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Illinois: New Kelly Poll Shows Her Leading Special Primary

Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly released an internal poll today that showed she has moved to the front of the Democratic pack in the crowded special primary to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill.

Kelly garnered 26 percent in the poll among the top Democrats, according to a survey memo released by the campaign.

Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill, picked up 22 percent, while state Sen. Toi Hutchinson had the backing of 20 percent of those surveyed, and Alderman Anthony Beale had 10 percent.

The winner of the Feb. 26 Democratic primary will likely win the seat given the South Side district’s deep blue composition. But Chicago Democrats see the special primary as unpredictable because of the large number of candidates.

Last month, other campaign internal polls showed Halvorson leading the primary field. But since then, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC targeted Halvorson with TV ads highlighting her previous support from the National Rifle Association.

The poll surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters on land lines and cell phones Feb. 4 and 5. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

The GBA Strategies memo did not include full information about candidate favorability ratings and name identification.

Updated 4:34 p.m.

Federal Election Commission records show New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, has dumped another $382,000 into the race targeting Halvorson. Roll Call had previously reported last week that Bloomberg had made a substantial media buy in the race.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg’s total investment against Halvorson more than doubled to $784,000, according to FEC reports. Bloomberg announced last fall his effort to spend major sums of money against candidates who support gun rights.

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