Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Durbin on 'Cruise Control'

With no credible opposition in the wings, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin's 2008 re-election campaign appears to be on cruise control. His approval numbers are solidly in the 60% range. And in a hypothetical race between Durbin and his oft-perceived strongest challenger, former Republican Governor Jim Edgar -- Durbin holds a commanding 53%-32% lead.

In our survey of 600 registered Illinois voters, 60% approve of the job Dick Durbin is doing while 22.5% disapprove of the job he is doing. Senator Durbin's job approval is above 50% in every region of the state.

Durbin's approval rating runs 10% ahead of Rod Blagojevich's job approval ratings. And his disapproval is 20% lower than the Democrat Governor.

The only marginally soft spot for Sen. Durbin appears to be the Collar Counties:

67% Cook County
65% Chicago
50% Collar Counties
56% West/Northwest
66% Central
74% Southern

Read the crosstabs here.

And it's no surprise that former Governor Edgar quickly dismissed talk of a challenge to Senator Durbin given the 21 point lead in a hypothetical matchup with the former Gov.

While Edgar holds a lead within the margin of error in the Collar Counties and the Northwest part of the state, Durbin holds landslide leads in Cook County and the City of Chicago as well as comfortable leads in Central and Southern Illinois. Read the crosstabs here.

With 16 months until the election, the eventual Republican nominee will likely face a Durbin squeeze play: landslide numbers in Cook County and the City, combined with his strong support in Central and Southern Illinois. The only region of the state at play will be the collar counties and northwest Illinois and that's a potential recipe for a Durbin landslide re-election.

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