Walsh-Duckworth Race May Actually Be One

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 21, 2012 1:30PM

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Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh (left) and his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth. (Official photos)

We're still stunned that Rep. Joe Walsh, walking embodiment of the Angry White Male, was elected to Congress two years ago. We have to give the man credit: he is a fighter.

Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business wrote Thursday that Walsh has a fighting chance to retain his seat against Tammy Duckworth, if a couple polls are an indication.

A survey taken in August by the Virginia-based Tarrance Group showed a two-point Duckworth lead, 47 percent to 45 percent. A poll conducted by We Ask America showed Walsh ahead by five points. If true, that means all Walsh's screaming at town hall meetings, race baiting and bitching about how Duckworth only talks about her military service resonates with a sizable amount of constituents, even in his gerrymandered district.

Both the Tarrance Group and We Ask America routinely work with Republican campaigns, so take those numbers with an extra grain of salt, if you don't swallow them at all. Duckworth's campaign told Hinz those numbers don't jibe with their own internal polling, which shows a Duckworth lead of more than five points and Walsh not even cracking 40 percent in the polls. The real litmus test will happen in the upcoming weeks. That's when national GOP leaders start with their national ad buys: it they believe Walsh can win the 8th, they'll back him with campaign cash.