Booker sets record for most statewide votes in N.J. history

Booker has already passed the 2.2 million mark, with another 500,000 votes still uncounted across the state.

Mehta on his way to being the all-time highest GOP vote-getter ever in New Jersey

By David Wildstein, November 11 2020 2:11 pm

U.S. Senator Cory Booker has already set a record for the greatest number of votes ever received by a statewide candidate in New Jersey.

Booker has already passed the 2.2 million mark, with another 500,000 votes still uncounted across the state.

The record was held by Democrat Bob Menendez, who received 1,987,680 votes in his 2012 re-election campaign.

In his third bid for the U.S. Senate, Booker leads Republican Rik Mehta by about 16 points, 57%-41%.

Mehta is on a path to set his own record for the most votes ever for a New Jersey Republican statewide candidate.

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official has already received more than 1.6 million votes.  The record for a Republican statewide candidate is 1,743,854, when Clifford Case won his fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

Menendez held the title for eight years after overtaking Bill Bradley by 1,036 votes.  Bradley received 1,986,644 votes in 1984 when he won a second term in the Senate.

Fourth place on the Democratic list is Frank Lautenberg, who received 1,951,217 votes in 2008, followed by Menendez (1,711,654 in 2018), Harrison Williams (1,681,140 in 1976 and 1,677,515 in 1964), Lautenberg in 1988 (1,599,905 in 1988), Bob Torricelli (1,519,328 in 1996), and Jon Corzine (1,511,237 in 2000).

On the Republican side, Mehta has already passed other statewide candidates to clinch at least second place.

That slot had been held by Dick Zimmer, who received 1,461,025 in is 2008 Senate bid against Lautenberg.

Behind Zimmer: Case (1,483,832 in 1960); Bob Franks (1,420,266 in 2000); William Cahill (1,411,905 in 1969);  Thomas H. Kean (1,372,937 in 1985); Bob Hugin, (1,356,355 in 2081); Joe Kyrillos (1,329,534 in 2012); Chris Christie (1,278,932 in 2013); Christine Todd Whitman (1,236,124 in 1993); Pete Dawkins (1,249,937 in 1988); and Zimmer again (1,227,81 in 1996).

Democratic gubernatorial candidates – even those who won resoundingly — fall short of hitting the 1.5 million vote mark.

Brendan Byrne holds the record for the most votes by a Democrat in a race for Governor of New Jersey.  He received 1,397,937 in 1973, when he received 66% of the vote and a plurality of 721,378.

Byrne is followed on the Democratic side by Jim Florio (1,379,937 in 1989 and 1,210,031 in 1993), James E. McGreevey (1,256,853 in 2001), Corzine (1,224,493 in 2005), Phil Murphy (1,203,100 in 2017), and Richard Hughes (1,279,568 in 1965).