Today’s new FDU PublicMind poll didn’t contain too much “news” of note, Save Jerseyans, but one continuing trend is remarkable relative to other election cycles:
Both Barbara Buono (D) and Steve Lonegan (R) continue to badly under-perform with voters of their own respective parties.
FDU found only 56% of Republicans declaring for Lonegan; 23% were undecided, 14% favored Newark’s part-time Mayor Cory Booker (D-Twitter), and 6% intended to back another candidate. If it’s any consolation to the Lonegan folks, Babs Buono performed worse… she won only 47% of Democrat support while her opponent, Governor Chris Christie, claimed 29%.
“Cultivating greater support among their base would help Buono and Lonegan make up ground. With Labor Day almost behind us and kids going back to school, we’re entering the period of time when people begin to pay more attention to the choices that await them in October and November,” opined Krista Jenkins, the director of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll. “There’s likely to be more opportunities for connecting with voters, particularly those from the same party, in the coming weeks.”
While those close to or familiar with the Lonegan camp’s strategy will tell you they’re doing slightly yet significantly better than public polling suggests, FDU’s results would also explain why the former Bogota Mayor is still running a general election campaign that feels/tastes/looks/smells an awful lot like a primary campaign.
Ask a long-time Save Jersey reader. Possible reasons for the GOP base’s lack of enthusiasm for Lonegan aren’t in short supply. For starters, most observers believe there’s a significant percentage of active Republicans whose dislike for Lonegan extends back to the particularly vicious 2009 primary cycle; some Christie partisans/operatives/allies will never get over it. Others have concluded that the Lonegan style (distinguishable from the substance of his positions) simply isn’t a good fit for a Garden State GOP electorate that’s decidedly less ideological than the national GOP base.
Whatever the primary causation might be, Save Jerseyans, it’s obvious enough that Steve Lonegan has no shot of overtaking Cory Booker’s lead unless he can figure out how to lure at least 90% of Republicans into his camp. Time’s a-wasting…