Thursday, January 17, 2013

Can ConservaDem Debbie Halvorson Be Stopped?


Former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson wants back in

"Ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel is quietly encouraging big money to back self-described "conservative Democrat" Debbie Halvorson in the primary for the IL-02 congressional seat that has opened up because of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s resignation. From Day One Halvorson's strategy to win in the minority-majority district-- after being soundly rejected by primary voters last year-- was to hope that lots of African Americans would jump into the race and split the vote so she could slip in with her pro-corporate agenda. A new poll, however, doesn't bode well for her. She's ahead, but only very, very narrowly and opposition has started to coalesce behind progressive state Senator Toi Hutchinson. (There are 22 candidates running as of now, 17 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
Halvorson sits at 16 percent, according to the poll, with Hutchinson at 12 percent. Former Cook County Administrator Robin Kelly (D) sits at 8 percent, while [crackpot right-wing] state Sen. Napoleon Harris (D) and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale (D) pull 7 percent apiece. Former Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-Ill.), who served time for sex-related charges in the 1990s, takes 5 percent support. Approximately 40 percent of voters remain undecided, a sign of how unpredictable this low-turnout primary's results are at this point.

The race in the district is likely to split along racial and geographic lines, as a slight majority of voters hail from outside of Chicago's city limits. [Actually about 66% of the electorate lives outside of Chicago.] Halvorson, the only white candidate in the race, who represented part of the district from 2009 to 2011 and ran against Jackson in 2012, starts off with 64 percent name identification.

...According to Hutchinson's poll, she stands the best chance at doing so: After voters are presented with positive and negative statements about each candidate, she jumps to a 22-to-16 percent lead, with Kelly in third place at 10 percent. The poll doesn't provide which questions were asked, however, making it impossible to tell if the questions were equally worded for each candidate.

Hutchinson, whose state Senate district covers much of the suburban portion of the district, has 53 percent name identification. Reynolds has 77 percent name identification, showing he has almost no room to grow. The other candidates' name identification numbers are not given, suggesting they're likely lower than Hutchinson's. Most of them hail from the city or the inner suburbs.
If you'd like to help Toi win this one-- and the polling is very clear that she's the only candidate who can stop Halvorson-- you can do it here through ActBlue

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