Schakowsky wins easily in Ill. in J Street-shadowed contest

In a congressional race that took on J Street overtones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, easily turned back a challenge by political newcomer Joel Pollack, a Republican who made criticism of the incumbent’s positions on Israel the centerpiece of his campaign.

Pollack also had vocal support from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Schakowsky was supported by the J Street PAC, so the race will be one in a series that will be interpreted as a referendum on the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.

A J Street-commissioned poll last month showed Schakowsky running about the same with Jewish voters as she did in 2008, despite Pollack’s Israel and J Street-related attacks and concluded that “Pollak’s Israel-related attacks made the 35 percent of Jews who heard the criticism more likely to vote for Schakowsky than Pollak.”

I didn’t write about the poll at the time because I’m always dubious of surveys commissioned by interest groups unless I can compare them to other data, but tonight’s results may back the numbers up.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.