Illinois: Candidates Are Polls Apart in Open-Seat Race

Posted September 23, 2008 at 6:31pm

Republicans distributed a polling memo on Tuesday showing that Chicago concrete magnate Martin Ozinga (R) is running head-to-head with state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D), a stark contrast to survey results released by Democrats earlier the same day.

In a Public Opinion Strategies survey taken Sept. 17-18 for Ozinga, Halvorson was leading 38 percent to 36 percent. The survey, which had a 4.9-point margin of error, interviewed 400 likely general election voters.

“We’re thrilled that Illinois’ working families are responding to Marty’s message of change,” Ozinga spokesman Andy Seré said in a statement. “Voters are beginning to see Debbie Halvorson for who she really is: a career politician who has spent the last several years in Springfield doing [Democratic Gov.] Rod Blagojevich’s bidding at the expense of Illinois’ middle class. And that’s why her support continues to drop precipitously.”

The corruption scandals surrounding the Blagojevich administration continue to dominate politics in the Land of Lincoln, trickling down into the Ozinga-Halvorson matchup.

Meanwhile, Halvorson’s campaign released polling results giving an entirely different pulse on the ground in central Illinois. According to an Anzalone-Liszt Research survey, Halvorson was well ahead of Ozinga, 43 percent to 35 percent.

The Democratic poll, taken Sept. 14-16, included 500 likely voters and had a 4.4-point margin of error.

“Democrat Debbie Halvorson continues to lead the open-seat race for Congress in Illinois’ 11th district, but this Republican-held seat remains extremely competitive, and Halvorson will need significant financial resources to maintain her lead against multi-millionaire Marty Ozinga,” pollsters John Anzalone and Jeff Liszt wrote in the Sept. 18 polling memo.