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Foster releases poll showing Biggert lead

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012

* The 11th CD is a Democratic leaning district, which was basically drawn to elect one-term Congressman Bill Foster. Yet, he’s still trailing Republican Judy Biggert according to Foster’s own polling. From a press release…

After more than 30 years in politics, Congresswoman Judy Biggert is struggling to hold on to her seat in Congress, according to a recent survey of 401 likely voters in Illinois’ 11th Congressional District conducted by Global Strategy Group. The results showed that Congresswoman Biggert and Bill Foster are locked in a dead heat, with Biggert at 43% and Foster at 42%, a statistical tie. It’s evident that voters are fed up with Washington and are hesitant to support longtime incumbent Congresswoman Biggert.

“It’s clear that voters in the 11th district are ready for a better voice in Washington, one that puts the interests of middle class above Wall Street profits and special interests,” said Patrick Brown, Campaign Manager for Bill Foster. “Congresswoman Biggert has a long history in politics and a long history of voting for policies that protect tax cuts for corporations and billionaires instead of looking out for ordinary Americans. Our campaign has tremendous grassroots support and as we enter the last two months of the race we remain confident that voters will continue to see Bill’s dedication to fighting for middle class families.”

Um, it’s not clear at all that voters are ready to change their congresscritter.

* And Foster even admits that he’s badly underperforming the generic ballot and President Obama. From his pollster…

Biggert sits well below the 50% mark: Judy Biggert sits well below the 50% mark, a real sign of vulnerability for incumbents. Biggert (43%) and her challenger, Bill Foster (42%), are locked in a dead heat with just 15% of voters still undecided at this time.

Biggert’s unfavorable ratings are two times higher than Foster’s: At a time when Republicans in Congress are very unpopular, Biggert’s own unfavorable ratings (29% unfavorable) are nearly twice as high as her challenger, Bill Foster’s (15% unfavorable). This dynamic suggests Biggert may be forced to run a more negative campaign, a theory that is supported by the fact that she has already dropped negative mail against Foster.

The partisan environment in the district favors Democrats: Voters in the district self identify as Democrats by a 7-point margin and a generic Democratic candidate for Congress leads a generic Republican candidate for Congress by 5 points, 46% to 41%.
The top of the ticket is a drag on Biggert: While voters in the district view Mitt Romney unfavorably (net -7 points), Barack Obama receives a positive favorability rating (net +10 points) and leads the Presidential contest by 8 points.

Since Foster also served a term, he’s kinda considered a sorta incumbent, so sitting below 50 is bad for him as well.

It’s no surprise that Biggert is trying to run up Foster’s negatives, since hers are higher than his.

Foster probably needs to tie himself closer to Obama. The President won’t do as well as last time, but that polling shows he’s still leading in that particular district. From the Daily Herald

In a Daily Herald survey, 71 percent of Illinois Democratic delegates who responded thought Obama could fall short in at least some suburban areas. Twenty-nine percent said the president can sweep the collar counties once again.

More than 91 percent expect an overall Obama victory on Nov. 6, with 7 percent calling his chances 50-50 and 2 percent saying it’s an uphill battle. Fifty-one Democrats responded to the survey out of 214 total delegates. […]

In 2008, Obama won the Democratic stronghold of Cook County easily, but also carried DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

In both 2000 and 2004, all of the collar counties voted for Republican President George W. Bush. And in 1996, for the re-election of popular Democratic President Bill Clinton, DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties went for his Republican opponent, Sen. Bob Dole. Lake and Will counties went for Clinton — Lake by just 166 votes.

* Methodology…

401 likely voters in Illinois’ 11th Congressional District conducted by Global Strategy Group between August 27 and August 29, 2012. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level is +/- 4.9%.

* Related…

* Voters get rare opportunity in Foster, Biggert race - You can see how both Foster, Biggert actually voted

* Biggert, Foster sit down for first debate of new 11th district

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 10:48 am:

    Oh, the power of incumbency. Pat Quinn should take heart.


  2. - Anonymoose - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    If Foster’s GSG was the same hack polling firm that contacted me, Judy Biggert is lucky to be anywhere close to even 43%. One pro-Foster push question was something along the lines of “Would you vote for Judy Biggert if you knew she supported big banks?”


  3. - so.... - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    ==If Foster’s GSG was the same hack polling firm that contacted me, Judy Biggert is lucky to be anywhere close to even 43%. One pro-Foster push question was something along the lines of “Would you vote for Judy Biggert if you knew she supported big banks?”==

    Especially since Foster voted for TARP…


  4. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    Bill Foster was an accidental congressman who owes his 24 month tenure to Hastert Fatigue in the 14 district, Oberweis’s pathetic campaign and lack of skills as a candidate, the 2008 Obama love-fest in Illinois, and his personal bank account.

    Today, as Rich clearly pointed out this morning, the landscape has changed. In the ‘burbs Obama (while still a likely winner) isn’t going to help. Judy Biggert can raise money, has an absolutely clear moderate record, has virtually no enemies, is working harder than she’s worked in a decade and has a seasoned team.

    Foster is still lacking in people skills, it tied to very unpopular votes (like Obamacare) and cannot run against Congress since he was in the stimulus/Obamacare House.

    This is also a district that went for Mark Kirk in ‘10 which means it shapes up pretty darn well for another moderate Republican.

    N


  5. - Jayhawk - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    This would seem to me to be a great poll for Foster. A long term incumbent is well under 50% facing a well financed opponent in a presidential year where her party’s nominee is leading does not bode well for her.

    Yes, Foster served previously and is not matching Obama yet, but there’s room to grow. When undecided or swing voters get into the voting booth, its doubtful they are going to pick the incumbent this cycle, regardless of the opposition.

    Couple that with a seven point point democratic identification advantage and while this race is by no means over, I would much rather be Foster than Biggert at this point.

    BTW - the Herald poll of Democratic delegates is useless for prediction purposes.


  6. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    Really, no Jayhwak. You need to look at the redistricting to see why.


  7. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Jayhawk, the district is largely new for her as well and was drawn for a Dem.

    Foster isn’t going to be as well funded this time since I suspect he has less of his own money to draw from and there are better targets in Illinois (Walsh) than Biggert so the investment in picking up a seat would be better spent on Duckworth IMHO.

    Yeah, Bill should be up 5 and the fact that he isn’t is not a good sign. Don’t forget he got beat fairly bad when he ran for re-election (nothing like spending several million of your own money to spend about 30 months in congress)


  8. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    What this poll tells me is what a fine MC Biggert has been–years in Congress and only 29% negative. That’s impressive.


  9. - Cutler Fan - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    That district wasn’t drawn for Foster. It was drawn for John Atkinson.


  10. - muon - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    Cutler Fan is correct. The map cut Atkinson out of the 3rd CD to avoid a primary against Lipinski, but gave him a lean D district that he lived in. However, Foster announced right away for the new 11th even though it has relatively little population from his old 14th. That caused Atkinson to announce his suspension of a campaign by mid-June last year.


  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    This poll probably is good news for Foster, although it won’t be quite enough to tie himself to Obama, he’s also got to paint Biggert as an obstructionist to Obama’s efforts.

    That will be a bit tougher.


  12. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Sep 5, 12 @ 4:19 pm:

    This poll is good for Foster fundraising efforts. It is also good for Biggert’s…


  13. - Mr Residency - Thursday, Sep 6, 12 @ 7:06 am:

    If the public became more aware of the fact that Biggert has NO plans to move into the new district, she would have even fewer supporters.


  14. - Rich - Tuesday, Sep 11, 12 @ 9:16 pm:

    I’m disappointed in the Foster’s campaign compared to Duckworth. He doesn’t seem to be as out there in the streets etc as she is and her on line work is outstanding. Foster is meh. I know that it is ‘early’, but Biggert is an entrenched do-nothing Republican who just follows the party line and does just enough to get her name in the paper. She is pretty much just a paper-mache representative who should be easy to beat.


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