S. Senator. He said it’s not disappointing that Booker didn’t join him on the campaign trail.
“It would be in my experience, which admittedly is limited, unusual if he were here today,” Patrick said. “The way we’ve used surrogates at home is to leverage the campaign, not to duplicate what the candidate is doing.”
Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray disagreed. It’s unusual for a candidate not to appear with a high profile surrogate, he said.
“It sends a message to the voters that ‘I’m taking this granted. I’ve got better things to do. Here I’m flying in one of my celebrity friends to be in my place,’ and voters don’t take too kindly to that,” Murray said.
A recent poll finds Booker’s lead over Republican Steve Lonegan has ebbed to 12 points.