A recent survey seems to show that Dick Durbin is significantly more vulnerable than conventional wisdom would have us think. According to the data, Durbin is underperforming (below 50%) in both his opinion and job ratings, which is a sign of vulnerability for an incumbent.
Among likely general election voters, Durbin only receives a 49% favorable rating, while nearly one-quarter (24%) have an unfavorable opinion of him. And his job performance has polarized the electorate. Only 47% believe he's doing an excellent or good job as Senator, while 40% believe he's doing an only fair or poor job.
Will you please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Dick Durbin?
- Favorable 49%
- Unfavorable 24%
- No Opinion 23%
Overall, how would you rate the job Dick Durbin is doing as Senator?
- Excellent/Good 47%
- Only Fair/Poor 40%
- Don’t Know 13%
The voters are split on whether Durbin, as a leader in the U.S. Senate, is putting Illinois first. Only 36% thinks he's putting Illinois needs first. A clear majority (65%) either believes Dick Durbin is putting Washington political interests first (33%) or doesn’t know (32%). Not good numbers as an incumbent.
As a leader in the US Senate, is Dick Durbin putting Illinois needs first, or is Dick Durbin putting Washington political interests first?
- Illinois First 36%
- Washington First 33%
- Don’t Know 32%
Adding to Durbin's problems will be the tough political environment that his fellow Democrat Rod Blagojevich has created in Illinois. Rod has net negative opinion and job ratings. And these very poor numbers will have a negative effect on Durbin's bid for re-election.
Will you please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Rod Blagojevich.
- Favorable 37%
- Unfavorable 46%
- No Opinion 3%
Overall, how would you rate the job Rod Blagojevich is doing as Governor?
- Excellent/Good 32%
- Only Fair/Poor 63%
- Don’t Know 5%
In the end, the data shows that the "right" GOP candidate can defeat Durbin in 2008.
NOTE: The data for this post came from a survey of 400 likely general election voters in Illinois. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. Interview selection was random within predetermined election units structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a general election. The survey has an accuracy of ± 4.9% at the 95% confidence interval.