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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Illinois -- 11

IL 11: Halvorson (D) +19

State Senator Debbie Halvorson has been saddled with unfavorable press for months, but she still has a big lead according to a poll for her own campaign. The Anzalone Liszt Research poll surveyed 400 likely voters between 10/10-13 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Halvorson, Republican businessman Martin Ozinga and Green Party candidate Jason Wallace.

General Election Matchup
Halvorson........48 (+5 from last, 9/08)
Ozinga...........29 (-6)
Wallace...........5

Generic Dem......38
Generic GOPer....36

Ozinga has the money to compete, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has dropped more than $1 million on television and mail on Halvorson's behalf, and that could turn out to be the difference in an ordinarily slightly Republican seat.

IL 11: Halvorson (D) +8

Pushing back on a Republican poll released yesterday, Democrats have their own survey in an open Illinois seat they feel good about this year.

The poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research for State Senator Debbie Halvorson's campaign, surveyed 500 likely voters between 9/14-16 for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. Halvorson, Republican businessman Martin Ozinga and Iraq war veteran Jason Wallace, the Green Party candidate, were tested.

General Election Matchup
Halvorson.......43 (no change from last, 5/08)
Ozinga..........35 (+3)
Wallace..........6 (no trend)

Generic GOPer...40
Generic Dem.....38

The poll shows Halvorson with a wider lead than the Republican poll, which had her up just two points. But district voters still have a lot of learning to do about both candidates; Halvorson has just a 38%-20% favorable to unfavorable rating, while Ozinga's rating is 28% favorable to 22% favorable.

Both candidates are on television, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is airing ads and dropping mail on Halvorson's behalf. The race is still a toss-up.

IL 11: Halvorson (D) +2

What was once assumed to be an easy Democratic pickup may be more work than the party had hoped, according to a new poll for Republican businessman Martin Ozinga. The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Ozina campaign, surveyed 400 likely voters between 9/17-18 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. State Senator Debbie Halvorson, the Democrat, and Ozinga were tested.

General Election Matchup
Halvorson.......38
Ozinga..........36

McCain..........44
Obama...........43

Ozinga was the emergency replacement when the winner of the GOP primary pulled out of the race. So far, he has impressed Republicans with his fundraising, and Democrats who were once certain they would pick up retiring Rep. Jerry Weller's seat are now far more cautious in their assessments of the race.

Halvorson remains the favorite, but her association with unpopular Governor Rod Blagojevich (who sports a 15% favorable and a 72% unfavorable rating) could drag her down.

Halvorson Up In IL

In a race that has seen more bizarre twists and turns than most others this year, Democrats look well positioned to pick up a sprawling suburban and exurban Illinois seat this November. A new poll conducted for State Senator Debbie Halvorson shows the Democrat leading her Republican rival, businessman Martin Ozinga, by a significant margin in the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jerry Weller.

The survey, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research (the firm that polled for victorious Democratic candidates in Louisiana and Mississippi earlier this year), tested Halvorson, Ozinga and Green Party candidate Jason Wallace among 500 likely voters between 5/18-22 for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

General Election Matchup
Halvorson......43
Ozinga...........32
Wallace............6

Halvorson remains below 50%, but there are impressive signs within the poll. A generic Democrat leads a generic Republican by a 33%-19% margin among the remaining undecided voters, and the Democrats in Congress gets a more favorable rating than their GOP rivals -- 49% see Democrats in Congress favorably, compared with 42% who view them unfavorably, while 40% say they view GOP members favorably and 50% who see them unfavorably.

Ozinga isn't down for the count yet. The owner of a concrete business, Ozinga was tapped by district Republicans to replace the party's nominee who bowed out for financial reasons and seemed largely uninterested in running for Congress. While Halvorson got a strong fundraising head start, with $673,000 in the bank through March, Ozinga's fundraising got off to a similarly muscular beginning and he will be able to donate to his own cause.

The Republican has a long way to go in a district that expands from the southern Chicago suburbs and Joliet, east and south in the shape of a T. But while Halvorson's lead is formidable at the moment, Ozinga at least gives the GOP a decent shot at keeping an increasingly Democratic seat in their possession.

IL GOP Nominee Drops Out

New Lenox Mayor and Chicago Ridge police chief Tim Baldermann, who won the Republican primary on February 5 in the race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Jerry Weller, is dropping out of the race, Roll Call's Matt Murray reports. A source close to the campaign told Murray the candidate didn't have the "time or energy" to run a campaign.

The GOP nominee had shown considerable reluctance to raise the money necessary to run a winning campaign. Baldermann, who once looked like a promising candidate, had only raised about $104,000 through mid-January. By contrast, State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, the Democratic nominee, had raised more than $425,000 through the same period and maintained almost $400,000 in the bank.

Weller's Eleventh District is anchored south of Chicago and stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan through Joliet and sends fingers west and south through the state. Only marginally Republican -- President Bush won the seat by seven points in 2004 and just two points in 2000 -- it offers Democrats the best chance to pick up a seat in Illinois.

Baldermann is the second candidate to drop a bid after filing in Illinois. Former basketball coach Dick Versace, a Democrat who was running to replace outgoing Rep. Ray LaHood in a district that borders Weller's to the southwest, dropped out for what he described as personal reasons.

Despite his poor fundraising, Baldermann's exit is bad news for Republicans. The party may now appoint a replacement candidate, though the timing and method by which to do so is unclear. No other top candidate ran for the seat in the primary, and if Republicans can't find a candidate able to compete with Halvorson, Weller's seat will become one of their best pickup chances in the country.