Illinois 2

Democrat Jesse Jackson, Jr. has had a bumpy ride the last few years. Beyond reported personal indiscretions that produced tabloid-ready headlines, Jackson has been under an ethics microscope for his role in an alleged scheme to raise funds for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to Barack Obama’s Senate seat. The renegade head-of-hair Blago will soon be a guest of the federal prison system, but the probe into what happened continues. To that end, the Office of Congressional Ethics looked into Congressman Jackson’s actions during the Blagojevich escapade and concluded:

“There is probable cause to believe that Rep. Jackson either (1) directed a third-party to raise money for Gov. Blagojevich in exchange for appointing Rep. Jackson to (President Obama’s former) senate seat, or (2) had knowledge that…(an ally) would likely make such an offer… Jackson and his staff (used) staff resources both in Washington and Chicago…to mount a ‘public campaign’ to secure (his) appointment to the senate.”

Yeeouch.

Enter Debbie Halvorson, former State Senator and one-term Member of Congress who lost in 2010 to Republican Adam Kinzinger. The re-map of Illinois’ congressional districts gave Halvorson a fighting chance as the new 2nd District dipped into the south Chicagoland suburbs and Jackson continued to be a magnet for bad headlines. Halvorson’s party-line voting record that got her into some hot water in her old blue-collar conservative district is a better fit in Illinois 2’s ethnically diverse area. Plus, some super-PAC funds have been directed to her side.

So with all of Jackson’s problems and Halvorson’s advantages,  this certainly ought to be a barn burner of a race, right?

Not so much:

Type: Automated - Date: 2/21//2012 - Participants: 1,294 Likely Democrat voters - Margin of Error: ± 2.72%
 
Halvorson
Jackson
Undecided
ALL VOTERS32%54%14%
BY GENDER
Female27%57%16%
Male37%51%12%
By ETHNIC ORIGIN
African American21%65%14%
Asian35%58%7%
Hispanic37%45%18%
White62%29%9%
Other22%53%25%

Clearly, the voters of Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District aren’t buying into conventional wisdom. We’ve included the Ethnic Origin breakdowns to show there is a definite Minority/White split of opinion. Of course there’s still time for Halvorson to reduce the gap, and if the 50+ percent of voters who are African American stay home on Primary Day (March 20), we may be in for a surprise.

But for now, Congressman Jackson appears ready to prove the naysayers wrong.

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NOTE: This poll was paid for by We Ask America Polls™. The information has not been shared with any public official, candidate, cause or campaign.

 

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