Illinois targets feeling the Independent heat

Three swing districts in President Obama’s home state are mirroring the rest of the Midwest in Independents’ reaction to the passage of his health care reform package–results that will undoubtedly whet the appetites of their challengers. Although some opponents feel they now have the trifecta of issues for the fall (Card Check, Cap & Trade, Health Care Reforms), it remains to be seen whether the electorate will maintain its initial reaction to Obama’s reforms.

Illinois 8

Democrat Melissa Bean has been a target for the GOP ever since she replaced the beleaguered Republican Phil Crane in 2005. The District voted 55% for Bush in 2000 and 2004, but embraced Obama with 56% of the vote in 2008. Illinois 8 covers a number of northern suburbs of Chicago in suburban Cook, McHenry and Lake counties. For the most part, Bean’s voting record has reflected the political makeup of her district which has a Cook PVI of +1 R. Bean’s opponents are the GOP’s Joe Walsh and the Green Party’s Bill Sheurer.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 8:

Your member of Congress, Melissa Bean, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support her for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 8: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL39.98%52.91%7.11%
GENDER
Female39.9452.247.81
Male40.2555.813.94
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat70.0524.625.33
Republican13.7581.504.75
Independent/Other37.3854.767.86
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,308
Margin of Error: ±2.71%

 

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Illinois 11

Democrat Debbie Halvorson is completing her first term as a member of Congress after winning the open seat in a battle against Republican concrete king Marty Ozinga. The district has a Cook PVI of +1 R, and supported Bush in 2000 and 2004, but swung to Obama in 2008. The district was previously represented by Republican Jerry Weller–who retired after a facing scandal-sheet style murmurings involving his wife (the daughter of a former Guatemalan dictator) and Nicaraguan property he owned but failed to disclose in federal filings. You gotta love Illinois! Her opponent in the fall is Republican Adam Kinzinger.

The district covers conservative blue-collar voters around Joliet and Kankakee, and swings down to cover parts of the corn belt in McLean County.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 11:

Your member of Congress, Debbie Halvorson, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support her for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 11: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL33.04%59.17%7.80%
GENDER
Female32.6659.178.17
Male34.2361.074.70
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat64.9126.578.52
Republican9.0387.103.87
Independent/Other30.3661.997.65
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,347
Margin of Error: ±2.67%

 

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Illinois 14

This is the district that was represented by former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R), but for the first time since 1939 has a Democrat congressman: Bill Foster. Foster, a physicist,  won the race in a special election in March of 2008 against Republican Illinois milk magnate Jim Oberweis. Like the previous two districts, Illinois 14 has a Cook PVI of +1R, and covers a wide swath of Illinois including Whiteside, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, DuPage and Bureau counties. His opponents in the fall are Republican State Senator Randy Hultgren (who beat Dennis Hastert’s son, Ethan, in the primary) and the Green Party’s Daniel Kairis.

The district has a growing number of Hispanic voters (nearly 20%), and…like the other two districts…backed Bush in both of his elections but reversed course and voted for Obama in ’08.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 11:

Your congressman, Bill Foster, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support him for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 14: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL37.13%55.36%7.51%
GENDER
Female39.97%51.67%8.36%
Male33.39%61.49%5.12%
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat67.22%23.75%9.03%
Republican9.68%85.36%4.95%
Independent/Other35.62%57.53%6.85%
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,371
Margin of Error: ±2.64%