ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) had a 10-point advantage over freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R) in the most recent poll of the suburban Chicago 8th district.
Duckworth led Walsh, 50 percent to 40 percent, in the Chicago Tribune poll of 600 likely voters. Notably, Duckworth led Walsh among female voters, 54 percent to 34 percent.
The new numbers come one day after Duckworth hosted Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to discuss Walsh's comments on abortion. Speier opened up about her own medically necessary abortion on the House floor last February.
"His most recent commentary about women accessing abortion in late-term pregnancies for medical reasons being unnecessary" Speier said on her day trip to the Chicago area. "I'm living proof it is necessary. He continues to spew out horrific misinformation."
Last week, Walsh told reporters that abortion is "absolutely" not medically necessary to save the life of the mother because of "modern technology and science." He changed his tune later in a statement, in which he said he does "of course support medical procedures for women during their pregnancies that might result in the loss of the unborn child."
Speier's visit comes less than 48 hours after the GOP Senate nominee in neighboring Indiana, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, took heat for his comments that pregnancy from rape was something "God intended." Mourdock made those comments in the Tuesday evening debate, and the next morning, he apologized to those offended by his comments but stood by his intended meaning.
Democrats seized on Mourdock's remarks, attempting to tie his comments to Republican candidates around the country in contested races. President Barack Obama weighed in too during his visit to a late-night comedy show.
Additionally, several Republicans objected to Mourdock's comments, including a couple of GOP Members in Illinois.
"As a woman, a pro-choice Republican, and an outspoken supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, I am appalled by Mr. Mourdock's comments," Rep. Judy Biggert (Ill.) said in a statement emailed by an aide Wednesday morning. "I hope he apologizes quickly, as that sort of suggestion has no place in public discourse."
Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) tweeted on Wednesday morning, "I urge Mourdock to apologize. As a husband, father and grandfather, I find his comments totally contrary to our basic human beliefs & values."
A spokesman for Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) said the Congressman favors abortion rights and "strongly disagrees with Mourdock's statements, which he finds insensitive and inappropriate."
A Walsh spokesman did not return a request for comment for this story. But he told NBC News Chicago that his "heart goes out to Congresswoman Speier and I agree with her decision."
All four Members are seeking re-election in Democratic districts drawn during the decennial redistricting process. Biggert faces former Rep. Bill Foster (D), Schilling faces former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D), and Dold faces businessman Brad Schneider (D). Roll Call rates these three races as Tossups.
Roll Call rates the 8th district race between Walsh and Duckworth as Leans Democratic.
The Tribune poll was taken Oct. 20-24 and had a margin of error of 4 points.