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To: Interested Parties
From: Celinda Lake, Joshua Ulibarri, and Dom Bartkus
Re: March 2012 Democratic Primary in IL-021
Date: March 13, 2012
A recent Lake Research Partners survey conducted among likely Democratic primary voters in Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District shows that Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has solidified his support and is leading Debbie Halvorson by 36 percentage points. With a strong majority of likely voters viewing Jesse Jackson, Jr. favorably and approving of his job performance, the Congressman has significantly expanded his already strong lead since the last Lake Research Partners (LRP) poll, conducted in December 2011.
The major findings are as follows:
If the election were to take place today, Congressman Jackson Jr. would defeat Debbie Halvorson by a wide margin. When asked for whom they would vote if the Democratic primary for Congress were held today, 59% of likely voters say they would vote for Jackson Junior, while just 23% say they would support Halvorson. This marks a big jump since the December poll, when the Congressman led his opponent by 14 percentage points (44% to Halvorson’s 30%).
The vote intensity is also on Jackson Jr.’s side, with 49% saying they support the Congressman strongly, compared to 19% of likely Democratic primary voters who strongly support Debbie Halvorson.
Among African American women, a key constituency in the district, Jackson Jr. leads his opponent by 54 percentage points, with 69% of African American women expressing their support for the Congressman, versus 15% for Halvorson. His support among all women is also very strong, with 60% planning to vote for Jesse Jackson, Jr., compared to just 22% of women planning to support Debbie Halvorson.
A strong majority views Jackson Jr. favorably and approves of his job performance, while few Democratic primary voters connect with Debbie Halvorson. Seventy-one percent of likely voters say they have a favorable view of the Congressman and just 21% view him unfavorably. The favorability is up from the December poll, when 61% said they had a favorable view of Jackson Jr. and 29% viewed him unfavorably. Furthermore, 61% of likely voters approve of the Congressman’
Meanwhile, just 41% of voters say they view Debbie Halvorson favorably. While it marks a three percentage point increase from the December poll, Halvorson’s negative numbers have almost tripled over the last three months – up from 8% in December to 22% in March. Furthermore, 23% of voters do not know Jackson Jr.’s challenger well enough to have an opinion of her and another 14% say they have never heard of Debbie Halvorson.
As voters learn more about Debbie Halvorson and her record, few are becoming more favorable toward Jackson Jr.’s opponent. Fifty-six percent of likely primary voters say they have seen, heard, or read something recently about Halvorson. Among these voters, just 38% say that the information has made them more favorable toward Debbie Halvorson and 33% say it has made them less favorable toward her.
At the same time, 76% of voters have seen, heard, or read something about Congressman Jackson Jr. and 54% of them say the information has made them more favorable toward him, while just 25% say the recent information has made them view their Congressman less favorably.
In sum, with a strong majority of voters approving of Jackson Jr.’s job record and viewing him favorably, the Congressman has grown his already strong lead against Debbie Halvorson significantly over the past three months, making it very likely that Jesse Jackson, Jr. will emerge victorious on March 20th.