SPRINGFIELD — The candidate favored by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and many of the Democratic powerbrokers in Washington, D.C., and Springfield — former Madison County Judge Ann Callis — has a comfortable lead in the first poll taken of Democratic voters in the 13th Congressional District.
Callis, of Edwardsville, has a double-digit lead over each of her challengers — George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign — according to a We Ask America poll of 1,136 Democratic voters taken for the CapitolFax.com political web-site. We Ask America is a division of Xpress Professional Service Inc., a subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association.
Callis got 41 percent to 25 percent for Gollin, a University of Illinois physics professor, and 7 percent for Green, a social-policy analyst at the UI Center for Prevention Research and Development. The poll, taken Sunday evening, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.91 percentage points.
The poll is the first snapshot taken, and publicly released, of the three-way Democratic race in the district that sweeps from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Edwardsville and Collinsville on the southwest.The district also includes Decatur, Springfield and parts of Bloomington and Normal.
Callis leads in every age category in the poll, but is relatively weak (34 percent) among those in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic. That, incidentally, is Green's strongest category (27 percent). Green has campaigned on a leftist platform that includes opposition to war and corporate interests. He has also proposed government-sponsored employment "for anyone who wants it" and free higher education, health care and child care.
Although Callis is the only woman in the race, she appears marginally stronger among men (43.13 percent) than women (40.09 percent).
Callis is backed by Durbin, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Illinois AFL-CIO and AFSCME Council 31, and locally by a number of top Democrats, including state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz, Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing and Champaign Mayor Don Gerard.