By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org
If black voters in New Jersey don’t come out Wednesday in full force for Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker, it could be an easy victory for Republican Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, in the race to become New Jersey‘s next U.S. Senator.
That’s the analysis by one prominent mathematician and political observer who has close eyes on how the minority vote could affect the final result of Wednesday’s special election.
“Lonegan can win if blacks don’t show up,” said Jonathan Farley of The Warren Group, previously a senior adviser to a Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010.
An Oxford and Harvard educated mathematician, Farley has taken up visiting professorships across the United States, the United Kingdom and Austria.
Mathematically speaking, Farley said Lonegan ultimately could be successful if the turnout for blacks is low.
“African-Americans are 16 percent of the population. Lonegan can win if African-Americans do not go to the polls,” he told Watchdog.org. “This will happen if Lonegan says that Booker does not represent African-American values, or if Lonegan says that Booker is not genuinely black.”
That latter claim already has been widely discussed in national and local media, specifically as he became a prominent campaign surrogate for President Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential election.
Obama returned the favor during the weekend by posting a video in support of Booker, pushing New Jersey residents to hit the polls in favor of the Democratic candidate.
The latest poll from Mammoth University shows Booker’s once huge lead be cut down to less than 10 percent. The survey shows Booker with a lead of 52 percent to Lonegan’s 42 percent. The poll was conducted by phone from Oct. 10-12 with 1,393 likely New Jersey voters and has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.
According to the pollsters, the race has gotten closer because “voters continue to express concern about Booker’s motives in seeking higher office.”
“Concerns about Cory Booker’s intentions to serve New Jersey continue to persist and his favorability ratings continue to drop,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “At the same time, voters clearly prefer Booker’s political views over Lonegan’s. The message seems to be that Garden State voters don’t like to feel that their support is being taken for granted.”
The special election for New Jersey’s next U.S. senator is Wednesday