08/17/2012 07:57 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2012

Joe Walsh Congress Battle With Tammy Duckworth Is Democratic Litmus Test

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Democrat Tammy Duckworth are battling it out for Illinois' 8th District in the Chicago suburbs. Walsh's heated language has led to many Republican facepalms and has kept Democratic trackers glued to their computer screens.

In a recent outburst, Walsh said "there is a radical strain of Islam in this country," and it "is much more at home now than it was after 9/11."

On Thursday, Walsh agreed that he should balance "straight talk" with "responsible talk". According the Chicago Tribune, Walsh conceded he had gotten "a little ahead of myself with my language" during his notorious town hall meetings.

There is little polling so far in the congressional campaign, but Walsh's district remains a must-win for Democrats if they hope to regain control of the House. Walsh, a freshman Tea Party adherent, trails Duckworth by 9 percentage points, according a poll released by the anti-Tea Party super PAC CREDO, from a survey done by Public Policy Polling.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) Faces Tough Challenge This Fall [The San Francisco Chronicle]

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) To Speak At Republican Convention [Tampa Bay Times]

Being Poor And Underemployed Could Prove Beneficial For A Long-Shot Candidate For Bronx Assembly [Politicker]

Fmr. State Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp Trails Rick Berg (R-N.D.) By 5 Points [U.S. News]

Connecticut Races Take A Page Out Of Presidential Playbook When It Comes To Issues [Norwalk Citizen]

Indiana Gubernatorial Race Heats Up Between Rep. Pence (R-Ind.) And State House Speaker John Gregg (D-Dist. 45) [The Indy Star]

Recounts Have Been Ordered For 3 Florida State Legislative Races [The Palm Beach Post]

Pennsylvania Mayors And NRA Spar Over Gun Rights In The State Legislature [ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Carl Paladino Calls Out "RINOS" In New York Republican Party [WKTV]

Flurry Of Fundraising For California Lawmakers [Los Angeles Times]



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