NEWARK, NJ – In a heated primary election that still has about 100,000 more provisional and mail-in ballots to count, Democrat U.S. Senator Cory Booker has a commanding lead that could foreshadow a walk-in-the-park reelection bid in November.
Booker received 551,000 votes statewide compared to a grand total of just 235,433 ballots received statewide for all three Republican challengers. In that race, former Obama advisor and Democrat Rikin Mehta leads, with 101,332 votes. Hirsh Singh has 87,867 and Patricia Flanagan has 46,324.
The nearly 2 to 1 difference could mean game over for the Republican Party, regardless of who the candidate is in November. A Rikin Mehta campaign could fare far worse than Bob Hugin’s failed U.S. Senate run in which he lost to New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez.
In that election, Hugin spent $40,000,000 to lose by 400,000 votes to the highly unpopular Democrat.
Cory Booker this cycle raised $10,908,350 and spent $8.8 million. He brings a $2.9 million war chest into the November election.
On the other side of the aisle, Rikin Mehta, who until just a few years ago was also a Democrat with Cory Booker raised just $399,000, most of which was his own money. Mehta raised less than $50,000 from contributors during his campaign. He has just $48,214 in his campaign account, leaving him essentially broke in the world of politics.
Hirsh Singh raised $582,000 and spent $547,000.
Stuart Meissner, whose short-lived failed campaign for U.S. Senate raised $188,000, mostly his own money and he ended his campaign with little more than gas money left in his account.
The future is grim for New Jersey Republicans who now have less than four months to raise millions of dollars against the powerful Democrat political machine of New Jersey and Cory Booker. The question will be, will anyone donate money to Mehta after he was unable to mount a sizable campaign against Singh, and leads a statewide election by a narrow margin of 13,000 votes, with 100,000 left to be counted. When you factor in the COVID-19 crisis and its financial impact on New Jerseyeans, will anyone be willing to now open their wallet for Mehta?
The answer is probably not and if Phil Murphy declares November to be a mail-in election ballot, it’s alavida, Rik Mehta and Hirsh Singh can roll a successful independently-run campaign into a gubernatorial campaign to challenge Phil Murphy head-on in 2021.