Cory Booker opens a big lead in N.J. Senate race

Holly Bailey

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s announcement that he'll retire at the end of his term gave Cory Booker’s bid to succeed him a major boost.

A new Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind survey released on Wednesday found 50 percent of Democratic voters in the state favor Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., in the primary. That’s an increase of eight points since January.

According to the poll, Booker is trouncing two other notable Democrats who have suggested interest in the race: Reps. Rush Holt, who received 7 percent support, and Frank Pallone, who registered at just 4 percent. But 32 percent of those polled say they are still “unsure” in the race.

The poll also quizzed both Democratic and Republican voters on a potential matchup between Booker and Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, who has openly considered a run for the Senate seat.

Among those polled, Booker had a 31-point lead over Rivera, 52 percent to 21 percent, with 26 percent undecided.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.