It turns out that the six races for Congress in Illinois that were expected to be close are close. A new round of polling finds them all within two points, while the margin of error is three points. This means no let-up in the mud-slinging in TV ads paid for by the candidates, their parties and outside groups, says Christopher Mooney, a University of Illinois political science professor.
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He says you have to match your opponent or you’ll fall behind. “If you let those outrageous lies and falsehoods get unanswered, yeah, they just stick. It’s the big lie theory. You say it loud enough and long enough, people are gonna believe it. So you’ve got to get up on air with yours, and it becomes just a cesspool of nastiness,” he said.
Mooney says with three weeks to go, the candidates have to sling mud on TV, as well as use radio, direct mail, door-knocking, phone banking, rallies and endorsements, and at this point, with early voting soon to begin, the ground game is important: Identifying your voters, making sure they vote and helping them get to the polls if need be.
The pollster, We Ask America, says these races are all close enough that they could go either way.
We Ask America poll of Illinois congressional races:
In the field Oct. 7-10, automated poll of likely voters