Has Durbin spent too much time in D.C. for Illinois voters?

McClatchy Washington BureauSeptember 1, 2014 

Official Portrait

Sen. Richard Durbin (courtesy of the Senator's website.)


Sen. Richard Durbin, the Senate’s number two Democrat, could be facing a tougher than anticipated re-election race.

Durbin, who remains a favorite to win re-election, is about 7 percentage points ahead of Republican Jim Oberweis, says a new Early & Often poll reported Monday by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The reason for the closer-than-expected poll: Durbin’s time in Washington.

“The closeness of the contest may lie in the two candidates’ vulnerabilities,” said Natasha Korecki, Sun-Times political reporter. “One of Durbin’s biggest weaknesses? The amount of time he’s spent in Washington.

“Of those surveyed, 60 percent responded they were less likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who had served in Washington, in the Senate and Congress, for 31 years,” Korecki said. “However, 39 percent said they were either more likely to vote for such a candidate or that it made no difference.”

“Oberweis has his own vulnerability: the number of times he’s run for office,” she said. “Respondents did not warm to the idea of a perennial candidate.”

Fifty-four percent said they were less likely to vote for a perennial candidate.

Republicans need a net gain of six Senate seats to win control of the chamber next year. Illinois has not been considered one of the Democrats’ more vulnerable seats.

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