Gee, and I thought spanking had gone out of style. Senator Frank Lautenberg attempted to go Old School on Newark Mayor Cory Booker, brushing off Booker’s public statements on running for his seat with a heavy dose of condescension. Lautenberg equated Booker with a child who needs a swat to get back in line:
Booker has already formed a 2014 campaign committee, prompting anonymous Lautenberg aides to rip the mayor to Politico, accusing him of being “disrespectful.” I asked Lautenberg about that characterization this afternoon.
“I have four children, I love each one of them. I can’t tell you that one of them wasn’t occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK,” Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.
That’s certainly an amusing bit of utter disdain, but it may be Lautenberg who gets slapped in New Jersey with a cold dash of reality. In a new Quinnipiac poll, Lautenberg can’t even get a majority to say he deserves re-election, and trails Booker by nearly 20 points in a head-to-head primary matchup:
In an early look at the 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate primary, Newark Mayor Cory Booker leads incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg 51 – 30 percent.
New Jersey voters approve 50 – 34 percent of the job Sen. Lautenberg is doing, but say 45 – 36 percent he does not deserve to be reelected.
Lautenberg turns 89 years old today, and more than seven in ten voters are concerned about his age:
Only 21 percent of voters say Lautenberg’s age gives him the wisdom and experience to do a good job as a U.S. Senator, while 71 percent say his age makes the work too difficult.
Looks like a slap across the face for a man who has been in the Senate for all but two of the last 30 years.
Meanwhile, Chris Christie looks absolutely unbeatable in his re-election bid. He has a 74% approval rating, and 68% believe he deserves re-election — with even a plurality among Democrats agreeing:
Voters approve 74 – 21 percent of the job Gov. Christie is doing, his highest job score ever and matching New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as having the highest job approval of any governor in the states surveyed by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
Christie’s approval is 93 – 4 percent among Republicans, 56 – 37 percent among Democrats and 78 – 18 percent among independent voters. Men approve 79 – 18 percent while women approve 69 – 24 percent.
The governor deserves reelection, voters say 68 – 24 percent, with Democrats at 47 – 43 percent.
In other words, don’t expect Booker to switch to the gubernatorial race, Senator Lautenberg.