Halvorson trails in first post-healthcare poll

March 23, 2010

If this is any indication of where the healthcare debate has left Democrats, they could be in trouble.

Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) trails her reelection race by six points in the first public House poll conducted after the healthcare debate.

The Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll for Iraq veteran Adam Kinzinger (R), which is set to be released widely, shows him leading Halvorson 44-38. The congresswoman is largely unknown, with a 33 percent favorability rating and 31 percent unfavorable.

The poll was conducted Sunday and Monday — straddling the big healthcare vote — among 400 likely voters in Halvorson’s district. The pitched nature of hte healthcare vote probably speaks to the fact that, while 52 percent disapproved of Obama in the poll, 38 percent of all voters strongly disapproved of him.

Havorson voted for the bill.

If the numbers are accurate, it casts the race in a new light. While Kinzinger has been endorsed by the NRCC, he hasn’t yet raised big money yet and is running in an expensive district. Halvorson is generally viewed as a second-tier target.

But it appears Halvorson, like so many other Democrats right now, is suffering under the weight of a difficult environment. The generic ballot in the poll shows Republicans enjoying a 43-33 lead, and President Obama’s approval rating is just 45 percent in the district, despite Illinois being his home state.

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