Is Anybody Really Paying Attention to U.S. Senate Battle In NJ? [POLL/AUDIO]
Four New Jersey Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination to run for the U.S Senate seat that’s up for grabs after the passing of longtime Senator Frank Lautenberg.
It’s a race that will be intense and quick because the primary takes place in mid-August, and the election itself will be held in October, but many Garden State residents may not be tuned in at all.
“This will be a very unique campaign, because first off it’s in the summer, and we know that most New Jerseyans are at the beach or in their back yards – they’re not spending a whole lot of time reading newspapers or listening to radio, except 101.5, of course,” says Montclair State University political science professor, Dr. Brigid Harrison.
She points out Congressman Rush Holt, Congressman Frank Pallone and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver may be very well known in their own districts or the surrounding area, but in other parts of the state, people will have no idea who they are.
“I would anticipate over the next couple of weeks – actually the next two months that we’ll be seeing lots of radio and TV advertising trying to get both name recognition and their experience records out there to voters.”
Dr. Harrison believes this is Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s race to lose because he already has broad name recognition and very high positive ratings throughout the state.
“He also comes to the table with a significant amount of money in his campaign war chest, last count it was about $2 million,” she says, “but he probably has a lot more than that now that the race is more immediate.”
In addition to radio, television and print advertising, Dr. Harrison expects the campaign to have a very strong presence on social media, but in the end, turnout for the primary will probably be low just because the timing of the election – that fact that it is August, and many people are on vacation.