There’s an extremely competitive race going on in the IL-8 congressional district; it’s just the Democrats don’t want anyone to find out. This is the race between Tea Party stalwart Congressman Joe Walsh and the DNC darling Tammy Duckworth.
Walsh made headlines in 2010 for his well-fought win where he defeated three-term incumbent Melissa Bean with barely any money. The 2012 Joe Walsh, though redistricted into a tough new district, has been showing just as much fight, and, it now appears, he’s enjoying quite a bit more support.
Perhaps it’s because, while Duckworth was feted in Charlotte at the DNC, during the RNC, Walsh and his entire staff opted to stay in the district and work. His grassroots support, the same effort that got him elected in 2010, is more committed than ever in 2012 to unseat the woman the Left is aching to give a national platform.
Donors are noticing. The “Now or Never PAC” just announced they’ve purchased $810,000 of broadcast ads to play in the next twelve days (see one of the ads here). Plus, Crain’s Chicago columnist Greg Hinz took notice of two recent polls showing Walsh neck-and-neck with Duckworth.
As for Duckworth, she has been carefully crafting a message of being part of the 99%, despite the [perfectly admirable] fact of owning a private plane and two houses. It’s a tough message to sell to her constituents, especially given that Duckworth went so far as to say recently that those in her district are better off today than they were four years ago.
And while there’s just a little more than a month till the election, next Thursday she’ll be traveling to sunny Santa Monica, California.
This is a competitive race, but if there’s one thing Walsh has done, it’s stay true to his Tea Party principles during his time in Washington while showing us he can fight. I’m more than a little optimistic that his message–and record–of cutting government waste will resonate in his district.