A new poll of likely voters in the 17th Congressional District puts U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling ahead of his Democratic opponent, Cheri Bustos, by 13 points.
The internal poll by the Schilling campaign surveyed 400 people between Aug. 8 and 9 and found that 50 percent would vote for Rep. Schilling, R-Colona, and 37 percent would back Ms. Bustos, of East Moline.
Ms. Bustos has increased her support by 2 points from the last poll of the district conducted by the Schilling campaign in May. Rep. Schilling had the support of 51 percent of those polled in May to 35 percent for Ms. Bustos.
Terry Schilling, Rep. Schilling's campaign manager, released the new poll on Friday and said he was pleased with the numbers. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
Prompted by the release of the Schilling poll, the Bustos campaign released its own numbers from an internal poll taken in February. The poll found support of 44 percent for Rep. Schilling to 35 percent for Ms. Bustos. But when the 400 likely voters surveyed where given positive information about both candidates, Ms. Bustos' took a four-point lead over Rep. Schilling.
Allison Jaslow, campaign manager for Ms. Bustos, said that by releasing the new poll Rep. Schilling was trying to distract from the debate over Republican plans to reform Medicare that have dominated headlines in recent days.
Glen Bolger, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, said those surveyed in the Schilling poll were people who had voted in either 2010 and 2008, stratified by county and gender. The poll found that only 49 percent of the respondents knew who Ms. Bustos was and just 29 percent had an opinion of her.
In contrast, Rep. Schilling had name recognition of 84 percent, and of those, 42 percent had a favorable view of the incumbent with 20 percent having an unfavorable view.
"(Rep.) Schilling has successfully introduced himself to voters in the parts of the district that are new to him, while (Ms.) Bustos continues to struggle to define herself," a statement from the polling firm said.
Other indicators suggest the race in the newly redrawn 17th District should suit Ms. Bustos more than Rep. Schilling. The National Journal, a conservative weekly magazine, last month said the district was the 16th most likely to change hands in the country.
Polling data from the Bustos campaign found that 38 percent of voters considered themselves Democrats in the new district compared to 27 percent who described themselves as Republican. The Schilling poll from May also showed Mitt Romney trailing President Obama by 10 points in the new district.
Today is Thursday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2013. There are 222 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: Messrs. J. and M. Rosenfield have moved their leather and hidestore to the building formerly occupied by Temple Bufords's store. They buy and sellhides, pelts, furs, wool, beeswax, lard, tallow, etc. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Lumber Company has recovered 5,000 of the8,000 logs that were carried away by the Mississippi River flood last week. 1913 -- 100 years ago: John J. Ullemeyer has been awarded the contract to furnish RockIsland fire and police department members with uniforms, at the city's expense. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Work on Aledo's new $38,000 swimming pool was started thismorning at South Park when ground for the pool was broken by Mayor John W. Murphy. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Students and teacher at Moline High School called today "MissLeona Day" day at the school in honor of the government teacher who retires at theend of the school term. Although she's been teaching for 43 years at the school, Miss Dayfound a new way of arriving at the school this morning. At 7:30 a.m., a police squad carpulled up in front of Miss Day's home and escorted her to school. A caravan of students' cars joined the procession along the way. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Barbecue cooking and riverfront antics are planned for Discover the River Day Saturday in Leach Park, Bettendorf. A 5K run, wind surfing, a canoe race, hogcalling and more will round out the day under the Interstate 74 bridge.