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Illinois: NRCC Pays for Polling in Special House Election

In a signal that the National Republican Congressional Committee may be considering whether to get involved in the special election to replace former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R), the NRCC spent $13,250 last week to pay Public Opinion Strategies to conduct a poll in the 14th district.

Last week, the Democratic nominee in the March 8 special election, wealthy scientist Bill Foster, released a poll showing him within the margin of error of the Republican nominee, dairy magnate Jim Oberweis.

The district in the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago leans Republican, having given President Bush 55 percent of the vote in 2004, but Democrats believe they have a shot of winning it — either in the special election, when turnout is likely to be low, or in November, especially if Sen. Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee.

Both Obama and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), are figuring in the special election. Foster just aired an ad that features an endorsement from Obama, while McCain is planning to stump with Oberweis on Wednesday.
— Josh Kurtz

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