RELEASE: New Jersey Dems Say Support For Education Reform Is Selling Point In U.S. Senate Primary


August 12, 2013

For additional information contact: Devin Boyle,

New Jersey Dems Say Support For Education Reform Is Selling Point In U.S. Senate Primary

Garden State Democrats heart education reform.

Eight out of ten New Jersey Democrats say that Cory Booker’s support for pragmatic education reforms as Mayor of Newark make him a good choice for the United States Senate, according to a poll conducted last month by Education Reform Now Advocacy.

Overall, an outspoken supporter of public education reforms including expanding school choice and improving teacher quality, scored high marks among Democrats statewide. Nearly half (48% of respondents) listed Booker’s education reform work as “very convincing”; another 32% said it was “convincing.”

Among those Democrats who identified themselves as “very liberal” the numbers were just as strong – 49% of lefties said his education record was “very convincing,” while another 29% said it was “convincing.”

“The conventional wisdom used to be that Democrats shouldn’t touch public education reform with a 10-foot pole,” said Joe Williams, DFER’s national director. “Smart progressive leaders like Cory Booker and Barack Obama have shattered that myth. Education reform has become a winning issue for some of our nation’s most popular Dems.”

The poll of 603 likely Democratic voters in New Jersey showed Booker cruising to an easy victory in the Democratic primary to succeed United States Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year. The Newark Mayor, a longtime ally of Democrats for Education Reform, showed solid support from 57% of likely voters, compared with 13% support for Congressman Rush Holt and single-digit support for longshot challengers Frank Pallone and Sheila Oliver in the contest.

“This is about real leadership and reasserting the Democratic Party’s long history of standing up for the little guy,” Williams said. “Democratic leaders nationwide are taking notice.”

The poll of 603 registered Democrats statewide – all of whom said they were either “definitely” or “probably” going to vote in the primary special election this week – was conducted June 28 through July 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.

Democrats for Education Reform is a Washington-based political action committee working to support Democrats who embrace reforms leading to stronger public education systems and publicly-accountable educational options for parents. To see Mayor Booker discussing the importance of education reform for Democrats, see the video at