Bloomberg drops $1 million to rescue … Booker?

posted at 8:41 am on October 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

When recent polling from Steve Lonegan’s campaign suggested that the Republican had moved within the margin of error of massive favorite Cory Booker in next month’s race to fill the rest of the term of late US Senator Frank Lautenberg, I was highly skeptical. I’m generally suspicious of polls released publicly by campaigns anyway, and in this case especially so. Despite Chris Christie’s big successes in New Jersey, it’s still a blue state, and Booker has been a popular mayor in a big media market.

At least, I was skeptical — until today.  The New York Times reports that Booker’s backers have started to get nervous, and now Michael Bloomberg will dump $1 million of his own cash to rescue Booker:

Cory A. Booker is an undisputed star of a new generation of African-American leaders, electrifying liberal audiences with his oratory and charming the social media set with his digital savvy.

But the Senate campaign Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is running in New Jersey — at times sputtering, unfocused and entangled in seemingly frivolous skirmishes over Twitter messages involving a stripper — has unnerved his supporters, who thought that a robust and unblemished victory over his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan, would catapult him onto the national stage.

As his allies move to shore up what was supposed to be a painless path to Congress, the biggest and wealthiest of them, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will start spending more than $1 million on Monday to broadcast television commercials on Mr. Booker’s behalf, a vast sum to pour into a single candidacy. …

Mr. Lonegan, despite his ideological alignment, appears to have tapped into lingering doubts about whether Mr. Booker can translate his outsize, self-promotional persona, so popular with the Democratic base, into the rigors of a highly disciplined campaign. …

A radio commercial hammered Mr. Booker, 44, for traveling to the West Coast a few weeks ago to attend a fund-raiser with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck after murders had spiked in Newark, declaring: ”While you’re listening to this ad, Cory Booker is in California, getting as far away as he can from his own city’s problems.”

Don’t get too excited, though. A follow-up poll by Monmouth University released last week showed Booker up by 13 points, 53/40. The week before, a Quinnipiac poll showed Booker up 12 points. The problem for Booker’s supporters is that this isn’t a big enough lead, considering the relative standing he has against Lonegan in the media and in the state.

That should be a worry for Booker, who tried to paint himself as a uniter in yesterday’s debate.  He told audiences that Lonegan would only add to the forces in Washington that have created the government shutdown, while noting just how well he works with Christie to keep the state in business. On the other hand, even some of his supporters wonder exactly what Booker actually did as mayor of Newark:

In interviews, even those who said they planned to vote for him expressed reservations about his experience and ambitiousness, arguing that he had not yet truly proved himself in Newark.

Kenneth Paige, a 54-year-old barber in East Orange, where Mr. Booker campaigned over the weekend, cited the continued problem with crime in Newark.

”What did he really do?” said Mr. Paige, a Democrat, who indicated that he would vote for his party’s nominee nonetheless.

Can Bloomberg’s bucks keep that question from popping up? Probably not, but Lonegan has a very long way to go and a very short time to get there — and that million dollars will create even more headwinds.


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But! Bloomy is a Republican!!!

Lanceman on October 7, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Can Bloomberg’s bucks keep that question from popping up? Probably not, but Lonegan has a very long way to go and a very short time to get there — and that million dollars will create even more headwinds.

Not if Lonegan plays it smartly. By pointing out that Booker is the candidate of Wall Street and the elite, and that they don’t need to look any further than Bloomberg (an already unpopular guy) and his contribution to Booker, Lonegan should be able to at least partially blunt, if not reverse, the momentum Booker would otherwise get.

Corey Booker: bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg. Do you want a Senator who answers to a solitary billionaire from out-of-state, or to the people of New Jersey?

Stoic Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Despite Chris Christie’s big successes in New Jersey, it’s still a blue state, and Booker has been a popular mayor in a big media market.

Chris Christie’s big successes? What would those be? I see a fat egomaniac that yells at unions, makes an 11th hour endorsement of Obama, opposes the Second Amendment, and runs on a no tax increase platform while working out schemes that would raise taxes. NJ and Christie deserve each other and if they are so damned stupid to support Booker despite his clear lack of experience, then they deserve him too.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Do you want a Senator who answers to a solitary billionaire from out-of-state, or to the people of New Jersey?

Stoic Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Considering that it is New Jersey, that is one tough question.

cozmo on October 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

There hasn’t been an elected Republican senator from NJ since 1979. I don’t think Lonegan has a chance.

Meryl Yourish on October 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

”What did he really do?” said Mr. Paige, a Democrat, who indicated that he would vote for his party’s nominee nonetheless.

There’s your real problem, Mr. Paige.

Cleombrotus on October 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Do you want a Senator who answers to a solitary billionaire from out-of-state, or to the people of New Jersey?

Stoic Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Which is the operative negative here. The solitary billionaire part or the out-of-state part? Because I have a feeling that most in New Jersey would be perfectly happy if it were an in-state billionaire calling the shots. Like John Corzine.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

There hasn’t been an elected Republican senator from NJ since 1979. I don’t think Lonegan has a chance.

Meryl Yourish on October 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

There is no such thing as a New Jersey Republican. It’s a mythical beast like a unicorn or Bigfoot. The people running around New Jersey that call themselves Republicans are merely closeted Democrats. This includes Governor Jabba the Hut who will be on the 2016 Presidential ticket as a Democrat.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I watched the debate. Booker never talked about his own accomplishments or what he planned to do in the Senate. Every response had the words “fringe” “extremist” and “teaparty” in it. It was like a Saturday night live skit. On the other hand, Lonegan was pure substance.

ctmom on October 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Corey Booker: bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg. Do you want a Senator who answers to a solitary billionaire from out-of-state, or to the people of New Jersey?

Stoic Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

That should be pasted on every billboard, tv screen and ad that Lonegan runs..

Tim Zank on October 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Can Bloomberg’s bucks keep that question from popping up? Probably not, but Lonegan has a very long way to go and a very short time to get there — and that million dollars will create even more headwinds.

Maybe, but the Rat Presstitute Organs sure will give suppression the old college try.

Steve Eggleston on October 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

From the NYT article…

Mr. Booker’s bumpy campaign and shrinking lead in the polls are all the more unsettling to Democratic Party officials because Mr. Lonegan is a political anomaly in the blue-hued state: a Tea Party conservative who describes himself as a “radical,” opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, cheers the current shutdown of the federal government and has relied on polarizing right-wing figures like Sarah Palin and Rick Perry as campaign surrogates.

idesign on October 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Booker will get the melanin vote so this election is already over, guilty white liberals love to make themselves feel good by voting for the colored guy.

Whitey wouldn’t want Booker invading the country club or anything, but being able to say “I voted for the African American fella” gains high marks on the golf course.

Bishop on October 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Whitey wouldn’t want Booker invading the country club or anything, but being able to say “I voted for the African American fella” gains high marks on the golf course.

Bishop on October 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Al Czervik will never get into Bushwood, not even as a caddy.

Steve Eggleston on October 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I lived in Lynnwood,NJ and got to know Steve from church. He’s a great guy and a totally decent human being,thats why I don’t think he has a chance in New Jersey.

celtic warrior on October 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

This is the state that elected the nasty brothers of personality Jim McGreevey, famous for gay threesomes in the Governors mansion and three separate state pensions, Jon Corzine, as big a thief as Madoff and a guy who lived in an apartment on Fifth Avenue a good part of his term, and the scummiest Senator in Washington (Bob Menendez) after the Searchlight Strangler himself.

Leaving sick, twisted and massively corrupt behind for a moment, we in NJ are proud to finally elect a guy who is merely vapid, and a small-time corrupt politician (whats a couple hundred thousand in commission for delivering city contracts?). Booker at least seems like a likeable guy, what with his twitter dialogue with a stripper and all.

Christie, who could indeed care less about the second amendment, is, at least, not corrupt. That’s what makes him unique in New Jersey politics. You gotta count your blessings in NJ.

MTF on October 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Correction: the NJ senate special election is Wednesday, October 16, not “next month”.

allanbourdius on October 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Al Czervik will never get into Bushwood, not even as a caddy.

Steve Eggleston on October 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM

You think he’d join that crummy snobotorium? That whole place sucks!

Lanceman on October 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Corey Booker is a member of the Fascist-Democrat Party. They hate children and veterans but sure love their golf.

rbj on October 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

How long did Bloomberg pass himself off as a Republican? How many of them are still in the party claiming as such?

smoothsailing on October 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

You think he’d join that crummy snobotorium? That whole place sucks!

Lanceman on October 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

He’s only there because he might buy it.

Kafir on October 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Ahhh, the smell of free speech in the morning. Of course, Bloomberg’s speech maybe be little freer than the rest of us but I don’t think the fusing of money as speech in our campaign politics can have any real corrupting effects… Can it?

Smiles on October 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Corey Booker: bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg. Do you want a Senator who answers to a solitary billionaire from out-of-state, or to the people of New Jersey?

Stoic Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

If you are on Facebook…..post that to each candidate’s page, in BIG letters!

Several times : )

herm2416 on October 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Booker, who tried to paint himself as a uniter

Seems to me I remember another “uniter” who ran for president in 08 too.

What was his name??

VibrioCocci on October 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

You think he’d join that crummy snobotorium? That whole place sucks!

Lanceman on October 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

He wants to condo the place.

Steve Eggleston on October 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Let Bloomie throw away as much money as he wants on this race. It worked so well with gun control! And people in NJ LOVE to be told what to do by New Yorkers!

Maddie on October 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Somebody is trying to help Lonegan…

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/10/sarah_palin_football_lonegan_equals_tea_party_victory.html

And, if anyone wants to help…

https://secure.donationsafe.com/loneganmb

Fallon on October 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

There is no such thing as a New Jersey Republican. It’s a mythical beast like a unicorn or Bigfoot. The people running around New Jersey that call themselves Republicans are merely closeted Democrats. This includes Governor Jabba the Hut who will be on the 2016 Presidential ticket as a Democrat.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

However, there are NJ Conservatives and Tea Party members. You need to get out more.

njrob on October 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I lived in Lynnwood,NJ and got to know Steve from church. He’s a great guy and a totally decent human being,thats why I don’t think he has a chance in New Jersey.

celtic warrior on October 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

He is indeed and he has a chance to win. Turnout is going to be low. I’ll be out there getting voters for Lonegan. It’s just a matter whether we have enough out there to push us over the top.

Lonegan can make a difference if we elect him. We must get him over the top.

njrob on October 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

There is no such thing as a New Jersey Republican. It’s a mythical beast like a unicorn or Bigfoot. The people running around New Jersey that call themselves Republicans are merely closeted Democrats. This includes Governor Jabba the Hut who will be on the 2016 Presidential ticket as a Democrat.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Well, that is not completely true….I don’t call myself a closeted Democrat. But true, conservatives are far and few between here. But, we do exist.

NJ Red on October 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Amusingly, if the million went to the Republican we’d be hearing all about the 1% buying another election. Here, crickets.

PersonFromPorlock on October 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

When recent polling from Steve Lonegan’s campaign suggested that the Republican had moved within the margin of error of massive favorite Cory Booker in next month’s race to fill the rest of the term of late US Senator Frank Lautenberg,

Uh, Ed … That’s next week’s election. October 16th.

Lost in Jersey on October 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Even if Lonegan doesn’t win, it is enough if he screws Booker for a national run

Sekhmet on October 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

At least, I was skeptical — until today. The New York Times reports that Booker’s backers have started to get nervous, and now Michael Bloomberg will dump $1 million of his own cash to rescue Booker

…that’ a lot of 16 ouncers!

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM