The Washington Times - October 22, 2012, 01:13PM

Reclusive Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., an Illinois Democrat battling medical and legal problems, has a whopping 31-percentage point advantage over his nearest rival in his re-election bid, a new poll shows.

(Corrected paragraph): Mr. Jackson has the support of 58 percent of prospective voters, compared with 27 percent who support Republican Brian Woodworth and 15 percent who back independent Marcus Lewis, according to the results of a We Ask America poll released Monday. The survey didn’t allow respondents to choose “undecided,” forcing them to pick a candidate.


The poll showed that 55 percent of respondents said they were happy with the candidates on the ballot and didn’t want someone else running instead, while 45 percent disagreed.

The automated telephone survey of 819 likely voters was taken Sunday and has an error margin of 3.5 percent.

Mr. Jackson, who is running for a 10th term for a district that includes Chicago’s South Side and suburbs, is being treated for bipolar disorder and will return to the Mayo Clinic this week for a re-evaluation by his doctors, his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said on Sunday. The candidate, who has been absent from Congress — and the campaign trail — for months, spent several weeks at the Minnesota medical facility earlier this year.

Adding to the younger Mr. Jackson’s troubles is a House Ethics Committee investigation over a purported bribe offered by a supporter in 2008 to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, who now is in jail.