Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Illinois remains close

The Illinois Senate race continues to be very close, but because Mark Kirk is doing a better job of consolidating his base than Alexi Giannoulias is he's taken a small lead after trailing by 2 points on PPP's previous two polls of the race. Kirk is ahead 40-36 with Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones at 8% and Libertarian Mike Labno geting 3%.

Our August poll found Kirk winning 74% of Republicans and Giannoulias getting 72% of Democrats. Now Kirk has expanded his support from his own party to 79% while Giannoulias' support from his has declined to 68%. Kirk is getting 9% of the Democratic vote while only 2% of Republicans are planning to vote for Giannoulias. Kirk's double digit lead with independents persists at 41-27.

This continues to be a race between two deeply unpopular candidates. Giannoulias' favorability is 33/48 and Kirk's isn't much better at 33/47. 16% of voters have a negative opinion of both candidates and Kirk leads Giannoulias 35-16 with them, accounting for most of his overall lead. For many swing voters this is going to come down to choosing who they see as the lesser of two evils and right now Kirk is winning that vote.

A big factor to watch moving forward is whether Jones, the Green Party candidate, can maintain his support in the final 5 weeks as it becomes more clear that votes for him could push this race into the Republican column. On one hand Jones' voters strongly dislike Giannoulias- 56% see him unfavorably to only 21% with a positive opinion. On the other hand they are a strongly Democratic leaning lot with 65% of them having voted for Barack Obama to only 28% who were McCain voters. If Jones fades Giannoulias will gain but if his support remains steady that's going to be a big plus for Kirk.

Another factor that could result in the race tightening further as voters more firmly make up their minds is that 46% of the undecideds are Democrats compared to 27% who are Republicans and 27% who are independents. If those folks end up 'coming home,' that will move Giannoulias even closer.

This continues to be one of the closest- and depressing- Senate races in the country. Only 39% of voters say they're excited about who they're voting for with 45% saying they wish someone else was running. This is one race where you may end up seeing an enthusiasm gap on both sides.

Full results here


Chuck T said...

I know your poll shows Obama at only 44% in IL, but I still think he could be helpful. I was at the Obama rally last night here in Madison on campus--very big turnout and excited crowd--30,000 people, lots had to be turned away. Right now all polls are likely voters and the GOP is benefitting from that. I'll bet with all reg voters the Dem is ahead. The thing the Dems need to do is drive up the number of reg voters who will vote and a big rally by Obama for the Dems in Chicago could be helpful in the end and cause some excitement.

Anonymous said...

Republicans should have run a tea party candidate here.

Establishment liberals are electoral poison.

ARealSenator said...

This has been a greatly disappointing race. Hopefully the remaining undecideds will swing Giannoulias' way and give the election to him, but who knows in this kind of election environment. The point you mentioned about the Green Party candidate allows me to point out my favorite needed policy change: alternative voting! BTW, maybe I missed it, but did you not poll any numbers on Rahm?!?!

Dustin Ingalls said...

"BTW, maybe I missed it, but did you not poll any numbers on Rahm?!?!"

Yeah, that and Blago and lots of other stuff later in the week. Governor tomorrow. We always space out what we release by subject. It wouldn't make sense to release numbers on Rahm in the contest of a Senate race he has nothing to do with.

wt said...

It would be great to have a big Obama rally in Illinois where he throws punch after punch at hippies. They need to stop whining.

The criticism of the professional left will continue until morale increases.

Ranjit said...


Please write to the DNC and ask obama to campaign in Nevada, Colorado, Delaware, Connecticut and let us see the results.

What is a big deal of a democrat getting a big crowd(although I dispute the number)in a university campus? John kerry got a bigger crowd in Madison but he won the state by a meagre 1/2 percent to 1 percent.

You have no idea about the unpopularity of the president, pelosi and Reid. Check with lot of congressional candidates. They are running away from them. Tsunmai is on the way buddy!!

Anonymous said...

The article refers to it as a depressing race. That is so true. Kirk's people have announced that they will not run a single positive ad in the entire campaign.

wt said...

Someone should compare the crosstabs between this survey and the CNN poll released today that has Giannoulias up by 1.

I trust PPP.

Anonymous said...

This was already going to be an election with low turnout and low interest on the part of Democrats. In Illinois, the presence of a severely flawed senate candidate (politically) on the ballot just makes it that much harder.

Mark Kirk is hardly a dream candidate ... but he'll bury A.G. downstate and do very well in the Chicagoland suburbs -- beginning with his own Congressional District which is politically marginal territory.

Add in the fact that A.G. hasn't been ahead of Kirk in any major poll for the past 90 days, and this one is looking less and less questionable every day.

Advantage: Kirk.

Anonymous said...

The pathetic caliber of candidates in Illinois - both parties - never ceases to astound me. It's just a shame that one of these two fools is going to win.

Dustin Ingalls said...

There's a difference between Obama endorsing or campaigning FOR a candidate and simply holding a rally to galvanize the base and turn out young and black voters. The latter is what his role is this election. He should stay away from candidates, but he should get right in the thick of the mud in urging the base to turn out to the polls. No one will reduce the enthusiasm gap more than him. Bill Clinton and others can campaign with the candidates; Obama can get his own 2008 voters who are on the fence about voting to decide the stakes are too high to sit at home.

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