Tammy Duckworth’s Early Lead Doesn’t Worry Opponent

An internal poll conducted by Tammy Duckworth, the wounded Iraq war veteran who’s waging a second bid for Congress in Illinois, shows the former Veterans Administration assistant secretary well ahead of her lone Democratic opponent, Raja Krishnamoorthi.

The poll of 400 likely Democratic primary voters in the newly-drawn 8th district, gives Duckworth — who enjoys much higher name recognition — a commanding 69 percent of the vote to Krishnamoorthi’s 8 percent.

A high-tech entrepreneur and former deputy treasurer of Illinois, the 37-year-old Krishnamoorthi isn’t too worried about Duckworth’s seemingly insurmountable lead this early in the campaign.  Last year, the little-known Krishnamoorthi — the son of Indian immigrants — literally came out of nowhere and nearly upset his party’s endorsed candidate in the Democratic primary for State Comptroller, losing to state Rep. David E. Miller by a scant 8,000 votes out of nearly 850,000 votes cast.

Krishnamoorthi, who was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times in that race, believes that lightning can strike again.

Graduating summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and later graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, Krishnamoorthi is hardly a political novice, having served stints as policy director for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 and as an advisor to his presidential campaign four years later.  The two men are close friends.

Krishnamoorthi, who has already built a sizeable war chest for his congressional campaign, said that he has no intention of stepping aside for the better-known Duckworth.

“We are not surprised that a poll released by the Duckworth campaign shows a favorable position for Tammy, but the reality is that any poll conducted eight months before an election is based solely upon name recognition,” said Krishnamoorthi campaign spokesman Mike Murray in an e-mail to Battleground Blog.

“In the State Comptroller race, Raja started with just 6% support and came within an eyelash of winning the Democratic statewide primary against a party-backed, well-funded state legislator with a great ballot name,” continued Murray.  “Today, even with modest name recognition, Raja has quickly raised over $400,000 in 5 and a half weeks, and he has assembled a formidable base of political and grassroots support.  The fundamental issue in this election is who has the private sector experience and ideas to help revive the economy and protect the middle class.  On that issue, Raja will fare very well.”

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