A Quinnipiac University survey finds Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) leading former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) by a sizable margin -- 53-41 percent -- and it is largely due to female and Africa-American voters.
The gender preference is distinct. Booker currently leads among women by 62-31 percent and Lonegan has received a 50-44 percent lead among men.
Both candidates have split the vote among white voters with 49 percent leaning towards Lonegan and 46 percent for Booker. But Booker’s lead among black voters is striking. Currently, 93 percent of blacks are Democratic while none are voting for Lonegan. Booker is currently ahead 92-4 percent among Democratic constituents. Lonegan takes independent voters 50-44 percent and Republicans 87-10 percent.
"It's still not the predicted blow-out, but with a week to go, Newark Mayor Cory Booker hangs on to a nice, if not exactly comfortable, double-digit lead," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"And despite the Stripper-Twitter Affair, Booker has a 2-1 lead among women, while men back Lonegan."
In late September, Booker was criticized for having a twitter conversation with a stripper who called herself Lynsie Lee from Portland, Oregon. Lee even asked Booker if she could be his first lady if he became President. The messages were both public and private.
Booker’s stripper-tweets were seen as a possible blemish to the campaign, but 76-18 percent of likely voters say that it is not an important issue in the Senate race.
"Can a U.S. Senate candidate exchange Twitter messages with a stripper? Apparently so, at least in New Jersey," Carroll said. "Three quarters of voters think it's a non-issue. Ditto for the 'Show Horse/Work Horse' charge; more than half think Booker would be able to get things done in the Senate.”
According to the Quinnipiac survey, 57-31 percent of likely voters in New Jersey think that Booker "would be good at getting things done for New Jersey in the U.S. Senate," while independent voters have agreed 52-38 percent.
Only 6 percent of voters who picked a candidate think there is a "good chance" that they will change their minds before the election, while 5 percent of likely New Jersey voters are undecided.
Sixty-six percent of voters say Booker’s views on issues are mainstream and 23 percent say they are extreme. The poll also shows that 43 percent of voters think that Lonegan’s views on issues are mainstream and 36 percent say they are extreme.
Booker has received 57-32 percent favorability rating among New Jersey. Lonegan has a 36-33 percent favorability rating and 28 percent don’t know enough about him to vote.
Booker's 12-point lead in the polls is unchanged from Quinnipiac’s September 24 survey.