|Poll||Date||Sample||Bean (D)||Walsh (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||48.3||48.5||Walsh +0.2|
|WeAskAmerica||10/31 - 10/31||773 LV||46||49||Walsh +3|
|WeAskAmerica||9/28 - 9/28||1381 RV||41||41||Tie|
|2008: Bean (D) 61%, Greenberg (R) 39%||2008: Obama (D) 56%, McCain (R) 43%|
|2006: Bean (D) 51%, McSweeney (R) 44%||2004: Bush (R) 56%, Kerry (D) 44%|
|2004: Bean (D) 52%, Crane (R) 48%||2000: Bush (R) 55%, Gore (D) 42%|
10/26/10 -- Walsh is a tainted candidate, but this is still a Republican district at heart. Bean has the edge, but not by much.
The northwest Chicago suburbs have long been some of the most conservative, Republican areas of the country. In the aftermath of the 1948 redistricting – the first redistricting Illinois had conducted in almost 50 years – the 8th and its predecessor district the 13th elected only Republicans. These Republicans, Marguerite S. Church, Donald Rumsfeld, and Phil Crane, were some of the most revered names in conservative circles in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
But over time the district shifted toward the Democrats. The earliest sign of this shift came when Melissa Bean held Phil Crane to 57 percent in the very good Republican year of 2002. Two years later Bean defeated Crane, even as Bush was carrying the district with a historically weak 56 percent of the vote. Two years ago Barack Obama romped here, winning 56 percent of the vote.
Bean’s initial election was dismissed as a fluke, but she won re-election by solid margins in 2006 and 2008. She carefully positioned herself as a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Democrat, which played well in this district. But like many conservative Democrats, she cast a series of tough votes in support of the Obama administration’s initiatives that could cost her in this swing district. Bean has not drawn a top-tier opponent in conservative activist Joe Walsh, who has managed to pull together about $300,000 in fundraising. Shortly after the primary, We Ask America showed Bean neck-and-neck with Walsh, but there hasn’t been much additional polling. If there is a Republican wave brewing, Bean could find herself pulled under.