* Schilling says he’s ahead by double digits…
A new poll of likely voters in the 17th Congressional District puts U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling ahead of his Democratic opponent, Cheri Bustos, by 13 points.
The internal poll by the Schilling campaign surveyed 400 people between Aug. 8 and 9 and found that 50 percent would vote for Rep. Schilling, R-Colona, and 37 percent would back Ms. Bustos, of East Moline.
Ms. Bustos has increased her support by 2 points from the last poll of the district conducted by the Schilling campaign in May. Rep. Schilling had the support of 51 percent of those polled in May to 35 percent for Ms. Bustos.
Terry Schilling, Rep. Schilling’s campaign manager, released the new poll on Friday and said he was pleased with the numbers. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
Prompted by the release of the Schilling poll, the Bustos campaign released its own numbers from an internal poll taken in February. The poll found support of 44 percent for Rep. Schilling to 35 percent for Ms. Bustos.
But when the 400 likely voters surveyed where given positive information about both candidates, Rep. Schilling’s lead narrowed to just four points. [See below for more info. The Bustos poll showed she actually led by four points after the positive pushes.]
* From the polling memo…
1. Bobby Schilling continues to have a solid image in the district. Incumbent Bobby Schilling’s name ID is 84% and he has positive image ration of more than two to one (42% fav/20% unfav). These numbers are especially strong given how much of the district is new territory for Schilling.
2. Democrat challenger Cheri Bustos’ name ID is under 50%, and her image is polarized among those with an opinion of her. Cheri Bustos’s name ID sits at 49%, and just 29% of voters have an opinion of her (16% fav/13% unfav). Bustos’ image is essentially unchanged since our May survey, and she is running out of time to adequately define herself.
3. Bobby Schilling continues to lead by double digits on the Congressional ballot. Schilling leads Bustos by thirteen points on the ballot (50% Schilling/37% Bustos). Schilling’s support from Republicans is north of 90%, and he also has a significant advantage with Independent voters (50% Schilling/22% Bustos).
Public Opinion Strategies completed a survey of 400 likely voters in Illinois’ newly drawn 17Congressional District August 8-9, 2012. The survey has a margin of error of +4.9% in 95 out of 100 cases.
* The Schilling campaign also provided this polling roundup…
Schilling 44, Bustos 35 (February 2012) — The Bustos campaign released this internal poll—conducted in February—during the weekend of August 18 in response to the latest Public Opinion Strategies poll released by the Schilling campaign. Bustos was nominated in early March.
Schilling 51, Bustos 35 (May 2012) — In May, the Schilling campaign released this poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. This was the first publicly released poll of the cycle.
Schilling 50, Bustos 37 (August 2012) — The Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch reported this new poll result on Sunday. Public Opinion Strategies also conducted this poll.
…Adding… The Bustos campaign notes that their polling memo from May showed this…
After hearing positive information on both candidates (slightly more on Bustos than Schilling), the Congressman’s lead evaporates and Bustos opens up a 45 – 41 percent lead. In other words, Bustos gains the lead before voters even hear about Schilling’s vulnerabilities.