Cory Booker’s lead shrinks in New Jersey

For the first time, we have an inkling that Cory Booker may not have a complete free pass in his quest for the Senate.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Booker leads GOP nominee Steve Lonegan by 12 points among likely voters in the Oct. 16 New Jersey special election. Booker is at 53 percent, while Lonegan is at 41 percent.

The same pollster showed, before the primary was over, that Booker led Lonegan by 25 points. But that poll was among registered voters, rather than likely voters.

Booker's lead is due almost completely to women, who back him by a 60-34 margin. Among men, the two candidates are split, with 48 percent choosing Lonegan and 46 percent choosing Booker.

The poll shows Booker remains popular, though not as much as other polls. His favorable rating is 53 percent, compared to 30 percent unfavorable.

Lonegan is less well-known, with 35 percent viewing him favorably and 22 percent unfavorably.

The two are running for the seat of the late-Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). National Republicans have yet to line up behind Lonegan's candidacy.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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