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Biggert poll shows huge lead over Republican foe

Friday, Mar 2, 2012

* A Cook County judge ruled the other day that US Rep. Judy Biggert’s Republican primary foe Jack Cunningham should be returned to the ballot after being kicked off by the Board of Elections. Biggert’s allies are appealing, but the incumbent’s latest poll shows she has pretty much nothing to worry about. From a polling memo written by Linda DiVall and David Kanevsky at American Viewpoint, Inc.

The following outlines the key findings from a survey of likely GOP primary voters commissioned by the Judy Biggert for Congress campaign. Interviews were conducted February 26-27, 2012. The margin of error for the entire sample (n=300 likely GOP primary voters) is +5.66% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error among sub-groups is greater.

Judy Biggert leads the primary by over fifty points.

    • Judy Biggert leads Jack Cunningham 69%-18%, with 13% undecided, including 44% who would definitely vote for the Congresswoman. Biggert leads across the district and with all ideological and demographic groups.

Judy Biggert has some of the best ratings we’ve seen for a Republican incumbent.

    • Congresswoman Biggert has incredibly strong ratings with very low negatives, both on her image (73% favorable – 12% unfavorable) and job approval (69% approve – 16% disapprove). Additionally, Biggert has a solid re-elect rating of 58%. Nowadays a lot of incumbents manage to win re-election with re-elect scores under 50% or 45%, but it’s tough to beat an incumbent who is well over 50% on the re-elect.

* In other news, Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling decided to lay off constituent service workers in favor of spending more money on congressional mailers

New figures released Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives Clerk’s Quarterly Statement of Disbursements showed the overall cost cuts were even deeper than Schilling’s staff disclosed in Sunday’s story. Schilling slashed personnel and salaries to trim his office expenses 16.7 percent less in his first year than former Rep. Phil Hare spent in his last. Cuts like that are big news. For that, taxpayers may say, “thanks.”

To achieve those savings, Schilling chose to hire fewer district staff and pay them less than his predecessors or contemporaries. For that, some taxpayers may say, “thanks.” Others might wonder whether the discrepancy is worth it.

Schilling achieved these savings while spending significantly more on constituent mailings. He spent $316,180 on mailing in his first year in office, about twice as much as Hare spent over four years.

That’s news, too. Some taxpayers might appreciate the new congressman’s more frequent communication. Others might wonder why the congressman cut salaries for constituent services, while ramping up the mailings to unprecedented levels.

The cynical way to look at this is to say that maybe Hare should’ve spent more government money on mailers and he might’ve held onto his seat.

* This is one of the first times I’ve seen Republican Joe Walsh actually lash out at either one of his potential general election challengers. From a campaign e-mail…

Congressman Walsh: “We’re Still Wondering Where Tammy Stands on the Budget”

Raja’s response came in and he supports the President’s budget. Clearly, I do not. But, despite our distinct disagreements, I respect Raja for making his position clear to the people of the 8th District.

The question remains, what does Tammy think? Her press machine has been in overdrive promoting her recent endorsement by Mayor Emanuel but eerily silent on the major question of whether or not she endorses the President’s budget. Unfortunately, the media have not asked her opinion on the matter despite affording her plenty of coverage on Rahm’s endorsement. Why is it that Tammy hasn’t taken a position and how come the media hasn’t asked her?

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* CAMPAIGN AD: Kent Gaffney. The Numbers Guy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    I think you would see some different numbers if Cunningham wasn’t having to fight to stay on the ballot.

  2. - Raising Kane - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    Really, one man? Cunningham didn’t even have enough of an organziation to get his own pettition signatures….and resorted to hiring Rod McCoullah. So here we have a guy who has reported raising Zero dollars, has no organization and hired a man (McCoullah) he knew was convicted of perjury for his role in a past campaign’s petition process. But now, your gonna tell me that what is holding him down is fighting to stay on the ballot?? Nah, not really.

  3. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    It isn’t helping… I think any candidate would be hindered by dealing with a ballot issue. The whole redistricting (and the court cases associated with that).

    So yes, I think if he had been able to do those other things (build an organization up) instead of dealing with the ballot stuff he would be polling better.

  4. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    - But, despite our distinct disagreements, I respect Raja for making his position clear to the people of the 8th District. -

    I bet Raja is really pumped about this endorsement. I can’t figure out if this means Walsh thinks Raja is a tougher opponent than Tammy or vice versa.

  5. - Raising Kane - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    Yes One man he would be doing better if he raised any money, had any volunteers or got a clue. Also, if I had been born rich I would be on my private island and not not on the Capfax website. Reality bites!!

  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    By the time Hare took over Lane Evans terms in office, the Evans/Hare staff reflected a 20th Century Democratic operation. There is nothing wrong with that, but it was antiquated and not as productive as it could be. Hare inherited the staff, he was a part of it. It is completely understandable that there was cuts that could be made.

    The assumption that a 16-17% cut in office costs reflecting a job not well done flies in the face of the reality that over the past decade office productivity per person has skyrocketed. The assumption made by the Quad City reporter is foolish.

    Hare was an old fashioned guy. He did stuff the old fashioned way. He ran an old fashioned office.

    Schilling is just running a modern Congressional Office. A 16-17% cut from the old fashioned Democratic Office costs to the modern Republican Office costs seems pretty understandable.

    The Quad City paper is fishing for mud where there isn’t any.

  7. - Lil' Enchilada - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 3:55 pm:

    All the QC paper does is fish for mud.
    That’s all they got.
    I am personally sick of the phone calls and mailers from Congressman Schilling.
    I’m shocked by the amount of money they cost us.

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    Vman: –Schilling is just running a modern Congressional Office.–

    QCT: –Schilling achieved these savings while spending significantly more on constituent mailings. He spent $316,180 on mailing in his first year in office, about twice as much as Hare spent over four years.–

    Nothing says modern and efficient more than using Ye Olde U.S. Postal Service (founded by Benjamin Franklin) to deliver unsolicited paper communications on the taxpayers’ dime.

    Let’s see, there’s the modernity and efficiency of harvesting the trees, the conversion to paper, the printing, the shipping by planes and trucks, the hand delivery by an army of postal carriers and then the disposal to landfills. What amazing, modern advances. I’m sure all that activity is fueled by lasers.

    Maybe someday there will be technology to simply have an intern post communications on a website where interested parties could look them up.

    Schilling is just a small government Tea Partier abusing his office and the taxpayers to send out unsolicited, thinly disguised campaign materials. And that’s the oldest trick in the book.

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