2010 Illinois Senate Race – Public Policy Polling has Republican Mark Kirk Ahead of Democrat Giannoulias 37% – 33%
According to the most recent PPP, Republican Mark Kirk now leads Democrat Alexi Giannoulias 37% to 33% in the battle for the US Senator from Illinois.
The trending has been favorable in the polls toward Republican Kirk as Giannoulias has seen his poll lead sink while his unfavorables have gone up and his favorable rating has gone down with the voters. It would also appear that President Obama, the former US Senator from Illinois is acting as a detriment as well to Democrat Giannoulias. Even in the Land of Lincoln, the state where Obama held the Senate seat prior to becoming President of the United States, Obama is an anchor.
The main reason Giannoulias is behind is that he’s getting only 54% of the Democratic vote while Kirk is winning 77% of the Republican vote. It’s not that a lot of Democrats are planning to cross over and vote for Kirk, but 36% of them are undecided right now compared to just 16% of Republicans. That suggests Democratic voters don’t really know what to make of Giannoulias’ problems right now so they’re just taking a wait and see approach to the race.
It’s clear that the movement in Kirk’s direction over the last two months has nothing to do with him and everything to do with Giannoulias. A majority of voters in the state have no opinion of Kirk and his favorability spread of 24/23 is almost identical to the 27/22 he sported in late January. Giannoulias has seen his favorability drop from 31% to 21% and his unfavorability increase from 19% to 28% in that period of time.
Also not helping Giannoulias is that President Obama is not nearly as popular in the state as he once was. 50% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 42% who disapprove.
Full polling results can be read HERE.
A Rasmussen poll conducted on March 8, 2010 had Giannoulias leading Kirk 44% to 41%. It will be interesting to see if the trending has changed as well in the next Rasmussen poll as well.
It is rather incredible to think that the very Senate seat held by Obama could be up foe grabs in November. As NRO states, Giannoulias’s unpopularity, paired with Illinoisans’ increasing dissatisfaction with President Obama could provide the chance for Republicans.
The ultimate question for this race is, will the undecided Democrats will decide this race,” will they come home and support Giannoulias in the end, will they stay at home, or will they cross party lines to vote for Kirk?