Menendez Weighs in on Booker’s Prez Bid

Booker, Sires, Menendez

Two polls came out Wednesday on the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Cory Booker was at 3 percent in one and at 1 percent in the other.

Booker’s seeming lack of traction is a mystery of sorts, especially given the fact that by most accounts, he did well in the two debates so far.

Bob Menendez, a close backer of his Senate colleague, remains optimistic.

Asked about presidential politics after an unrelated event Wednesday in Montclair,  Menendez said with a smile, “I’m for Cory Booker.”

Yeah, we know that, but how about Booker’s standing in the polls?

Menendez said Booker’s overall poll numbers actually have gone up a bit.

Perhaps more importantly, Menendez said many seasoned political observers rate Booker’s field operations in such states as Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada as among the best in the large field of Democratic candidates.

“These caucus races are a lot about organization, not just popularity,” he said. Of the three states mentioned by the senator, Iowa and Nevada are caucus states.

Menendez acknowledged that Booker’s not-that-high national name recognition is holding him back. But he said the good news is that Booker is still on this month’s debate stage while a number of other early Democratic candidates are not.

But the best thing Booker has going for him, Menendez said, is that people seem to like him.

“In all of his polling, his like-ability is incredibly high,” the senator said. “We just have to make sure that we change the like-ability into a desire (for Booker) to be the nominee.”

Appearing Wednesday night on ‘Ask The Governor’ on NPR, Governor Murphy said it’s ‘above my paygrade’ whether or not Senator Booker should be in Newark amid the lead contamination crisis.

Menendez yesterday spoke to Booker’s presidential campaign while anchoring a press conference on gun control.

The senator talked about this being the first week of school for most New Jersey students. He noted that students traditionally return to school with questions about their new teachers, making new friends and whether they will “make the team.”

But these days he said, many wonder, “Will my school be next?”

 

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