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Politics

Duckworth Cruising in Own Poll

January 25, 2012

If the primary election was held today, it looks like Tammy Duckworth would cruise to the Democratic nomination in Illinois's 8th District. Since it's actually in less than two months, she probably will anyway.

Duckworth, a former Veterans Affairs assistant secretary, holds a massive 42-point lead -- 59 percent to 17 percent -- over former Illinois deputy treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi, according to a Normington Petts poll conducted for her campaign. The poll surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12, with a margin of error is 4.9 percent.

The Illinois primary is scheduled for Mar. 20. From the polling memo:

She holds a three-to-one margin with key constituencies: voters who say the will "definitely vote," voters who voted in at least two Democratic primaries out of the last four, voters age 50 and older, liberals and pro-choice voters.

In addition to her solid vote support, Duckworth is also the choice of 65% of likely voters when asked who has the best chance to beat Joe Walsh in November. Just 13% opt for Krishnamoorthi.

After positives messages from both candidates are simulated, Duckworth maintains her 59% support while Krishnamoorthi is able to climb to just 23%. So while we expect the race to tighten somewhat as Krishnamoorthi communicates his message to voters he neither gains significant traction among undecided voters nor is able to cut into Duckworth's support.

Krishnamoorthi probably will be able to communicate his message in the closing months of the primary campaign, as the memo notes. Though Duckworth outraised him in the fourth quarter, Krishnamoorthi has fundraised well, bringing in over $1 million for the year, and had nearly twice Duckworth's cash on hand at the end of the third quarter. (Fourth quarter cash on hand figures are not available yet.) But as David Axelrod says in the polling memo, "I have never seen anyone overcome a 42-point deficit this late in the race."

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