If Newark Mayor Cory Booker is looking to move up the political ladder, it looks like he is going to have to look outside the governor's mansion, at least for now.
Three polls released this week found New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with a commanding lead over Booker in a theoretical matchup for the state's 2013 gubernatorial race.
The most recent poll, released Friday by Public Policy Polling, showed Christie with a rock solid path to re-election.
The poll found the Republican governor holds a huge 50-36 advantage over Booker, and would even lead a theoretical matchup with Jersey legend Bruce Springsteen by a 61-25 margin.
In a particurly bad sign for Booker, the poll shows Christie would capture 27 percent of the Democratic vote in a race against the Newark Mayor. In contrast, Booker takes just 2 percent of the Republican vote, and trails Christie by 22 points among Independents.
But PPP found that Booker has a much better shot at a different higher office: The Senate. According to the survey, New Jersey Democrats overwhelming prefer Booker to 88-year-old incumbent Frank Lautenberg, by a 59-22 margin.
"The Governor's race would be an uphill battle for Booker," PPP director Tom Jensen wrote on Thursday . "But the Senate seat may be his for the taking."
If Lautenberg decides to retire — or if Booker decides to challenge him — it looks like he would have a relatively easy shot at winning the seat. In a theoretical matchup against Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, considered to be the top candidate for the GOP, Booker leads by a wide 52-29 margin.
The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Booker plans to decide by mid-December if he will make a run for governor in 2013.
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