Most New Jerseyans see Sen. Cory Booker as a better running mate than a winning presidential candidate, according to a Monmouth University Poll.
Half the public also sees Booker as having some responsibility for Newark’s water issues, the poll found.
Booker’s performance as the state’s junior U.S. senator has a 45 percent approval rating. While 37 percent disapprove of his performance, 18 percent have no opinion. This is a lower approval rating than prior to his national campaign began. In April 2018, he earned a 54 percent approval and 31 percent disapproval rating from New Jersey voters.
His approval rate among Democrats is high at 71 percent, and among Republicans is 14 percent. He receives a mixed rating from independents, 40 percent of whom approve and 45 percent disapprove of him.
Of New Jersey voters who lean to the Democratic Party, 9 percent prefer Booker against other presidential candidates. Former Vice President Joe Biden has the support of 26 percent of Democratic-leaning voters; Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 20 percent; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has 18 percent; and Cali. Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg each have 6 percent support. Thirteen other candidates garner less than 2 percent support each.
“The field will certainly be much smaller by the time New Jersey’s presidential primary rolls around,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in a statement. “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.”
Despite a lower standing in the presidential preference poll, Booker earns personal ratings on par with others. His 60 percent favorable and 24 percent unfavorable rating is comparable to Biden (64 percent to 23 percent), Sanders (63 percent to 25 percent), and Warren (59 percent to 17 percent).
Currently, 29 percent of New Jerseyans say Booker would make a good president, while 52 percent say he would not. That’s a change from February, when 37 percent felt he would and 42 percent felt he would not.
Just under half of all respondents see him as solid vice-presidential material, including more than three out of every four Democrats (78 percent).
The poll was conducted via telephone from Sept. 12 to 16 of 713 New Jersey adults.