It looks like the will he or won't he wheel of Mark Kirk's political fortune has landed on a Senate bid- for today anyway.
When we polled Kirk against Alexi Giannoulias in April they were knotted up at 35, but most of the numbers within the survey boded well for the Democrat:
-Giannoulias was winning over a slightly higher percentage of moderate Republicans (11%) than Kirk was of moderate Democrats (7%). When you have a state with a significant Democratic lean to begin with that's not a good equation for the Republican.
-While only 17% of conservative Republicans (Kirk's strongest base) were undecided, 23% of liberal Democrats and 35% of moderate Democrats (Giannoulias's strongest bases) were.
-Among moderate independents (Giannoulias leaning) 37% were undecided but among conservative independents (Kirk leaning) only 28% were.
There's no doubt Kirk is the strongest candidate Republicans could possibly have put forward for this seat. But the fact that the best he could muster in April was a tie when a significant swath of the undecideds were Democratic leaning means he's definitely starting out from behind.