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Poll Shows Steve Lonegan Gaining On Cory Booker In N.J. Senate Race

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A new poll finds the race for U.S. Senate in New Jersey has tightened.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows 53 percent back Democratic Newark Mayor Booker, while 41 percent support former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. The special election is scheduled for Oct. 16. Click here to see the complete poll results.

"Where did that blowout go?" Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Director Maurice Carroll told WCBS 880.

A poll of registered votes in August showed Booker with a 25-percentage-point lead over the conservative Republican.

Booker gets the majority of his backing from women, who support him 60-34. Men and independents are split.

Among black voters, Booker holds a commanding lead over his challenger, 84 to 9, the poll found. Among white voters, Lonegan holds a slim 49-46 lead.

"A nice lead for Booker, a comfortable lead," said Carroll. "But not the blowout that everybody had expected. Newark Mayor Cory Booker against the former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan."

Carroll says the results could be driven by bad news about Newark crime and publicity about Booker's business ventures.

The telephone survey of 948 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 19-22. It has an error margin of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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