Dem poll: Halvorson closes gap

2010-10-19T00:00:00Z 2010-10-19T09:34:04Z Dem poll: Halvorson closes gapBy Times Staff nwitimes.com
October 19, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Internal Democratic polling data in the race for the 11th U.S. Congressional District show incumbent Debbie Halvorson's television ads have helped her gain ground.

Anzalone Liszt Research conducted 500 live telephone interviews with likely Nov. 2 voters between Oct. 5-7.

With a 4.4 percent margin of error, Kinzinger leads 45 percent to 41 percent. That would be a significant change given internal Republican polling from Aug. 4 put Kinzinger ahead by nearly 20 points.

Pollster Jeff Liszt wrote in a memo that Halvorson beat Adam Kinzinger to the punch on Chicago broadcast television and has moved the vote in her favor.

"This will be a close race, and given the resources to continue her strong paid communications campaign in this expensive market, Halvorson has a strong chance to win," Liszt wrote. "Kinzinger holds a small lead, but Halvorson has moved to within the margin of error."

On Monday, Halvorson unveiled www.debbiehalvorson.com/factcheck to counter attacks from the GOP challenger.

"For voters who are looking to find the facts behind Kinzinger's claims, they can visit my website and see that Adam Kinzinger's claims are nothing more than a distraction from his own disastrous policies that ship jobs overseas and hurt Illinois seniors."

The most recent salvo from the Kinzinger camp came in a Thursday press release in which he hammered on a point raised during a Wednesday morning WCMY Radio Congressional candidates debate -- namely Halvorson's apparent aversion to town hall meetings since her election to Congress.

Asked by a debate panelist if she would hold town halls if re-elected, Halvorson said, "I've held open office hours -- I've been in many communities. It takes me 45 minutes to get out of the vegetable section," said Halvorson, adding that she has hosted tele-town halls and "Congress on Your Corner" meetings. "I go out for dinner -- my husband and I -- and people come and pull up a chair. You know what? I think I really have a pulse on what's going on."

Kinzinger made accessibility a key issue after Halvorson voted twice in support of health care expansion without holding public meetings for constituents.

Kinzinger, meanwhile, hosted 14 meetings, drawing more than 3,000 people, according to his website -- www.electadam.com.

"The Congresswoman says she's been available to people in so many ways -- how about just standing in front of people and answering questions?" Kinzinger said. "You don't have a town hall meeting in the vegetable section, you have a town hall meeting standing in front of people and allowing them to come out and have the opportunity to be heard."

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