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NJ Voters Pick a New U.S. Senator This Week [AUDIO]

You might not realize it, but New Jersey voters will select a new U.S. Senator this Wednesday.

Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan during debate at Rowan University
Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan during debate at Rowan University (WCAU TV)

Governor Chris Christie ordered a Special Election after longtime Senator Frank Lautenberg died earlier this summer.

“It’s going to take a serious level of commitment for one of the candidates to go out and vote, and the reality is it’s very difficult to predict turnout in this kind of election,” says Montclair State political science professor Dr. Brigid Harrison.

While Newark Mayor Cory Booker has maintained a substantial lead in the polls, Dr. Harrison says it’s not out of the question that republican underdog Steve Lonegan, the former Mayor of Bogota, could pull an upset.

“Steve Lonegan has a very small base but a very passionate base of supporters, and that base will certainly come out oand voter for him,” she says. “But in some ways, I believe the recent tightening of the race benefits Booker because there are perhaps some fence-sitters who would say, ‘Oh well, if Booker’s got it I don’t need to come out and vote.’ But now they may actually be compelled to go out and vote because the race appears a bit closer.”

She adds both campaigns are using social media to get their messages out, but instead of relying on tweets and text messages, “sometimes it takes something much more compelling to get us to go out to the polls – maybe it takes a phone call or a knock on the door.”

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