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Internal Poll: Former Miss America Trails Freshman Republican in Illinois

Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., holds a large lead over his GOP primary opponent, former Miss America Erika Harold, according to a poll obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call.

Davis leads Harold by a massive 48 points in the poll of likely GOP primary voters commissioned by his campaign and conducted by the GOP survey firm Public Opinion Strategies. Twenty percent of respondents in the poll said they were undecided.

The survey showed Davis with 63 percent and Harold with 15 percent.

The results underscore Harold has a monumental challenge ahead to defeat Davis in the primary — which is just over three months away on March 18. Ninety-three percent of respondents said they had heard of Davis, while 45 percent said they have heard of Harold.

The poll interviewed 400 likely Republican primary voters via live telephone surveys between Nov. 19 and Nov. 21. It had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Harold also has a severe cash disadvantage, reporting just $99,000 in cash on hand at the end of the last quarter. Davis reported $882,000 in the bank at the time.

Illinois’ 13th District is one of the most competitive in the country. Last cycle, Davis defeated his Democratic opponent by less than 1 point, while President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney each received 49 percent.

On the Democratic side, former judge Ann Callis, college professor George Gollin, peace activist David Green and school bus driver Bill Byrnes have filed paperwork to run for the seat. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has touted Callis as a top recruit.

Illinois’ 13th District is rated a Tilt Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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