Could Jesse Jackson Jr. Get the "Shaft"?

Posted: Sep 15, 2010 2:36 PM
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Republican opponent in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District is touting a poll taken by a small urban newspaper in Chicago that shows the incumbent trailing in his re-election bid.  Rev. Isaac Hayes is one of the most impressive young conservative leaders I have encountered, and the mere thought that he might take down an entrenched liberal like Jackson is the stuff of leg-thrills. 

Watch below as Isaac electrifies a Cook County audience last year.  (I'm the guy standing behind him applauding many of his excellent points).  Note his delivery: Smooth, powerful, and TelePrompter-free.  It's well worth the full 9:30, but if you're pressed for time, scroll ahead to the 7:25 mark:

As much as I admire Hayes, I'm deeply skeptical about the poll itself, which pegs his support at 53 percent.  The newspaper (which doesn't have a website) offers no details about the survey's margin for error, and I can't confirm that it's even a scientific poll.  Nonetheless, it certainly comes as a shot in the arm for a candidate who has been working the district hard for more than a year and deserves to win.

"It would be nice to have confirmation of these results from a more reputable source, but we're absolutely encouraged by [the poll]," Hayes tells me.  "Our hard work is paying off and we're making an impact."

Hayes points out that Jackson's standing in the 2nd District has been diminished by the bombshell revelation that he had direct knowledge of a $1 million offer to essentially purchase Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat from disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich--an allegation he initially denied.  Jackson is also rumored to be weighing a Mayoral run, which could also give constituents a compelling reason to turn the page in the midterm election.  "Another major factor is that people in our district can't name a single thing he's done in 16 years, " Hayes said.

Today RNC Chairman Michael Steele kicks off a 117-city "Fire Pelosi" bus tour, which will make a stop in Hayes' district to highlight the race.  Hayes believes the national attention means "we are on the radar and waging a competitive campaign."