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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Booker headed back to Senate

By Nikita Biryukov, November 03 2020 8:25 pm

New Jersey voters chose to keep with a nearly five-decade-old tradition and re-elect U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-Newark) to his second full term in the chamber, the New Jersey Globe projects.

Booker will defeat Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta, a former Food and Drug Administration official who also served as a vice president at Pfizer.

The incumbent’s victory was never really in doubt. Republicans last won a U.S. Senate race in New Jersey in 1972, and the state has grown more Democratic — not less — in the intervening decades.

Polls of the race consistently showed Booker, who came into the race fresh off an unsuccessful campaign for president that boosted his national profile, leading by between 20 and 30 points.

The lead was reflected in the senator’s campaign strategy.

While Mehta launched attacks at Booker and Gov. Phil Murphy, who he claimed was cribbing his campaign to the incumbent’s benefit, the senator did little, relying on voters who had already knew him or were unwilling to a vote a Republican into Congress’s upper chamber.

The dynamic remained the same when the two met for a New Jersey Globe debate a week out from election day. Mehta attacked while Booker, true to his brand, called for unity while issuing jabs at President Donald trump.

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