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POLLSTER UPDATE: Booker Leads In First New Jersey Special Election Polls

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NEW JERSEY SPECIAL ELECTION POLL
In this Sept. 4, 2012, photo, Newark Mayor Cory Booker addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) | AP
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Booker leads by a mile in two new New Jersey polls. Markey leads by smaller margins on five June polls in Massachusetts. And Pew Research finds a majority view the NSA phone tracking as acceptable, but your pollster's mileage may vary. This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Monday, June 10, 2013.

FIRST NEW JERSEY SENATE POLLS PUT BOOKER AHEAD - HuffPost: “Newark Mayor Cory Booker has an overwhelming lead in the Democratic primary for New Jersey's open senate seat, according to the first polls released since a special election was set for later this year. In a Rutgers-Eagleton poll, Booker took 55 percent of the primary vote, followed by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) at 9 percent and Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) at 8 percent. A Quinnipiac poll had similar results, with Booker leading at 53 percent of the primary vote, and Holt and Pallone trailing at 10 and 9 percent, respectively. Neither poll included state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who announced her candidacy after the surveys were taken." [HuffPost]

Pollster's chart gives Booker an average of more than 50 percent among Democrats [Pollster]

PEW: MAJORITY SEES NSA PHONE TRACKING AS 'ACCEPTABLE' - A new Pew Research/Washington Post poll released Monday afternoon and conducted since Thursday is one of the first with reactions to the NSA revelations: "A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency's (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government's monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks." But, perhaps more important, many Americans are not yet following the story: "Roughly a quarter (27%) of Americans say they are following news about the government collecting Verizon phone records very closely. This is a relatively modest level of public interest. Only another 21% say they are following this fairly closely, while about half say they are following not too (17%) or not at all (35%) closely." Remember, when pollsters have to describe the facts of a story to ask about it, their results measure reactions to the text of the questions as much or more than existing opinions. So watch the wording carefully. [Pew Research]

Pollsters doubt 'public revolt' brewing - Politico's James Hohmann talks to pollsters who foresee a "meh" response from the public coming over recent disclosures of a top secret U.S. surveillance program: “The outrage is coming from the people who write, but not the people who vote," said Democratic pollster Jefrey Pollock, president of Global Strategy Group, adding that the type of surveillance revealed this week is seen as “a necessary evil."
“People are willing to kind of bite the bullet a little bit if it helps stop terrorist attacks," said Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group...“I wouldn't want to minimize the concern over privacy at all because it's definitely there. But at the same time, especially in the wake of Boston and the constant threat people are feeling...protection is foremost," said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. “In this general tradeoff, when push comes to shove...more people consistently since 9/11 said protecting the country is a greater concern than restricting civil liberties." [Politico]

MASSACHUSETTS: MARKEY LEADS - With a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry just two weeks away, most polls are showing Democratic Rep. Ed Markey leading Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez. On a new Suffolk University telephone poll released on Monday, Markey has a seven percentage point lead (48 to 41 percent), while a new UMass Amherst/YouGov online poll shows Markey leading by 11 (51 to 40 percent). All together, Markey has a nominal lead on all five surveys conduct in June. On the Pollster chart, which combines results from all of the public poll, Markey leads by nearly seven percentage points (48.6 to 41.7 percent), a margin that is essentially unchanged over the past month. [Suffolk, UMass Amherst, Pollster chart]

NOT POLLING LIKE 2010 - Boston journalist David Bernstein finds "not much evidence" that "the Massachusetts Senate race is as close as (or closer than) the January 2010 special election in which Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley." Why not? "The problem with looking at the 2010 polling—and a big reason why Scott Brown's surge snuck up on so many of us—is that nobody was bothering to poll the race. That was compounded by some really, really bad polling." Bernstein notes that the two most optimistic results in the two weeks of the 2010 campaign, from Coakley's perspective, were produced by Research 2000, "which would later be disgraced, accused of fabricating results....Either way, if the idea is that Gomez is following a Brown-like trajectory, this is the week he needs to prove it. If he isn't showing up even or ahead in some polls by then—polls other than McLaughlin—he'll have to pull off a much bigger come-from-behind than Brown did." [Boston Magazine]

MONDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Hillary Clinton's favorable rating slips since April, but stands at 94 percent with Democrats. [Gallup, ForecasterEnten]

--18 percent of Americans mention jobs as the most important issue, down from 29 percent in 2010. [Gallup]

-For the first time, a third of American adults own tablet computers. [Pew Internet]

-Rasmussen gives McAuliffe a three point edge over Cuccinelli in Virginia (44 to 41 percent). [Rasmussen Reports]

-Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) leads Democratic challenger Jack Hatch by 28 points. [Des Moines Register (PDF)]

-In NYC mayoral races, Micah Cohen finds, the early leader in the polls usually wins. [NYTimes]

-Drew Linzer compares his 2012 battleground state forecasts from October 9 to those from the Obama Analytics "cave." [@DrewLinzer]

-A survey of hill staffers finds more who trust corporations than trust organized labor. [Politico]

-Carl Bialik profiles Census director nominee John Thompson and the challenges he faces. [WSJ]

-The racial demographic “tipping point,' in several charts. [AP]

-PPP polls "LOLGOP" in Michigan. [PPP]

-How Abraham Lincoln microtargeted the Appalachians. [NYT, via Mischiefs of Faction]