A new poll out by Public Policy Polling (PPP) has Congressman Mark Kirk up over State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, by 46% to 42%. This trend has been consistent among pretty much every poll that's been taken over the past two weeks. The detail on the poll shows that PPP surveyed 814 likely Illinois voters on October 30th and 31st. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.4%. That suggests that the Barackstar's third visit to Illinois on behalf of Alexi just hasn't been enough to stem the GOP tide against the Dem nominee, even in Obama's adopted hometown.
The pollster points out that:
The presence of the third party candidates in the race seems to really be hurting Giannoulias. In a straight head to head between him and Kirk he trails by only a 46-45 margin. But a fair number of progressive voters who don't like Giannoulias but can't bring themselves to vote for Kirk are supporting the minor candidates in the contest.
That means that third-party candidate LeAlan Jones is hurting Giannoulias more than Libertarian Mike Labno is hurting Kirk. Likely, the voters are seeing through the attempts of the Dems to push Labno as a "conservative" alternative to Kirk, which isn't too hard to do, since the three recent mail pieces promoting Labno were all sent by the Lake County Democratic Party (Terry Link claims no knowledge of this mailing, but that's a post for another day).
The word I'm looking for to describe Alexi's campaign is... desperate. So, perhaps former President Bill Clinton will be returning to Illinois to try to encourage LeAlan Jones to drop out, just like Clinton tried to do to Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate for Senate down in Florida, who is losing to both Republican Marco Rubio and now-Independent Charlie Crist. Of course, I'm only joking about that idea, since it ain't gonna help the day before the election. No, if the Obamastar's final last-ditch act of gracing Chicago with his presence to the people in a (finally) free forum wasn't enough to seal the deal for Alexi, he's pretty much toast.
From Fox News:
Obama’s Senate Seat Leaning GOP
Republican chances to capture the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama are improving markedly in final days of the election.
Rep. Mark Kirk doubled his 2-point lead in last week’s Fox News battleground state poll of likely voters, and now leads Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias 46 percent to 42 percent.
Giannoulias continues to suffer from Democratic defections to Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, who drew 6 percent support, including 8 percent of Democrats. [snip]
Kirk’s improving performance in the Senate race may spring from greater voter confidence in his character. Kirk, who was found to have embellished the list of military citations he received, was seen as honest and trustworthy by only 18 percent a month ago. That number has nearly doubled and is now at 34 percent, even with the percent who don’t trust him.
Giannoulias, meanwhile, has gone the other direction. Amid persistent questions about his family’s failed bank and its connections to organized crime, the percentage of voters who distrust Giannoulias raised 11 points in a month to 45 percent.
Reliably liberal NPR covers the Scott Brown event over the weekend for Kirk and Brady. Listen here.
In other polling: We all know now that Mike Madigan is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to hold onto his Illinois House majority and his position as speaker. Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollar he's poured in to the Sugrue-Sente matchup in IL-59, the IMA has Republican contender Dan Sugrue up by almost two points over Democratic Appointee Carol Sente, and Hamilton Chang is closing fast on Dem. Daniel Biss in the race to succeed State Rep. Beth Coulson. Lauren Turelli may be catching up on legislative fossil Karen May, too. State Senate candidate and Lake County Board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt is crushing freshman State Senator Michael Bond by more than 10 points. Wow.