by Craig Dimitri

The once reliably-Republican Chicago suburbs, no longer are.  The IL-6th CD, represented for decades by Rep. Henry Hyde (R), is now vacant, with both parties’ candidates in a virtual tie in the race to replace him, according to most polls.

Tammy Duckworth (D), an Iraq war veteran who suffered grievous injuries to three limbs in that conflict, is facing state Sen. Peter Roskam (R) in this affluent district.   This district has grown cooler to Republicans in recent years.  Hyde received 65% of the vote in 2002, but his margin shrunk noticeably in 2004, when he was reduced to 56%, while George W. Bush carried the district with 53% of the vote that same year. 

Those are strong numbers for Republicans by Illinois standards, a state which the GOP no longer bothers to contest at the presidential level.  But Hyde’s seat, in this region, would have been considered bedrock GOP country.  Should Duckworth win in a DuPage County-based district, it would send another shock wave through the Illinois GOP, which has been beset with scandal and defeats in recent years.

In three rounds of polling, MajorityWatch had the candidates separated by a single percentage point, in all three polls (the first and third with Duckworth up by one, the second with Roskam leading by one).  But since all the polls had a margin of error of just over 3%, they are all statistical ties.  It’s just too close to call.  Other polls have reinforced this conclusion, with one key exception.

The Reuters-Zogby poll – the one taken most recently, concluding on October 29 – is the only one that shows Duckworth with a sizable lead – 54% to 40%.  That result is very atypical of the group of independent polls, which all cluster around the margin of error in their surveys.

Roskam official campaign site –

Duckworth official campaign site – 

Reuters-Zogby poll –

MajorityWatch poll –

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at 

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