Wally Edge: If Booker gets less than 60%, is his star quality tarnished?

Wally Edge: If Booker gets less than 60%, is his star quality tarnished?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has two opponents in the May 11 election: 67-year-old former judge and prosecutor Clifford Minor, and the expectations game.

The charismatic Booker, with a 17-1 fundraising advantage, is likely to win re-election to as second term against the quiet and reserved Minor, who has the backing of what is left of Sharpe James’ old machine. The problem for Booker is that he won with 75% of the vote four years ago (against a formidable opponent, State Sen. Ronald Rice) and then went on to become a national media sensation.

The defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine last fall makes Booker a leading candidate for the 2013 Democratic nomination for governor, if he wants it. But a lackluster victory against a bland, relatively unknown, underfinanced opponent – perhaps anything under 60% — might create the impression that local voters don’t think Booker is as good as his friends in Washington, Chicago and Hollywood think he is. That might make his front runner status in the next gubernatorial primary less automatic.

Newark Straw poll: Booker detractors nurse hurt in Central and West, but Minor largely undefined as challenger | Politicker NJ

Politicker NJ: Newark Straw poll: Booker detractors nurse hurt in Central and West, but Minor largely undefined as challenger

Disappointed with Mayor Cory Booker, a random scattershot of voters in the Central and West wards don’t know enough about challenger Clifford Minor to feel confident he would do better and some question his campaign trail passion, according to a PolitickerNJ.com straw poll conducted Saturday.

Dismantling your opponent’s platform while failing to articulate your own is rarely a winning formula, and never sparks meaningful policy.

We received a 10-page pamphlet from the Minor camp lambasting the mayor for everything from his high-powered friends to the city’s long-running battle with crime.  Minor has failed to define his platform as anything but the anti-Booker campaign.

One is left to wonder how Minor would govern City Hall, if given the opportunity.

“Charles Bell has been around for some …

“Charles Bell has been around for some time and the people have a strong affection for Charles Bell. I and members of my team were upset about his change. We thought he would have at least talked to us since many of us worked very hard for him. The question for the people of the Central Ward will be whether they feel betrayed by Mr. Bell.”

Mayoral Candidate, Clifford Minor, on the departure of Central Ward councilman, Charles Bell, from his ticket to the incumbent’s