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*** UPDATED x1 *** Another poll shows tight race for second place

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* Democratic 2nd Congressional District hopeful Robin Kelly shared her own poll today

Unlike state Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s poll, Kelly’s pollster only asked about the top seven candidates. Actually, they asked about eight candidates, but then David Miller dropped out and they used voters’ “second choice” responses to reallocate his support elsewhere.

The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted by GBA Strategies January 3-7 with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

Hutchinson’s poll had Halvorson at 16, Hutchinson at 12 and Kelly at 8. Kelly’s poll has the race for second place much closer. Hutchinson’s attempts to push Kelly out or dismiss her to contributors and influencers as an also-ran probably aren’t gonna work, at least for now.

* From the pollster

• Halvorson begins in the lead, but the race is wide open. Congresswoman Halvorson begins the campaign with 25 percent of the electorate in her corner, but her lead is soft. Senator Hutchinson (16 percent) and Kelly (15 percent) follow, with no other candidate getting more than 10 percent. Fifteen percent are purely undecided, but a full 65 percent of voters are either undecided or only softly supporting a candidate.

• Hutchinson and Halvorson share the same base. Both Debbie Halvorson and Toi Hutchinson start with their base of support coming from the same demographic and regional base, especially white voters and voters in the southern portion of the district.

• Kelly starts with a base of support in the suburbs. Robin Kelly currently leads all other candidates among several key groups, including African American women, African Americans in the suburbs and African Americans with a college degree. And Kelly’s support from these pivotal blocs grows during the survey.

• The NRA is extremely unpopular with this electorate. Just 17 percent of likely voters have a favorable impression of the NRA, with 63 percent saying they feel unfavorably towards the pro-gun organization. Kelly’s record of standing up to the NRA and her pledge to reduce gun violence resonates as one of the most powerful reasons to support her.

• Kelly has significant room to grow. Despite having lower name ID than Halvorson or Hutchinson, Kelly starts the race off statistically tied in second place. Once voters—especially voters in the city—hear more about Kelly and the leading candidates’ positions on preventing gun violence, the vote moves dramatically in her favor, pulling her ahead of both Halvorson and Hutchinson.

• Hutchinson/Halvorson’s growth limited by NRA ties. Both other leading candidates find their growth opportunities severely limited by their proud associations with the NRA and the ISRA. Nearly 7-in-10 voters (69 percent) oppose allowing concealed carry in this race. Voters have very serious concerns about Hutchinson’s and Halvorson’s positions on this critical issue.

There’s no doubt that Kelly believes the gun issue is her best path to victory here. She’s also raised more money than any other candidate so far (although not a huge amount more than Hutchinson is claiming).


*** UPDATE *** Speaking of guns…

Kelly Supports Obama Gun Control Initiatives, Calls Out Opponents
Only major candidate with a record of standing up to the NRA

RICHTON PARK, IL— Today, Robin Kelly, Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District of Illinois, announced her support for the gun violence prevention proposals that President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden announced this morning.

“I stand with President Obama’s plan to get the dangerous weapons that are killing our neighbors off of the streets,” Robin Kelly said. “The NRA has engaged in desperate smear campaign to stop him, including attacking President Obama’s daughters. We need more voices in Washington willing to stand up to NRA, instead of taking support from them.

“Unlike my opponents Debbie Halvorson and Toi Hutchinson, who both received support from the NRA, I got an F rating and frankly, I could not be more proud. I have the record and resolve to stand with President Obama, Mayor Emanuel, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to get dangerous weapons out of our neighborhoods.”

Robin Kelly is the only candidate to have issued a five-point pledge to get assault weapons and high capacity magazines off the streets of Chicago and the Southland, as well as making sure that Illinois’ conceal and carry ban stays in effect. You can read her full pledge at

Robin Kelly is a former state representative, Chief of Staff to the Illinois State Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer for Cook County under Toni Preckwinkle. But, most importantly, she’s a mother and a community activist who has dedicated her career to fighting for economic opportunity, domestic violence prevention and reasonable common sense gun control laws.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:41 am


  1. Remarkable!
    So Toi’s poll shows her as a winning candidate, and today Kelly’s shows her as a winner!


    But both agree that Former Congresswoman Halvorson in the lead.

    And that is the takeaway…

    Comment by VanillaMan Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 9:56 am

  2. A month ago I would have rather been Harris than anyone else in this race but he gave away his natural advantage, now I’d rather be Robin Kelly. She’s a PhD, has the top ballot spot, raised the most money, has the best record on the gun issue at the forefront of voters minds (other than the economy where there isn’t much difference to separate the candidates) and the opponents ahead of her appear to be bumping up against a ceiling. She’s in the catbird seat.

    The only downside for her is that normally you would expect Halvorson and Hutchinson to beat each other up since they’re competing for the same voters but since they both have the same record on guns they’re not going to do the dirty work for Kelly on that issue, she’ll have to spend the money to do that herself. But she has the money and you can do that with a comparative ad (as opposed to straight negative) and get the job done.

    Things are setting up well for her.

    Comment by The Captain Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:05 am

  3. Those 17% of NRA favorables (especially if they are strongly opinionated) could cut the other way in a race with this many candidates, too - just sayin’.

    Comment by Six Degrees of Separation Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:09 am

  4. Except that the two candidates with the best (almost identical) NRA record (Halvorson and Hutchinson) are both viable so no one candidate is going to take the 17% of the NRA vote as a monolithic bloc.

    Comment by The Captain Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:14 am

  5. It’s somewhat refreshing that the three top contenders in this race are women.

    Comment by GA Watcher Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:47 am

  6. I’m kinda surprised to see Halvorson poll so well.

    I voted for Halvorson in the primary based on listening to JJJ at IVI-IPO and talking to a member of Jackson’s staff.

    The stuff Jackson said was obviously untrue to anyone who has ridden Metra Electric. And Jackson’s staff member’s defense of Jackson made me more confident something was not right.

    But I’m not a lock for Halvorson in this race.

    I assume that many of the votes for Halvorson are like me: people who thought the bloom was off the rose with JJJ, but only had weak (or no) loyalties to Halvorson.

    This poll suggests Halvorson brings almost all her primary voters to this election as her base or that JJJ voters have flipped to Halvorson.

    Any JJJ voters that flipped to Halvorson seem likely to be soft enough that when they get more information they might flip again.

    Also, I have a hard time believing that only 15% are undecided. The poll that said 40% undecided feels closer to the truth.

    Comment by Carl Nyberg Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:49 am

  7. VanillaMan–

    You’re right that obviously Halvorson is running away with this thing, but I wouldn’t say the Kelly poll shows her as the winning candidate. Like the other poll, it shows her in third. Unlike the other poll story, it doesn’t actually provide numbers about where opinion goes. Smells like a rat to me.

    Comment by Knifefighter Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 10:53 am

  8. Age at time of election:

    Joyce Washington–60-64
    Mel Reynolds–61
    Robin Kelly–almost 57
    Debbie Halvorson–55
    Anthony Beale–45
    Toi Hutchinson–almost 40
    Napoleon Harris–34

    Remember, it takes six to ten years to build the relations and seniority to get stuff done, although Halvorson would start with an advantage.

    Comment by Carl Nyberg Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:10 am

  9. What kind of bs methodology is this? they poll david miller, but don’t show what the vote is with him in the field? How did they “re-allocate” his vote total? The other two polls conducted show Robin in single digits. And if Robin was ever not in third place during the course of the poll, wouldn’t they have shared that information? Conclusion: robin has no path to victory.

    Comment by HawkWatcher Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:19 am

  10. Kelly has demonstrated that she’s in position to take second place. Being highly-connected, and touting a PhD, can lose as many votes as it gains.

    I think Toi has a good chance. Debbie has already hit her high point — it just depends on how much time is left for Toi to catch up.

    Comment by walkinfool Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:20 am

  11. Interesting that Kelly’s name recognition is lower even though she won the Democratic primary for treasurer in 2010.

    I still think that ground game could swing this race and won’t be surprised by the winner. (Unless the winner is Mel Reynolds.)

    Comment by Boone Logan Square Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 2:58 pm

  12. Nonviable candidates should drop out. Halvorsen slips to 3rd in a 3 candidate race…

    Comment by Lincoln Lad Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 8:01 pm

  13. What’s the lead in all demographics? Also, is the district made up of that same demographics? I sort of doubt it.

    Comment by One to the Dome Thursday, Jan 17, 13 @ 12:33 pm

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