A new poll released today by Debbie Halvorson's campaign for Congress shows an extremely competitive race forming in Illinois' Second District. Despite his near-universal name recognition, the poll shows that Jesse Jackson, Jr. is never able to crack 50% of the vote against the lesser-known Halvorson—a clear indicator of electoral trouble for any incumbent.
In addition to Jackson's relatively low initial vote share, the survey results indicate that his support is exceptionally soft. When voters hear brief, balanced paragraphs describing the two candidates, Halvorson pulls into a five-point lead. Voters are clearly looking for an alternative to the incumbent, and rapidly move to Debbie Halvorson when they hear more information about her.
“These results reflect exactly what I have been hearing every day when I’m out meeting voters: people are ready for a change," said Halvorson. "In his sixteen years in Congress, Jesse Jackson, Jr. hasn't been able to deliver on the issues most important to people here. We need innovative approaches that bring jobs back to our area, and we need a member of Congress who puts the district first – not himself. On both counts, Jesse Jackson, Jr. has failed his constituents. I know how hard it is for families to make ends meet – especially in times like these – and in Congress, I'll work every day to get our economy moving again."
The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted January 10 – 12, 2012.