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Cory Booker favored in N.J. Senate primary. Are his ambitions even higher?

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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

(Read caption) Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker speaks to the media after casting his ballot during the Senate primary election in Newark, NJ, on August 13, 2013. Booker seemed poised for victory on Tuesday as New Jersey voters head to the polls to select party nominees in the race to fill the state's empty U.S. Senate seat.

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Garden State Democrats are casting ballots Tuesday for their nominee for US Senate, but if the polls are correct, the winner of the primary is a foregone conclusion: Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Mayor Booker, who in recent surveys has held a large double-digit advantage over his nearest party rival, is then expected to face off against former Bogota, N.J., mayor Steve Lonegan, who is favored to win the Republican contest, also being held Tuesday. The special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), who died in June, will be Oct. 16.

Democrats have held both US Senate seats in New Jersey for four decades, so the odds, at least at this juncture, are solidly with Booker, according to elections expert Charlie Cook.

Whoever wins in October will have to run again next year for a full term.

Much as the current occupant of the White House once was, the Oxford-educated and social media-adept Booker is often asked about his presidential aspirations.

So what do you need to know about the contest and about Booker, who is young, telegenic, and has celebrity friends (actress Eva Longoria stumped for him Monday)? Is he the party’s flavor of the month, or might he have a national future?

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