* More from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s pollster…
To: Interested Parties
From: Lake Research Partners
Subject: The 2010 Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate in Illinois
Date: April 24, 2009
Findings from a recent survey of likely Democratic Primary voters in Illinois show a wide open race for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Roland Burris, with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky holding a narrow lead over all candidates, including the incumbent Senator. In addition, when voters learn more information (positive and negative) about the candidates, Schakowsky expands her lead over the field. Schakowsky’s message resonates strongly with a Democratic electorate hungry for progressive leadership that will once again provide Illinois families a chance at the American Dream.
Congresswoman Schakowsky owns a slight lead in a race that is wide open at this early stage. In an initial three-way trial heat, Schakowsky takes nearly a quarter of the vote (24%), narrowly edging out State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (22%). Senator Roland Burris draws just 18% of the vote – a striking indicator of his vulnerability. The intensity of support also narrowly favors Schakowsky (16% strong support), followed by Giannoulias (15%) and Burris (10%). Still, with over one-third (36%) of the Democratic Primary electorate undecided, this seat is up for grabs.
After voters hear positive statements about the candidates, Schakowsky posts a double-digit lead. Schakowsky’s lead grows from 2 points in the initial ballot to 16 points after voters hear more about the candidates (see text of statements on following page). She leads Giannoulias on the three-way ballot, 38% to 22%, with 21% undecided. C.E.O. Cheryle Jackson attracts 17% of the vote.
Notably, the percentage of voters who support Schakowsky strongly on the informed ballot (23% strong support) outnumbers the tot al percentage of voters who support Giannoulias (22% overall support).
Even after voters hear negative information about Schakowsky and the other candidates, Schakowsky retains a solid lead over the field.
That last paragraph is key for Schakowsky. Lots of people believe her husband’s imprisonment kills off her chances. As I told subscribers today, her poll doesn’t show that at all - at least, not in her mind. We’ll see what happens when the real race kicks in.
Even more impressive , Schakowsky’s lead is not a function of superior name recognition, which actually belongs to Giannoulias. Voters have a slightly more informed opinion of Giannoulias, and both candidates are viewed positively. Despite Giannoulias’ advantage in name recognition, however, Schakowsky leads throughout.
Bottom Line: At this early stage in the race, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is the strongest candidate in a wide open race for the Democratic nomination for Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat. Schakowsky’s lead on the initial ballot against incumbent Senator Roland Burris and several other serious candidates is impressive, and once voters learn more about each of the candidates they coalesce around her candidacy in significant numbers.
Even after hearing a strong attack on Schakowsky, the Congresswoman retains her lead.
Again, check that last sentence.
* If I wasn’t sick yesterday, I would’ve scooped Sneed on this one, but whatever. The Kennedy’s are her beat anyway…
Sneed has learned Chris Kennedy, son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, may be this/close to entering the U.S. Senate sweepstakes from Illinois.
• • To wit: “Right now, it’s an 85 percent chance Chris is going to do it,” a top Kennedy source tells Sneed.
• • Poll ‘em: Sneed is told Kennedy, who runs the Merchandise Mart, has commissioned Obama pollster John Anzalone — and has talked to media consultants Larry Grisolano and John Kupper, who now run the firm once headed by David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior adviser.
• • Translation: The poll, which is expected at the end of the week, “will give him a better lay of the land in this ever-changing race,” the source said.
* And Greg Hinz has more about the big losses in Alexi Giannoulias’ Bright Start program…
One: Mr. Giannoulias’ office was informed last April that Core Bond had heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities, far beyond what its benchmark specified. But he kept putting new Bright Start money into the fund for another seven months.
Two: Core Bond wasn’t the only Oppenheimer fund from which Mr. Giannoulias abruptly pulled Bright Start funds late last year because of investment losses. But he hasn’t disclosed that. Morningstar did.
Three: State Sen. Chris Lauzen of Aurora, the GOP co-chair of the Legislature’s audit commission, says he may soon call for a full review of how Illinois families lost something more than $85 million in what were supposed to be safe, protected investments.
It would be nice if we could get one clear, concise story about why this is important. As it is, nobody but the Republicans are picking up on it.
* Meanwhile, Gov. Quinn says he’ll probably run for a full term and reveals how much he’s raised so far…
Quinn said he has raised about $250,000 for his gubernatorial campaign.
Every journey begins with a first step, I suppose.
* ‘Senior’ moment from Roland Burris
* Burris slips up introducing Durbin on Biden tour