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Political Analyst: Jackson Likely to Win Election by 'Wide Margin'

Despite U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s recent two-month medical leave and eventual bipolar disorder diagnosis, Dick Simpson says the congressman will probably still keep his seat.

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will win the November election with well over 50 percent of the vote regardless of a and, said a leading Chicago-area political analyst.

The 2nd District congressman has been far from the campaign trail for the past two months, spending a good amount of time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, but that won't stop him from keeping his seat, according Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Assuming that he does come back in September and make a few appearances, which it appears he will, he’ll win the election in November," Simpson said in a phone interview.

Last week, Jackson's Chief of Staff Rick Bryant told the Associated Press the congressman could return in a matter of weeks, putting him back in action come early September.

Simpson attributed his prediction partly to Jackson having weak opposition, such as Republican candidate Brian Woodworth. He cited Jackson's as proof of the congressman's continuing political strength.

"He won the primary by 75 percent against a former congresswoman with a strong base," Simpson said. "If he can defeat a major candidate, he will defeat the minor candidates he is facing in the general election."

Big Obstacles

Simpson said Jackson still may not be out of the woods. The results of the congressional ethics investigation and the bribery trial of Raghuveer Nayak, Jackson's former fundraiser, could have a major effect on Jackson's political career, according to Simpson.

A lot will also hinge on how Jackson handles the bipolar disorder diagnosis, according to the elections expert.

"If he took up a reasonable role in Congress, he ought to be likely to continue," Simpson said. "His own choices, his health and the ethics committee investigation could affect him."

Voter Opinions

Some voters have said Jackson's medical leave and poor communication regarding it will lose him votes. 

"He should have come forward from the get-go," said Ramie Formentini-Zara on a Patch Facebook page. "I don't trust him anymore. He will not get my vote."

Faith Nichols also took to Facebook to criticize Jackson's handling of the situation. "He just disappeared without a word or without putting someone in his place to represent his district," she said.

 

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Marcus Lewis September 12, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Office of Congressional Ethics... Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr, 244 Pages], Jesse Jackson Jr. Response... and More A. Email to the FBI Dated Aug. 1, 2012 Concerning the ILCD 2nd District Election Joe Lake, Chicago Sept. 1, 2012 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILCD2ndDistrict/message/4 B. Rep. Jesse Jackson [Jr.] Disappears After Meeting With Speaker John Boehner, Source Says, The Illinois Observer, July 9, 2012 http://www.illinoisobserver.net/2012/07/09/rep-jesse-jackson-disappears-after-meeting-with-speaker-john-boehner-source-says C. Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee of Ethics Regarding Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee of Ethics, December 2, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/20111202%20Jackson%20PR.pdf D. "Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s response to the report and findings of the Office of Ethics ("OEC") Dated Aug. 9, 2009." Steptoe & Johnson LLC, Attorneys At Law, Nov. 15, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jesse%20Jackson%2C%20Jr.%20Response%20to%20OCE%20report.pdf E. Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr., 244 pages], Aug. 6, 2009 http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jes
Chicagoheightsmike September 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
James, yes after this election we will sit down and chat. Mr. Lewis has become a true stalker of Congressman Jackson. I would not be surprised if he has a cut out picture of the Congressman in his house and having a debate. This guy is really scary, I actually find him very unstable. If he comes knocking on my door, I would not open it up for fear he will get upset when I tell him he gets no votes out of my home.
Marcus Lewis September 12, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Office of Congressional Ethics... Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr, 244 Pages], Jesse Jackson Jr. Response... and More A. Email to the FBI Dated Aug. 1, 2012 Concerning the ILCD 2nd District Election Joe Lake, Chicago Sept. 1, 2012 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILCD2ndDistrict/message/4 B. Rep. Jesse Jackson [Jr.] Disappears After Meeting With Speaker John Boehner, Source Says, The Illinois Observer, July 9, 2012 http://www.illinoisobserver.net/2012/07/09/rep-jesse-jackson-disappears-after-meeting-with-speaker-john-boehner-source-says C. Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee of Ethics Regarding Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee of Ethics, December 2, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/20111202%20Jackson%20PR.pdf D. "Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s response to the report and findings of the Office of Ethics ("OEC") Dated Aug. 9, 2009." Steptoe & Johnson LLC, Attorneys At Law, Nov. 15, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jesse%20Jackson%2C%20Jr.%20Response%20to%20OCE%20report.pdf E. Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr., 244 pages], Aug. 6, 2009 http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jes
Marcus Lewis September 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Jesse Jackson Jr. Won't be on the ballot Nov. 6th, 2012. His wife Sandi Jackson will take his place.
Marcus Lewis September 14, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Office of Congressional Ethics... Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr, 244 Pages], Jesse Jackson Jr. Response... and More A. Email to the FBI Dated Aug. 1, 2012 Concerning the ILCD 2nd District Election Joe Lake, Chicago Sept. 1, 2012 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILCD2ndDistrict/message/4 B. Rep. Jesse Jackson [Jr.] Disappears After Meeting With Speaker John Boehner, Source Says, The Illinois Observer, July 9, 2012 http://www.illinoisobserver.net/2012/07/09/rep-jesse-jackson-disappears-after-meeting-with-speaker-john-boehner-source-says C. Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee of Ethics Regarding Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee of Ethics, December 2, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/20111202%20Jackson%20PR.pdf D. "Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s response to the report and findings of the Office of Ethics ("OEC") Dated Aug. 9, 2009." Steptoe & Johnson LLC, Attorneys At Law, Nov. 15, 2011. http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jesse%20Jackson%2C%20Jr.%20Response%20to%20OCE%20report.pdf E. Office of Congressional Ethics, United States House of Representatives, Report and Findings [Jesse Jackson Jr., 244 pages], Aug. 6, 2009 http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Rep.%20Jes

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