Democrat Sean Casten, who is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., says his internal polling numbers show the two are in a statistical tie.
The survey (see the memo here) indicates 45 percent of those surveyed support Roskam, 44 percent for Casten, with 11 percent undecided. Democrats nationally believe the suburban 6th congressional district is among the most likely to flip to blue in November. […]
Still, Roskam is better funded than Casten, has warded off challenges in the past and voters chose Roskam in 2016 at the same time that Hillary Clinton prevailed in the same district. Roskam, one of the architects of the Republican tax law, meantime, is pounding away at Casten on taxes, trying to wrap him in Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s unpopularity as well as tying him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in digital ads. “The taxpayers in the Sixth District deserve a representative who will reflect their priorities and values, not tax-and-spend policies that have driven our state deeper and deeper into debt over the last 30 years,” Roskam campaign spokeswoman Veronica Vera said in a statement.
* As mentioned in the piece, this a memo, not the full poll. It also has a smallish sample size (although not too horribly small, I suppose) and it’s a bit dated…
This memorandum outlines the key findings from a recent telephone survey among a cross-section of 401 likely general election voters in Illinois’s 6 th Congressional District conducted on behalf of Casten for Congress. The survey was conducted April 21-23, 2018, including both cell and landline interviews, and has an overall margin of error of ±4.9 percentage points.
* Let’s have a look…
▪ In our initial trial heat, Sean Casten is in a statistical tie with Peter Roskam, 44% for Casten to 45% for Roskam, with 11% of voters undecided. Among the all-important bloc of independent voters, Casten leads Roskam by 43% to 34%.
▪ Perhaps even more striking is Roskam’s strength of support…or lack thereof.
Incredibly, only 39% of Roskam voters say they strongly support him, which is actually
lower than Casten’s strength of support. For a five-term incumbent to have weaker support than a first-time candidate early in the cycle is a sure sign of Roskam’s deep
▪ President Trump lost IL-06 by 7 points in 2016. And voters here certainly haven’t warmed to the president since the election. Trump’s feelings thermometer is currently negative by a 20-point margin (37% positive, 57% negative), and his job approval stands at 41% approve to 56% disapprove (46% strongly).
▪ The national Republican brand is certainly no help to Roskam either, as voters here are more negative (49%) than positive (25%) to Republicans in Congress by nearly 2 to 1.
▪ Perhaps the brightest flashing red light for Peter Roskam is that voters in the district want their member of Congress to be an independent check and balance on Donald Trump rather than to support Trump and help him pass his programs by a decisive 69% to 29% margin, including 76% to 20% among independents. The fact that Peter Roskam has been a virtual rubber stamp for Donald Trump, voting with Trump 94% of the time, puts Roskam FAR out of step with the voters of his district on this critical question, and Roskam’s voting record is a cold hard fact that will be impossible to run away from.
That last point is important because Democrats successfully used that very same message against the wildly unpopular President George W. Bush in 2006. And if 76 percent of independents like this message, then that’ll move some votes for sure. But, hey, things can change fast in politics.
* Here’s Roskam’s Madigan attack from late yesterday afternoon…
Now that House Speaker Mike Madigan has formally backed J.B. Prtizker’s plan to raise taxes for Illinois families, residents of the 6th District deserve to know if Sean Casten will join this latest tax hike scheme by Madigan and Pritzker.
Casten has been one of Madigan’s most consistent supporters for a progressive tax hike.
As recent NBC Chicago investigation revealed that Casten attacked his primary opponent Kelly Mazeski through a Super PAC secretly funded by Casten’s own father. The attacks called Mazeski a “fake” Democrat for her opposition to the Casten/Madigan tax hike.
“Sean Casten consistently stands with Mike Madigan in their shared commitment to raising taxes on Illinois families. The taxpayers in the Sixth District deserve a representative who will reflect their priorities and values, not tax-and-spend policies that have driven our state deeper and deeper into debt over the last 30 years,” said Roskam for Congress spokesman Veronica Vera.
* Sean Casten supported Mike Madigan and his party voted to override the Governor’s veto, burdening Illinois taxpayers with a 32 percent state income tax hike.
* Casten opposed the Governor’s recent budget because he said it didn’t do enough to raise taxes on Illinois residents.
* Earlier this year, Casten announced his intention to repeal the tax breaks Sixth District families and small businesses received through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and support a plan to instead, raise their taxes.