Alexi Giannoulias holds a double digit lead in the Illinois Democratic Senate primary but there is a small ray of hope for his top competitors, particularly David Hoffman.
Giannoulias is at 32% to 20% for Hoffman and 18% for Cheryle Jackson. Giannoulias, although still not overwhelmingly well known, has a big name recognition advantage over his opponents. 58% have an opinion about him one way or the other compared to 42% for Jackson and 37% for Hoffman.
Whether that gap can be made up in the final week of the campaign or not remains to be seen but Hoffman actually leads Giannoulias 47-29 among that 37% of primary voters who do know who he is. That won't count for much if he can't make his way into the consciousness of the electorate over the final week but it at least suggests the potential for tightening.
Giannoulias is the only candidate polling in double digits with both white voters and black voters. With whites he's up 34-24 on Hoffman with Jackson pulling only 9% and with blacks he's trailing Jackson 48-30 with Hoffman getting just 5%. He has to be seen as an overwhelming favorite at this point but with 27% of voters still undecided his victory is not completely inevitable.
It's a different story on the Republican side where Mark Kirk has a 42-9 lead over Patrick Hughes. Hughes has tried to make himself the candidate of the right wing of the party and while he is more competitive with conservatives than he is with moderates, he's still at a 38-10 deficit with them. Not much to see on this one.
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