Poll: Booker Loses Democratic Primary to Biden, Warren, Sanders in His Own State

By Max Pizarro | September 19, 2019

Insider NJ


Matched in his home state, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) loses to former Vice President Joe Biden in a Democratic Primary for President, according to today’s Monmouth University Poll of New Jersey Democratic voters and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. Booker also loses to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, statewide polling from Monmouth that in its top three spots reflects national trends.

In a presidential preference test, Booker (9%) trails Biden (26%), Warren (20%), and Sanders (18%).  California Sen. Kamala Harris (6%) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (6%) are the only other candidates in a field of 19 who garner more than 2% support.

“The field will certainly be much smaller by the time New Jersey’s presidential primary rolls around.

Booker’s home state standing could change dramatically if he can score an upset win in one of the February contests. But as it stands right now, Jersey Democrats are gravitating toward the three candidates who currently dominate the national spotlight,” said Monmouth University Poll Director Patrick Murray.

Despite Booker’s lower standing in the presidential preference poll, he earns personal ratings on par with the other top contenders. Among New Jersey Democrats and Democratic leaners, Booker has a 60% favorable to 24% unfavorable rating, which is similar to Biden (64% to 23%), Sanders (63% to 25%), and Warren (59% to 17%).  Booker has better ratings than either Harris (43% to 22%) or Buttigieg (40% to 13%), although both those candidates are not as well known to New Jersey Democrats.

According to the Monmouth Poll, the New Jersey public as a whole has become less likely to feel that Booker would make a good president since he first launched his campaign. Currently, 29% say he would make a good president and 52% say he would not, with 19% having no opinion. In February, 37% felt he would make a good president and 42% said he would not. A small majority of Democrats (55%, down from 65% in February) say Booker would make a good president, compared to just 21% of independents (down from 32%), and 4% of Republicans (similar to 3%).


Reviews are more positive when his constituents picture Booker in the vice presidential slot.  Just under half (48%) say Booker would make a good running mate compared to 39% who say he would not, with another 13% offering no opinion. More than 3-in-4 Democrats (78%) say Booker is solid vice presidential material, compared with 39% of independents and 17% of Republicans who say the same.

Opposition has softened on Booker being on the national ticket in 2020 and simultaneously running for reelection to his U.S. Senate seat.  Nearly half the public (49%) says he should only run for president or vice president, which is down from 66% who said he should only pursue national office seven months ago. On the other hand, 29% say Booker should run for both senate and national office (as allowed by state law), which is up slightly from 21% in February. Another 22% have no opinion on what Booker should do in this situation, which is up from 13%.  It should be noted that the February question only asked about the possibility of Booker running for president, while the current poll question included president or vice president as the national office option.  Opposition to Booker being on the 2020 ballot for two different offices has dropped among all partisan groups since February.

Monmouth University conducted the poll by telephone from September 12 to 16, 2019 with 713 New Jersey adults, which has a +/- 3.7 percentage point sampling margin of error.  Some results in this release are based on 325 registered voters who identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party and have a margin of error of +/- 5.4 percentage points.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch.

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