ROCKFORD- A new poll by the group 'We Ask America' gives Democrat Cheri Bustos a slight lead against incumbant Republican Bobby Schilling, a lead so slight the race can be called a statistical dead heat. The automated poll of nearly 1200 likely voters in Illinois' recently redrawn 17th Congressional District gives Bustos 46.14% vs. Shilling's 45.81%. 8% remain undecided, a critical swing vote in a district that is commonly believed to have an edge for Democrats.
'We Ask America' describes the district as, "Located in Northwest Illinois, IL-17 is chock full of blue-collar conservative Democrats. While the new map makes it bluer than the current district, Republican Bobby Schilling was a surprise winner here in the 2010 against incumbent Phil Hare. When We Ask America and showed Schilling ahead, we were subject to a cascade of skepticism. We stuck by our guns, and affable pizza restaurant owner Schilling stuck to the campaign trail to pull out a surprise victory. This time his opponent is former journalist and city council member Cheri Bustos, the daughter of a powerful Illinois Democrat and family friend of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. The right-leaning Chicago Tribune has endorsed Schilling and tsk-tsked Bustos for her less-than-forthcoming opinions on key issues. Still, the new 17th District heavily sways Democratic and by all accounts Bustos is a worker."
Both Bustos and Schilling have been very aggressive both on the stump and on-air with television ads in a sprawling district which runs all the way from Rockford to the Quad Cities. Schilling is making a campaign stop on Monday afternoon to tour the Thermo Fisher Scientific facility in Rockford, IL.
To read the 'We Ask America' poll, click on this link.