* During the Illinois State Fair, I was chatting with a friend of mine who’s also a Chicago TV reporter. The conversation turned to Jim Oberweis and Dick Durbin. My buddy said Durbin would win going away. I said I thought it would be closer than that, partly because Durbin’s been in DC so many years. So, we made a bet. I bet the final spread would be single digits, my friend said it would be double digits.
The last We Ask America poll of this race in late July had Durbin ahead 53-38. The poll was taken before the State Fair, so I could understand why my buddy was so confident.
But things can change in politics. And while I haven’t yet won that bet, I may be on my way to collecting some cash…
In a year that’s expected to tilt toward Republicans across the nation, Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, is leading Oberweis, who is making his third run for the Senate, 47.8 percent to 40.5 percent, the [We Ask America] survey commissioned by the Sun-Times’ political portal shows.
And in the first major survey since an Illinois State Board of Elections ruling allowed the Libertarian Party onto the ballot, candidate Sharon Hansen had a showing of about 4 percent.
Now you see why the Republicans wanted the Libertarian Party off the ballot. She’s getting 8 percent of the independent vote, according to the poll. So far, anyway, she’s splitting the anti-Durbin vote with Oberweis. We’ll see what happens when party loyalty kicks in.
…Adding… Something happened to half this post. It didn’t publish. Hold on a bit. I’m reconstructing now.
Of those surveyed, 60 percent responded they were less likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who had served in Washington, in the Senate and Congress, for 31 years. […]
Still, when asked: “If a candidate for the U.S. Senate has run five unsuccessful campaigns for various public offices in the past, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?” [54 percent less likely] 44 percent said they were either more likely to support that person or that it made no difference.
* From the pollster…
“The tight numbers may be a reflection of a Republican year,” he said. “Still, Sen. Durbin is close to 50 percent in the poll. He has the advantage of a large campaign fund and an experienced campaign staff. That can’t be ignored.”
*** UPDATE *** Durbin, you’ll recall, refused to release his own polling results last month. But Oberweis has released the results of his poll…
Incumbent Democratic Senator Dick Durbin leads Republican challenger Jim Oberweis by a mere 6% among likely voters in the upcoming November mid-term elections. Receiving 44% of the vote, the 32-year incumbent is well below the 50% threshold.
Durbin and Oberweis receive comparable support from voters of their respective parties. Durbin garners 76% of the Democratic vote and Oberweis receives 77% of the Republican vote. Oberweis has a slim lead over Durbin among independent voters at 38-37%.
Libertarian Sharon Hansen receives 8% of the vote, noting that third-party candidates traditionally poll higher than the vote received at the ballot box.
On the generic ballot for Senate, the Republican candidate holds a slight lead at 44-43% over the Democratic candidate. Independents prefer to vote for a Republican (43%) over a Democrat (27%) to represent them in the U.S. Senate.
More results here. Durbin’s approval rating is upside down. Not good.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* Meanwhile, Oberweis got a big boost from a prominent black minister…
Bishop Larry Trotter, the senior pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago, said Sunday he’s backing Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis for U.S. Senate, changing allegiance from longtime incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. […]
He said he’s switching his support from Durbin to Oberweis after seeing meager economic development in African-American neighborhoods; a lack of a south suburban trauma center and a perceived “lack of access” to Durbin.
“When you pastor 8,000 people, I think you ought to get a return phone call,” Trotter said at a news conference in his church office Sunday afternoon.
He said he has spoken with Durbin only once despite “many attempts” to express his concerns to the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate.
I’m betting the real reason is Trotter’s leadership of the anti gay marriage effort last year. Oberweis voted with Bishop Trotter. Durbin supports gay marriage. No mention of either fact in the article, however.