Booker was also underwhelming in his 10.6 percent victory over Lonegan. Especially when you consider these factors:
- NJ leaned about 13.9% more democrat than the nation as a whole in the 2012
- Booker had an excellent approval rating near 60 percent and considered a hero/celebrity mayor with lots of great press for saving someone's life in a fire.
- Had greatname recognition prior to that.
- Lonegan was never considered a strong candidate although the Tea Party gave him very
strong support. Polls in NJ showed many people thought he was too
Bell was not considered to be the strongest candidate that republicans could put up. The candidates that were considered to be stronger chose not to run, perhaps preferring to take their chances against Menendez instead. Top tier potential Republican candidates like state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union), Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) and state
Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) announced they wouldn’t run.
You have to wonder If Bell continues to poll well if the republicans won't regret not putting forth a stronger candidate.
Bell is 70 years old and Corey Booker is in his 40's. This could be a plus for Bell as nj has a large number of seniors. However, most voters are considerably younger and age could hurt as well.