* Greg Hinz…
Here are the top-line totals. They come from a survey of 500 likely Democratic voters conducted Jan. 7-9 by Expedition Strategies, a Virginia-based firm that tends to do a lot of polling in areas with an abundance of working-class voters and whose clients include U.S. Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon, as well as the House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 4.38 percent.
Asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 47 percent backed Lipinski to 25 percent for progressive opponent Newman and 2 and 1 percent each, respectively, for two little-known contenders, Rush Darwish and Charles Hughes. A hefty 26 percent said they didn’t know who they’d support. More on that in a minute.
With “leaners” included—those who, after a bit of a push, say they’re leaning toward a candidate but have not totally decided—Lipinski’s figure rises to 50 percent and Newman’s to 27 percent, with Darwish and Hughes unchanged. But 20 percent still are undecided.
Given that this is the second cycle in which Newman has challenged Lipinski, and given that “undecideds” often break in the end against the incumbent, this race still may be tighter than it might appear. At the same time, a 22-point margin ain’t shabby.
If this poll is accurate and Darwish can get some traction with his early spending, Lipinski might be in the clear. But Darwish’s introductory TV ad was not exactly great, so we’ll see.
* Challenger Newman sees gain in Lipinski’s pain — third candidate ‘stunned’ by bad blood: “The machine must go,” Newman said. “They torture families. They bully people. And they’re nasty people. The machine must die, and I am a reformer.”
* Fact-check: Challenger Newman railroads the truth with jab at Lipinski over train crossings
* At Issue: Challenger Newman Hopes To Beat Congressman Lipinski, ‘Machine’