??Northshore businessman Jim Harlan, a conservative Democratic businessman, is crowing about a recent poll that shows him narrowing the gap between him and freshman Congressman Steve Scalise, a Republican.
The poll was taken by The Kitchens Group Sept. 18-21. It shows Scalise leading, but only by 11 points down from a huge 53-point lead Scalise had in June. More important, says the Harlan campaign, Scalise now polls significantly below 50 percent. The latest poll shows Scalise leading Harlan by a margin of 42 percent to 31 percent. In June, Scalise led by a margin of 68 percent to 15 percent before Harlan began running TV ads touting his business credentials and attacking Scalise. Equally important, says Harlan spokeswoman Stephanie Stanley, Scalises favorable ratings have dropped below 50 percent. In June, the congressman was rated favorably by 61 percent of the voters surveyed, but recently that number fell to 44 percent, with 24 percent giving him unfavorable marks. Harlan faces fellow Democrat Vinny Mendoza in Saturdays Democratic primary. Scalise has no GOP opponent. He will face the Democratic nominee on Nov. 4. DuBos