A conservative political scientist and election analyst believes it would be quite a long shot for the Republican nominee to win the special election to fill the unexpired term of Democrat Frank Lautenberg.
The Democrat Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey, and Republican Steve Lonegan will face off in a special U.S. Senate election after winning in the primaries of their respective parties on Tuesday.
Booker easily defeated three other Democrats who were seeking to fill the final 15 months of the term of Lautenberg, who died in June. Lonegan is a tea party candidate who running on an anti-tax platform.
Dr. Charles W. Dunn of Clemson University says Lonegan's victory is a clear indication that the tea party isn't dead.
"Their death was promised several years ago,” he points out. “But they've outlived the death wishes that many people had for them. So, the tea party remains strong. The victory in New Jersey in that Senate race is further testimony of that strength."
But Dunn says beating Booker in the October 16 election in a very blue state is long shot. But he thinks the Democrat has a high bar of expectation.
"The Republicans could win while losing in New Jersey, if they do better than expected,” he says. “And Booker needs to have a big win for people to take him seriously on a national level."