Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., trails Democratic nominee Tammy Duckworth by double digits in his race for reelection, according to a new live-caller poll released Friday by an outside group involved in the campaign against him.
The League of Conservation Voters commissioned the survey, which shows Duckworth leading Walsh 54 percent to 39 percent in Illinois's 8th Congressional District. President Obama leads Mitt Romney 53 percent to 41 percent in the district's presidential vote; Obama carried the suburban Chicago seat with over 61 percent in 2008.
Anzalone Liszt Research conducted the poll for LCV and surveyed 400 likely voters from Oct. 16-18. The poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points. The League of Conservation Voters recently began a mobile billboard advertising campaign against Walsh and has also done robocalls in the 8th District.
Walsh's race has drawn more interest than expected over the last month. He was one of the closest GOP winners in 2010, and redistricting swung his seat sharply toward Democrats while Walsh remained a staunch tea party advocate in Congress and in his public appearances. But a super PAC, Now or Never PAC, has spent about $2 million boosting Walsh over the last month, and it plans to spend about $2.5 million more to "bury Duckworth," a turn of phrase from a GOP source that drew a rebuke from the Democratic Iraq War veteran. Recently, an automated survey from We Ask America, a firm with ties to the state manufacturers' association, released a poll showing Walsh narrowly ahead, prompting more discussion of the race's competitiveness. (Automated polls do not meet Hotline On Call's standards for publication.)
LCV's poll throws cold water on the idea of a Walsh revival. More voters viewed Walsh unfavorably (44 percent) than favorably (35 percent), while Duckworth was viewed favorably by 49 percent and unfavorably by 36 percent in the poll.