Politics & Government

Durbin’s re-election bid not as shaky as polls suggest

Sen. Richard Durbin’s re-election bid is not as shaky as recent polls suggest, according to a new Washington Post analysis.

Two recent survey showed Durbin, the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, ahead of perennial candidate Republican Jim Oberweis by single digits in the Illinois U.S. Senate race.

But, said the Post’s Aaron Blake, “there’s plenty of reason to believe (Durbin) should be just fine.”

Here’s some of Blake’s analysis:

“First, it should be noted that both YouGov and We Ask America polls do not meet The Washington Post's standards for a high-quality poll. YouGov conducts its surveys online, while We Ask America uses automated polling technology.

“When CBS and the Times partnered with YouGov a couple months back, there was something of an uprising the polling community. The same poll also showed quite curious in some other Senate races, including Republicans trailing by 12 points in what is largely seen as a toss-up race in Alaska and trailing by just seven against Sen. Cory Booker (D) in New Jersey.

“At the same time, the single-digit leads aren't that far-fetched, either. The limited polling we have seen in recent years doesn't show Durbin is overwhelmingly popular back home--still in positive territory, but with an approval rating hovering around 50 percent. That's generally where you have to at least be a little concerned about your campaign.”

Blake also noted early spending by outside conservative groups could be having an impact.

“So before declaring Durbin in trouble, we should probably wait for a high-quality poll to back these up. And given the state's top-tier governor's race, that should hopefully arrive soon,” Blake wrote.