IL-14: Democrat Bill Foster Leads For Hastert's Old Seat
by Todd Beeton, Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:35:33 AM EST
Survey USA, which has been remarkably reliable this cycle at the presidential level, has a new poll out of Illinois' 14th (conducted for Roll Call) showing Democrat Bill Foster ahead of Republican Jim Oberweis by 7 points two days out from Saturday's special election. Brownsox brings us the subscription-only Roll Call story:
The House seat recently vacated by former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is in danger of flipping to the Democrats in Saturday's special election, according to a poll conducted this week for Roll Call.
In the poll of 517 likely special election voters, conducted by Survey USA exclusively for Roll Call on March 3 and 4, physicist Bill Foster (D) led dairy company executive Jim Oberweis (R) 52 percent to 45 percent. The poll had a 4.4-point margin of error.
Foster appeared to test particularly well with women and independent voters, who preferred him by a 3-2 margin. The survey also suggested Foster had locked down his party's base, taking 97 percent of likely Democratic votes and perhaps stealing 10 percent of likely GOP votes.
If these numbers hold up on Saturday, the return on investment for the NRCC will be sad indeed. As Jonathan wrote yesterday:
Crunching out the math, then, the $1.2 million the NRCC has had to spend defending this Republican seat in a Republican district amounts to 29.2 percent of the committee's net cash-on-hand, or nearly a third. In contrast, the D-trip has spent about 3.0 percent of its net cash-on-hand on the race.
An Oberweis loss, especially of this magnitude, could mean the end of Rep. Tom Cole's, er, distinguished tenure as chair of the NRCC and will be seen as a sign of things to come in the fall for Republicans in red or purple at best districts (IL-14 has a PVI of R+5.) It also serves as the first test case for how Obama's message and endorsement (see his ad for Foster here) may trickle down to the congressional level in November. Granted, Illinois's demographics are shifting and Obama is the hometown senator, but this is a district that Bush won 55-44 in 2004 and Hastert won 60-40 in 2006.