A majority of New Jersey voters don’t agree with Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to hold a separate special election to fill the U.S Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg.
A Monmouth University poll found that 65 percent of New Jersey voters would rather have the special October election for the Senate seat on the same day as the November general election.
Poll director Patrick Murray says Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are the leading candidates for their party’s nominations.
“We have that race as matching up at 53 percent for Booker to 37 percent for Lonegan right now, before voters have really turned attention to it,” Murray said. “Lonegan does better against some of the other contenders on the Democratic side, mainly because Lonegan is better known that most of them. But he still trails in all those races.”
Four in 10 voters say they’re not familiar with U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver who are also in the Democratic Senate primary.
The poll also indicates voter turnout will be low for the October special election.
Models forecast a turnout of about 40 percent compared with a typical 46 to 48 percent, Murray said. And Democrats are more likely to vote in the special Senate election than in the November general election, according to the poll results.
“So we could have some more Democrats turning out in this low turnout race, which will definitely help the Democrat in that race,” Murray said. “Then, in the governor’s race, those Democrats could stay home which could help Chris Christie build up on his astronomical lead.”