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Bustos barely leads Schilling

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013

* Bobby Schilling publicized a poll I had taken for subscribers this week. Kinda ticks me off, but here’s part of his press release…

- A new We Ask America poll indicates U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) is in for a tough rematch against Bobby Schilling (R-Colona). The poll of 1,496 voters in the Illinois 17th District gives Bustos a slim 45-44 lead over Schilling, which falls within the margin of error. Schilling leads among Independents 51-34. The poll sampled 37% Democrats, 24% Republicans, and 39% Independents.

Some of the crosstabs from the poll are here. Subscribers have results and crosstabs for all questions asked.

* The DCCC knows they have a fight on their hands. From a Sun-Times story during my vacation

The chair of the Democratic House political operation on Tuesday deemed every Chicago area incumbent in good shape heading into the 2014 contests, not expecting—with one exception—replays of bruising 2012 battles.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) briefed reporters on the 2014 political landscape at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.

I asked Israel about the Illinois House delegation, which has a large Democratic freshman contingent: Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Brad Schneider, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. William Enyart and Rep. Bill Foster, who is a freshman with an asterisk since he has previously served in Congress.

Kelly is the only one in the freshman bunch from a safe Democratic district—you may remember, the one that re-elected former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. last year—even though no one had seen him for months and there were ethics clouds handing over him. Jackson is, as most of you need no reminding, booked for a 2.5 year prison term starting Nov. 1.

DCCC polling shows all of the freshmen incumbents “running strong,” Israel said.

The members with the biggest fights on their hands are Bustos and Enyart, representing Downstate districts that “some would call more competitive,” Israel said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    Send him a bill for the poll. What’s meant for subscribers stays with subscribers.

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    I would think Schneider will have a tough rematch with Dold. He won with just over 50% in a presidential year.

  3. - Draznnl - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Didn’t We Ask America have Schilling beating Bustos 52-48 in 2012? What have they done to improve their polling methodology?

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    === What have they done to improve their polling methodology? ===

    Quite a bit, actually. I polled about a dozen municipal races this spring to make sure their fixes worked and they nailed the spread pretty much exactly on ten and easily predicted the winner on the other two.

    As you may know, polling small-town municipal races is about the most difficult thing to do, and they did it right. One big difference is the number of cell phones they’re calling. There were other big fixes as well.

  5. - Draznnl - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    Thanks for the response Rich. Now I know I can put some faith in those numbers. Numbers which should have never been released by the Schilling folks.

  6. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Interesting that Israel didn’t mention Schneider. I wonder if that’s because Schneider is genuinely polling well in DCCC’s polls or if there’s reason for concern and doesn’t want to sound the alarm.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===Interesting that Israel didn’t mention Schneider===

    He did. Go read the whole story.

  8. - Federalist - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    The 17th is a Democratically drawn district that certainly favors Bustos. However, it is not San Francisco and any Democrat would be wise not to be perceived as too far left of most of the constituents.

    Bustos is running hard right now and is going around trying to focus on so-called jobs creation. That is what she hopes to run on- not just the effectiveness but her concern.

    Schilling has a great chance, however, if Obama does not improve his ratings. If Obama holds up well next October she will still win. If not, and if Schilling does not run too hard on such issues as abortion, then he can certainly win.

    You can bet a lot of money will pour in from both sides in what amounts to an otherwise insignificant district. Every seat will count in the House and both sides know it.

  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    ===The 17th is a Democratically drawn district that certainly favors Bustos===

    Brady won this district over Quinn by ten points. It’s a swing district.

  10. - Just a citizen - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    I agree with Norseman. Send him a bill for the poll.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:02 pm:


    Bummer on the Subscriber Stuff being used by Schilling.

    Not. Cool.

    To the Post,

    Everyone wants to know about the ILGOP and where the “noise” is going to be?

    Schilling, Dold, and Davis.

    Foster is a “hold”, Duckworth is a “hold”, and Bill Enyart is a “watch”, depending on how Bost does in running.

    Two “pickups” and a “hold” would be huge for the ILGOP.

    Doable, and “buildable” for My Party… and if Bost can make some real noise…

    Could be a big GOP Congressional night.

  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    The campaign just reached out and apologized. I forgive them.

  13. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    === I would think Schneider will have a tough rematch with Dold. He won with just over 50% in a presidential year. ===


  14. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    I think it will be interesting to see if the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has much/any impact on the political environment.

  15. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    ==I would think Schneider will have a tough rematch with Dold. He won with just over 50% in a presidential year.==

    I agree with this as well. Brad has been a non-entity– close to a ghost representative– in his freshman term. He has not impressed. Communication with him consists of constituents writing or calling his office on specific issues and receiving back a pre-written generic response unrelated to the issue and a newsletter containing a few talking points and pictures of him. That’s it. That may satisfy in some areas but it doesn’t work in the tenth.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    If you forgave, then I will too …

    To the Post,

    For me the Schilling/Bustos might be the most fun to watch just because of where that district sits, and with Bustos defending the turf this time around.

    Two candidates now with congressional votes under their belt, no speculation, no “guessing”, both having a record for this district to say who they want and where they want to see this district leaning/heading.

  17. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    The GOP came after Lane Evans cycle after cycle for being “too far to the Left” for the district. Never worked.

    If the GOP wants to attack Bustos for being “too far to the Left” that’s OK with me.

    I suspect the GOP is in an awkward spot in this district.

    It’s going to be hard to convince voters to “throw the bums out” (meaning Bustos) by offering a fairly generic Tea Party alternative who has already been in Congress.

    Schilling can raise money and organize support easier than a true outsider. But whether he can get to 50%+1? Doubt it will happen unless D turnout particularly depressed and GOP turnout particularly energized.

    What’s the polling say on that point?

  18. - JoeD - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    Even though they are Dem drawn districts, I think Dems running in downstate districts will have a tough time w/ 1) Pat Quinn carrying the banner, again, for the Party; 2) Obama NOT being on the ballot. A wild card could be how unpopular Obamacare becomes or if it rebounds as it is implemented.

    Similarly, I think Obama not being on the top of the ticket combined with a strong candidate like Dold is dangerous for Schneider. I mean, Dold outraised him in the last quarter already.

    We could be looking at a 10-8 split cong delegation after Nov. ‘14.

  19. - Federalist - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 4:57 pm:


    Yes Brady won that old district in 2010. But it is not the same as it was in 2010. The Dems had the power to change lines effective in the 2012 elections and did so. Madigan et al are not stupid and they changed it to their favor.

    I have heard that they have a built in 6 point advantage but cannot confirm that with objective data.

  20. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 6:43 pm:

    Actually, Rich, the 17th district is considered D + 7 points by 2014 Almanac of American Politics. Bustos ran 4 points behind Obama’s 57% in 2012. In 2008 Obama received 60% of the district. Of course Quinn ran terribly throughout downstate in 2010 and 2014 is an off year election which means GOTV is much more difficult. But the 17th District should differently be considered a democratic district. The bottom-line is Bustos is no Lane Evans.

  21. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 9:12 pm:

    i know people put a lot of faith in what they think about the governor’s race, but that won’t be at the top of the ballot. the u.s. senate race will be. the congressional race will be second. i’d rather know how the district polls on sen. durbin than on gov. quinn…

  22. - ericthered - Tuesday, Sep 17, 13 @ 10:32 pm:

    Rich, from the crosstabs you posted (I’m too poor to subscribe), I’d be curious to know how the first question tracked v. the same question asked without the party IDs next to the names. It would measure how Bustos is doing with name recognition, how much attention she’s lavishing on the District v. how much attention she’s paying to the DCCC and DC.

  23. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 8:25 am:

    The pizza business must really be bad.

  24. - Lil Enchilada - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 8:42 am:

    Saw Bobby Schilling on television the other night and I have to tell you it was not the same guy elected to Congress. His speaking skills have deteriorated on a grand scale; sort of stammered through the thing. The newspapers up here indicate Bobby has a primary opponent, Eric Reyes. He ran for the office as a Democrat or Independent last time.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    ==if Bost can make some real noise==

    Had to laugh at that one.

  26. - REALConservative - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 7:09 pm:

    Did this poll include any questions about a Reyes/Bustos matchup?

    I’d assume he’d do much better against her than one-&-done Schilling.

  27. - Jeff - Friday, Sep 20, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    Schilling will have a fight on his hands no doubt and he will put up a good one. Although, energizing his base will be difficult because he “burned” some bridges.

    If he doesn’t reunite his base and make amends with angered constituents then he will fail.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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