-By Warner Todd Huston
Public Opinion Strategies has conducted a poll of the newly reconfigured 17th Congressional District and finds that, despite the fact that Democrats redrew the district to favor a Democrat challenger, current Congressman, Republican Bobby Schilling has a very strong lead.
Schilling leads Democrat challenger Cheri Bustos with a 51-35 result in polling thus far. This is an incredibly strong position in a redistricted area that favors the reelection of Barack Obama by ten points.
The polling firm concludes its recently released report with the following:
Despite running in a district that was drawn to favor Democrats and where the President leads by ten points, Bobby Schilling begins this race in a strong position. Schilling has a solid image and a 16 point lead on the ballot, all good signs for the incumbent Congressman. However, make no mistake, Democrats drew this seat with the goal of making Schilling a one-term Congressman and will presumably invest significant resources to do so. In order for Schilling to maintain his double-digit lead, the key will be to have the financial resources to define Bustos before she (and her national Democratic allies) can define herself.
Looks like a good lead that will be hard for the Democrat challenger to overcome.