WASHINGTON--Democratic House candidate Scott Harper, in a rematch with Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), has a poll that his campaign says shows a path for him to win in November. However, with Biggert's commanding fund-raising lead, Harper faces a steep uphill battle in the 13th congressional district.
Harper's campaign shared with me a poll taken by his pollsters, the Global Strategy Group, of 400 likely voters, conducted between June 28-30, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
The western suburban district is GOP leaning--38 percent said they were Republicans to 32 percent Democrats--and the battle may be over the 27 percent who identified themselves as Independents in the poll.
Biggert beat Harper with 54 percent of the vote in 2008, to 44 percent for Harper and 3 percent for a Green Party candidate. As of June 30, Biggert had $869,396 cash-on-hand; Harper had $198,405.
Biggert is a frontrunner: 53 percent of those polled said she should be re-elected; 35 percent said she should be replaced. Asked who would they vote for if the election was today, Biggert is at 55 percent to 29 percent for Harper.
In the district, Biggert's personal favorability is at 54 percent while Harper is at 8 percent, mainly because 67 percent of voters have yet to hear about him. But Biggert's job approval rating is at 44 percent, an area for Harper to exploit.
Where the Harper campaign sees a path, however, is the willingness of the respondents to change their minds. Asked if there was a "reasonable chance" of a switch before Election Day, 46 percent said they would stay with their choice while 54 percent were either undecided or said they might switch.
Harper's prospects change in the poll, however, when voters were told of some of Harpers positives and potential attacks on Biggert: asked again which candidate they leaned towards supporting in one test, 46 percent said Harper and 40 percent said Biggert.
With the election still weeks off, some 56 percent said they were interested: 50 percent of Democrats were interested, 54 percent of Independents and 65 percent of Republicans.
The Biggert campaign sent over a memo from their pollster in reply to this post about the Harper poll, which you can read here. In response to the memo about a Biggert poll, Harper campaign manager Jonas Heineman said, "We are confident that our poll shows Congresswoman Biggert with dangerously thin support, creating a clear and wide path to victory for Harper. The bottom line is that voters have a clear choice between a 12-year incumbent who believes she will coast into her 7th term, and a political outsider who is willing to work hard for the job."