10 points

October 16, 2013 | Number of The Day
Smallest point spread in polls between Booker and Lonegan in today’s election

Recent polls regarding the race between Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan all put Booker, a Democrat, out in front — by between 10 points and 22 points.

But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what the polls say. All that matters are the actual votes.

Pundits have been surprised that the polls are often narrow — last week, the Monmouth University Poll reported a 52 percent to 42 percent lead for Booker. The Quinnipiac poll Tuesday reported a 14 percent lead for Booker. And the Rutgers Eagleton poll on Monday reported a 22 percent spread.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, wrote in his blog that the key reason for the disparity is the fact that there is no precedent for a mid-October statewide special election that falls on a Wednesday. Monmouth chose to assume a 27 percent turnout, while other polls made different assumptions. What everyone agrees on is that the winner of today’s election will be determined by those who show up to vote.