Report: Booker will likely run for Senate

December 18, 2012

Newark Mayor CoryBooker speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, 2012. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) is leaning toward a 2014 Senate run rather than challenging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) next year, the Wall Street Journal is reporting

Two sources hinted to the WSJ that Booker could announce his plans to form an exploratory committee via Twitter, the platform that he famously and frequently uses to correspond with his 1.3 million followers on everything from hyperlocal annoyances to major political news

Booker has said publicly that he is considering a bid against Christie, calling the governor "vulnerable." But Christie's current popularity -- he has a 77 percent approval rating in New Jersey -- may have led Booker to look at the next statewide office. 

Two-term Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), who will be 90 years old by the 2014 election, has said he is likely to run again but has not made a formal announcement. Given his advanced age, Lautenberg has a permanent place on retirement watch until he makes his plans crystal clear, and Booker would be a clear favorite in the race. 

Polls show that Booker would enter the gubernatorial race about 20 points behind Christie; by contrast, in a Senate primary he leads Lautenberg by 30. Even if the senator decides not to retire, Booker has good shot at unseating him. 

A recent New York Times article took a critical look at Booker, reporting that many Newarkers complain that his national charm offensive has obscured his lack of interest in the actual work of governing the city. 

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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