SPRINGFIELD — A new internal poll released Monday shows Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan within one percentage point of her opponent, three-term GOP Rep. Rodney Davis, in the race for the 13th Congressional District.
The poll, conducted by Democratic firm GBA Strategies between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, shows Londrigan trails Davis 49 percent to 48 percent, well within the margin of error of 4.4 percent.
The released poll surveyed 500 likely voters. The same firm found Londrigan trailed Davis by five points, 51 percent to 46 percent, last month.
“This poll reflects (two) things — first, the growing momentum behind Betsy's campaign, and enthusiasm voters have for someone who will fight for quality and affordable healthcare," said Emma Brown, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan's campaign manager. "Second, it affirms that Congressman Rodney Davis' record of supporting special interests and gutting protections for pre-existing conditions is fundamentally out of step with the people he represents. With less than a month to go, the choice couldn't be clearer, and that is making this one of the most competitive races in the country."
Davis' campaign did not release their own internal polling, but its spokeswoman, Ashley Phelps, said the campaign was not taking anything for granted in this race.
"The fact that Londrigan and outside groups have spent nearly $2 million dollars in negative TV ads against Rodney and this Democratic poll doesn't even have her ahead, tells us voters aren't believing her lies," Phelps said. "... Rodney won his first race by 1,002 votes and the people of this district who don't want someone who stands by corruption, supports impeaching President Trump, will vote with Nancy Pelosi to raise taxes, and continue to raise money for Mike Madigan need to get out and vote."
The poll is another indicator that next month’s race could be closer than Davis’ last two re-election bids, both of which he won by double-digits. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, the main Super PAC dedicated to keeping the Republican’s majority in the House, have pledged to spend more than $1 million combined in advertisements and other efforts to get their respective candidates elected.
National analysts like Cook Political Report and Inside Politics, which rate political races across the nation, still give Davis the slight edge, labeling the district one that “leans Republican.”
FiveThirtyEight, a statistics site, gives Davis a 71 percent chance of winning next month.
Within minutes of the poll being released, Davis’ campaign sent a press release condemning Londrigan for not standing with Davis in calling out J.B. Pritzker, the Democrat’s candidate in the Illinois gubernatorial race. Davis and Illinois’ other six Republican congressmen have asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a full investigation into Pritzker after a Cook County Inspector General report said he participated in a “scheme to defraud” during efforts to get property tax breaks on his Chicago home.
Pritzker has said he followed the law and would pay back the $330,000 property tax break he received on his house in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.
When asked last week by the Herald & Review about the call for an investigation, Londrigan said it was a purely political move by Davis.
"Illinois taxpayers know all too well what corruption has done to this state and they deserve better. Voters have a clear choice: Davis who will fight against corruption, regardless of party, or Londrigan who won't even call out corruption when it happens," Phelps said.
Brown called the release a "sad attempt" to distract from Londrigan's momentum.
"(Davis is) a politician fixated on what other politicians are doing," Brown said. "In contrast, Betsy's spending her time in the community, engaging with voters and talking about real issues. Again, the contrast couldn't be clearer."