Thursday, January 28, 2010

Giannoulias leads Kirk in poll

In a reminder that contested primaries can be a good thing Alexi Giannoulias has jumped out to a 42-34 lead over Mark Kirk in the race to be Illinois' next Senator. When PPP last looked at such a match up in April the two were tied at 35.

The reason for Giannoulias' ascent is that where he was winning 60% of the Democratic vote last spring he's now at 72%. As his party's voters have become more familiar with him over the course of the primary campaign his support from them has increased. Right now he leads 72-7 with Dems while Kirk is up 76-5 with Republicans. Kirk also has a 33-27 lead with independents. It's close to impossible for a GOP candidate to win statewide in Illinois without at least a double digit lead among independents and a double digit level of crossover support, and right now Kirk isn't there.

Kirk does lead the other two Democratic candidates, currently trailing Giannoulias in primary polling, by small margins. He's up 38-36 on Cheryle Jackson and 37-36 on David Hoffman.

These numbers could change a lot between now and November, as none of the candidates are particularly well known yet. Giannoulias and Kirk each have around 50% name recognition, with favorability spreads of 31/19 and 27/22 respectively. Jackson and Hoffman are each known to a third of the electorate or less with breakdowns of 16/17 and 16/11 respectively.

One key thing to look at when Republicans try to win in blue states like Illinois is how the moderates are voting. Scott Brown won their votes in Massachusetts last week, something that has become a very rare occurrence for GOP candidates in the past few election cycles. Right now Giannoulias is ahead of Kirk 45-25 with them. Kirk will have to make some significant in roads there if he's going to win this fall.

It's a long way until November, one of the quirks of the Illinois election calendar. But in a month when most of the news for Democrats has been bad this poll stands out as a rare ray of sunshine for the party's hopes in the Senate.

Full results here


Brandon K said...

Did you ask for Obama's approval in Illinois?

Anonymous said...

I reckon this poll was done before Giannoulias' banking scandal has erupted in the news.

cachobaires said...

Hey Anonymous.. Republicans have been waving the "bank issues" banner for the last 4 years. They were not relevant then, and are less relevant now that he's been working outside the bank for at least 4 years now. But since his opponents have no record, and no substantive policies to put forth to the voters, this is all they can bring to the table. Giannoulias policies and plans for the country are obviously appealing to the voters of Illinois, and these kind of coincidentally timed headlines will NOT detract from the substance of his campaign. Neither against his primary opponents nor Kirk in November. He will prevail, and it will be by a landslide.

Dan J said...

Why would anyone want to vote for a partisan in a party with major ethical issues in this state, especially with a seedy banking history and privileged upbringing? A person from a less than legal party with a checkered banking background? Ouch!

I'm gonna vote for the centrist, populist and clearly honest veteran with no controversial background.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Cacho, but Giannoulias is a mob banker with ties to Tony Rezko.

I look forward to his indictment this summer.

buy kartÄ™ r4i  said...

Giannoulias and Kirk are the front-runners in the Democratic and Republican Party primaries for Illinois's U.S. Senate seat, respectively. When PPP polled this question nine months ago, the two were in a dead heat.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, Kirk wasn't able to campaign while he was serving in Afghanistan through early Jan.

Anonymous said...

If Jimmy Hoffa (Jr) campaigns for Giannoulias, its all over. The mob connection is cemented.

Kirk wins.

Anonymous said...

Democrats would be making a mistake in nominating the inexperienced and incompetent Giannoulias. David Hoffman is a much better choice and has the endorsement of both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. Kirk will win the GOP nomination, and I'd guess he would defeat Giannoulias rather easily, despite what the polls say now. Kirk or Hoffman also would make better senators than Giannoulias. Hoffman won praise for his role as Chicago's Inspector General, and Kirk is a moderate who has been elected from a left-leaning district three times, twice over a strong opponent in Dan Seals.

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