EAST MOLINE, IL - U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) today released a new poll from Public Opinions Strategies showing that, despite millions being spent against him by outside groups in recent weeks, Schilling is starting to pull away from his opponent, Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline).
At the same time, Schilling released fundraising totals for the third quarter showing he raised $617,826.37 in that span, pushing his total fundraising efforts for the 2011-12 election cycle over $2.1 million. The campaign currently has $839,000 cash on hand.
The Public Opinion Strategies poll surveyed 400 likely voters and gave Schilling a 51-44 lead over Bustos. 45 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Schilling, while 34 percent of voters had an unfavorable opinion of him. Meanwhile, just 34 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Bustos, while 38 percent of voters had an unfavorable opinion of her. The poll also found that President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the Illinois 17th District by a 50-44 margin.
Schilling said that the next three weeks are the most critical stretch of the campaign.
"There's no doubt we're working hard," Schilling said. "We continue to meet our goals, and our staff and volunteers are working double and triple shifts. At this point, it's all about our ground game and spreading our message of creating jobs, balancing the budget, preserving and protecting Medicare, and leading by example."
Schilling noted that most of his campaign's contributions come from individuals inside the Illinois 17th District.
"This has always been a grassroots campaign with a grassroots message," Schilling said. "I'm proud that most donations to my campaign come from folks in our district. This isn't a Republican or a Democrat seat—this is the people's seat, and through hard work and determination, the people will keep this seat on November 6."
A polling memo will be available later in the day upon request.