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

09/01/2014 9:57 AM

09/01/2014 11:38 AM

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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