News Article

Name Recognition A Problem For NJ Senate Candidates

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. July 9, 2013

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With just five weeks until the primary election, most of the Democrats running for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey are still struggling to build statewide name recognition.

Polls show Newark Mayor Cory Booker maintains a substantial lead over his challengers.

Many voters say they don’t know much about Congressmen Frank Pallone or Rush Holt or Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison says that will be difficult for the candidates to overcome by the August 13th primary.

 “The reality is that most voters in the state of New Jersey are focused on getting to the shore, having barbeque with friends. They’re not focused on the political advertising that is out there.”

Fairleigh Dickinson political scientist Peter Woolley does not expect Booker’s primary opponents will become well enough known statewide to be able to defeat him.

 “The only thing they can hope for really is to have such low turnout for that primary election that somehow their local strength can prevail over statewide weaknesses. Mathematically that’s possible, but it’s very unlikely.”

Quinnipiac University poll director Maurice Carroll also doubts the other Democratic candidates will be able to close the gap.

“People who are not known in early July are going to have an awful task becoming known by mid August. I mean if I wasn’t a pollster I’d say it’s impossible.”

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