New Jersey Democratic insiders believe Newark Mayor Cory Booker poses the strongest threat to Gov. Chris Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial election.
In Patch’s inaugural Blue Garden State survey, nearly 200 influential Democrats in the state were asked to weigh in with their thoughts on a potential Booker candidacy. The local leaders surveyed include state senators, mayors, town council members and local party chairs.
Of the 16 Democrats who responded to the survey, 68 percent agreed with the statement “Cory Booker would be the strongest Democratic candidate against Gov. Christie.” Some 31 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.
Democratic insiders were also surveyed on their thoughts about statements Booker made in an appearance on Meet the Press in May. Booker criticized attacks on GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s work with private equity firm Bain Capital by President Barack Obama’s campaign.
"I have to just say from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” Booker said during his Meet the Press appearance. “To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people invest in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses. … This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright."
Patch’s Blue Garden State survey asked Democrats whether or not they agreed with the statement “Cory Booker’s defense of bankers and Wall Street could hurt him with New Jersey liberals if he were to run for governor.” Of the 16 Democrats who answered the survey question, 31 percent agreed with the statement, while 69 percent disagreed with it.
The Blue Garden State survey posed a similar question regarding the impact of Booker’s statements on moderates. Of the 15 Democrats who responded to the survey, 73 percent agreed with the statement “Cory Booker’s defense of bankers and Wall Street could help him with New Jersey moderates if he were to run for governor.” Some 27 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.
Earlier this summer, Patch invited Democratic and Republican state leaders to participate in regular surveys about their thoughts on national and statewide issues. These leaders include state Senators, mayors, town council members and local party chairs. To become an insider, email Mike Pignataro at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jacklyn Corley at email@example.com.