Illinois: Lauzen Poll Shows He Is Tied With Oberweis

Posted November 7, 2007 at 6:42pm

A survey taken for state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R) suggests that he and dairy magnate Jim Oberweis are neck-and-neck three months out from the Republican primary to replace Rep. Dennis Hastert (R), the departing former Speaker.

The Public Opinion Strategies poll, taken Oct. 22 and 23, showed both Lauzen and Oberweis with 38 percent of the vote. Former Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns (R) was a distant third, with 4 percent.

The poll of 300 likely primary voters had a 5.66 point margin of error.

The poll also found that Lauzen had a solid 74 percent name recognition among likely primary voters — though it was lower than Oberweis’, whose family name is well-known throughout the Chicago area.

“Even though Oberweis starts with higher name recognition, it isn’t translating into an advantage on the ballot,” pollster Glen Bolger wrote in a memo. “Primary voters may like Oberweis, but the fact that he’s in a dead heat against a lesser-known candidate suggests voters are looking for a viable alternative to support. The more voters get to know Chris, the higher his ballot support is going to climb.”

— Matthew Murray

Primary Field Set, Some Incumbents Unopposed
Monday’s filing deadline for federal candidates produced very few surprises.

Four Republicans are vying to take on safe Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, while Democrats successfully cleared the field for state Sen. Debbie Halvorson, who will face one of three Republicans competing for the 11th district slot vacated by retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R). Democrats, too, cleared the field for former professional basketball coach Dick Versace in the open 18th district. He will face the winner of a three-way Republican primary in which the GOP favorite appears to be wunderkind state Rep. Aaron Schock.

Four Republicans, including presumed frontrunners Jim Oberweis and state Sen. Chris Lauzen, and four Democrats, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s preferred candidate, scientist Bill Foster, make up the crowded field to succeed retiring former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Meanwhile, four incumbents have no opposition whatsoever: Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D), Luis Gutierrez (D), Phil Hare (D) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D).

— Matthew Murray