Poll: Jackson Leads Halvorson, 59-23

Revelations of philandering, and allegations that he tried to buy Barack Obama’s Senate seat from Rod Blagojevich, have done nothing to hurt Jesse Jackson Jr.’s popularity with the voters of the 2nd Congressional District.

According to a new poll out today from Lake Research Partners, Jackson leads his Democratic primary opponent, Debbie Halvorson, by a decisive 59 percent to 23 percent. The poll of 406 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted March 8-11, and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Some of the poll’s findings:

“With a strong majority of likely voters viewing Jesse Jackson, Jr. favorably
and approving of his job performance, the Congressman has significantly expanded
his already strong lead since the last Lake Research Partners (LRP) poll, conducted in December 2011,” the pollsters wrote. Jackson’s margin “marks a big jump
since the December poll, when the Congressman led his opponent by 14 percentage points (44% to Halvorson’s 30%.)”

Among African American women, a key constituency in the district, Jackson
Jr. leads his opponent by 54 percentage points, with 69% of African American
women expressing their support for the Congressman, versus 15% for Halvorson.
His support among all women is also very strong, with 60% planning to vote for
Jesse Jackson, Jr., compared to just 22% of women planning to support Debbie

A strong majority views Jackson Jr. favorably and approves of his job performance, while few Democratic primary voters connect with Debbie Halvorson. Seventy-one percent of likely voters say they have a favorable view of the Congressman and just 21% view him unfavorably. The favorability is up from the December poll, when 61% said they had a favorable view of Jackson Jr. and 29% viewed him unfavorably. Furthermore, 61% of likely voters approve of the Congressman’s job performance, saying that he is doing an excellent or a good job. Twenty-three percent say his job performance is just fair and just 11% believe that Jackson Jr. is doing a poor job. In today’s political environment when very few Americans approve of the U.S. Congress, Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s numbers are exceptionally high.

In sum, with a strong majority of voters approving of Jackson Jr’s job record and viewing him favorably, the Congressman has grown his already strong lead against Debbie Halvorson significantly over the past three months, making it very likely that Jesse Jackson, Jr. will emerge victorious on March 20th.

Jackson is confident enough of victory to blow off a debate scheduled for tonight on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, saying he instead plans to attend the funeral of former Congressman Donald Payne.

Asked about Jackson’s strong poll numbers among women, Halvorson told Ward Room, “We all know how polls vote: they don’t. We’ll see on election day.”

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