Monmouth Poll: Prez Candidate Booker’s Home State Approval Rating Suffers


Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) home state job rating has taken a hit since he launched his campaign for president, but remains in net positive territory, according to this morning’s Monmouth University Poll. Still, most of his fellow New Jersey Democrats prefer one of the other leading candidates for their party’s nomination. More New Jerseyans think he would make a better running mate than top of the ticket candidate. The poll also finds that half the public says Booker bears at least some responsibility for the current water crisis in Newark.

Booker earns a 45% approve and 37% disapprove rating from Garden State residents for his performance as the state’s junior U.S. senator. Another 18% have no opinion.  His standing among registered voters is 45% approve and 40% disapprove.  His current voter rating is slightly lower than the 48% approve and 38% disapprove rating he received in February, shortly after he announced his presidential bid. However, his ratings this year are more negative than they were prior to his national campaign. For example, in April 2018, he earned a 54% approve and 31% disapprove rating from New Jersey voters.

Booker currently receives a positive rating from Democrats (71% approve and 11% disapprove), a negative rating from Republicans (14% approve and 69% disapprove), and a mixed rating from independents (40% approve and 45% disapprove).

The poll also finds that about half of New Jersey residents say Booker has either a great deal (28%) or some (23%) responsibility for the drinking water problem in Newark – the city he led as mayor until 2013.  Just 1-in-5 say he has only a little (10%) or no (10%) responsibility for this. The remainder have no opinion (8%) or are unaware (21%) of recent news reports of high lead levels in the city’s water system.  These results are fairly consistent across all partisan groups.

“Running for president can stretch the patience of home state constituents, and we are seeing some signs of that with Cory Booker. Still, he is managing to hold on to a net positive rating despite his national campaign as well as recent news that brought potentially negative attention to his time as mayor,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Monmouth University Poll 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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