A new poll shows Democrat Cory Booker with a 13-point lead over Republican Steve Lonegan in New Jersey's U.S. Senate race.
The Monmouth University poll out Tuesday found 53 percent of likely voters back Booker, while 40 percent support Lonegan. The special election will be held Oct. 16.
"Monmouth University's polls have consistently shown this race to be closer than most pundits thought it would be," said Patrick Murray, director, Monmouth University Polling Institute. "While Cory Booker’s lead is relatively sizable, many voters have doubts about his motives in seeking this seat."
The poll found a plurality of 45 percent think the Newark mayor's ambitions are focused on grabbing the national spotlight, compared with 35 percent who think he wants to serve the state.
Booker led by 16 points in polls taken in August and June.
"Statewide, positive opinion of Cory Booker has been broad, but not necessarily deep. It's possible that Steve Lonegan's attacks have caused many voters to reconsider their opinion of Booker, even if they don’t change their vote," said Murray.
The telephone survey of 571 likely voters was taken Sept. 26-29 and has an error margin of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.