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Big drop, but not out

Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010

* Democratic US Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias has had a horrible two months in the news media. His family bank’s troubles, replete with all the attendant weirdness of Outfit juice loans and whatnot, have prompted story after story wondering whether he might be pushed out of the race.

Up until today, the Real Clear Politics polling average had Giannoulias ahead of Republican Mark Kirk 43-37. But that’ll drop as soon as RCP plugs in the new Public Policy Polling survey

Giannoulias 33
Kirk 37

TPM’s polltracker has the average now in favor of Kirk…


Notice that both candidate averages are trending downwards, but Giannoulias’ is far steeper. That’s partly a matter of how the polls were conducted. As the Hotline pointed out the other day, at least one of the earlier pollsters grossly undersampled senior citizens, which would result in giving the Democrat an edge. Kirk leads Giannoulias 39-31 among seniors in the new PPP poll.

* Even though he’s fallen quite a bit, Giannoulias is still hanging in there. And there is a way back, as PPP discusses today

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.

This is a good point

“The undecided Democrats will decide this race,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “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? We don’t know that answer yet.”

Kirk has been running TV and radio ads lately, but they haven’t done much to help him as of yet. This is all about Giannoulias right now, which is right where Kirk wants it to be. That won’t last if Giannoulias has the cash to burn in the message with those undecided Democrats and Democratic leaning independents that Kirk is just another Republican obstructionist

Giannoulias wants to make the election a referendum on Illinois’ favorite son Obama, which has a much better shot at working here than anywhere else. Kirk has tried to portray himself as a moderate, but being against Obama right down the line will make him look like a run-of-the-mill Republican obstructionist come November. Kirk walked right into the trap on health care.

* Other PPP results

Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance?
50% Approve
42% Disapprove
8% Not Sure

Do you think that Republicans should work to repeal the health care bill that was passed last week?
42% Yes
47% No
10% Not Sure

Do you support or oppose President Obama’s health care plan, or do you not have an opinion?
46% Support
43% Oppose
11% No Opinion

Those Obama numbers are the lowest I’ve seen so far in Illinois. We’ll have to wait and see what other polls show before making a judgment there.

Methodology of the automated poll…

PPP surveyed 591 Illinois voters from April 1st to 5th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.0%.

…Adding… Pollsters really need to start plugging in the Green Party candidate. In a year like this, the Green might do well.

* Related…

* Alexi’s good deal

* Bank woes hurting Democrat vying for Senate seat in Illinois

* Democrats stand by Illinois US Senate candidate as race for Obama’s old seat turns stormy

* Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in danger of turning Republican

* What To Do If You’re Tea Party And It’s The Illinois Senate Race

- Posted by Rich Miller        


28 Comments
  1. - Samwise - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:27 pm:

    Not to mention this story…

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/2140346,CST-NWS-hotel05.article

    Oh, Alexi


  2. - Ghost - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    I wonder what happens to the GOP party line of the sky is falling, if we get a few months donw the road and the sky is still in place and things continue to get better….


  3. - Captain Flume - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:46 pm:

    But an appraisal is not market value. An open auction is the truer test of the what price the market is actually willing to pay.


  4. - Responsa - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    A number of Dem commenters on the earlier Blago thread admit to having had the squeams about RRB, (especially the second time around) but voted for him anyway and now regret it. Was any lesson learned from that? What will Dems who have the squeams about Alexi do in November?


  5. - Oskee43 - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    “But an appraisal is not market value. An open auction is the truer test of the what price the market is actually willing to pay.”
    ————————————
    That may be true if you’re selling grandma’s collectibles, but no serious hotel buyer would attend an auction to buy a hotel. That would be like selling a restaurant at auction or United Airlines. It’s a business as much as a property. And anyone in the hotel industry will tell you that few people would be willing to buy a hotel at auction because there is not enough information available to make an educated purchase.

    Also, unless I’m mistaken, Giannoulias had the option to take the hotel off the market if the auction bids weren’t high enough.


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===an appraisal is not market value===

    Exactly. Especially so in this market.


  7. - phocion - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    This is race will go down to the wire. Too little interest now to make any judgments about who’s up/who’s down. But, it does appear that the papers are all lining up against Alexi. That will be a tough burden to bear to November.


  8. - dave - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 1:59 pm:

    **And anyone in the hotel industry will tell you that few people would be willing to buy a hotel at auction because there is not enough information available to make an educated purchase.**

    Huh? You can do research on a property, or business, before the auction.

    You don’t just show up to an auction blind and bid on a multi-million dollar anything.


  9. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:03 pm:

    good point Responsa…I did not vote for Alexi in the primary for this reason…heed your intuition folks…


  10. - shore - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:04 pm:

    Kirk is controlling the narrative about the campaign and the best is still yet to come in the form of alexi’s bank failing and the blago trial which will make corruption THE issue in the state for the rest of the year.

    Alexi keeps trying very hard to change the subject, but you can feel the political ground shifting towards accountability of democrats in office rather than a referendum on the republicans who have zero power in d.c.


  11. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:12 pm:

    The poll only had three candidate choices, Kirk, Giannoulias, and undecided. We can’t know that 30% are undecided. Some of them might support the Libertarian, Green, or Constitution Party candidate. If Eric Wallace runs, as an independent, I might vote for him.


  12. - vole - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:14 pm:

    The dems will line up on ideology by election time and vote against Kirk. Not so much for Alexi, but against Kirk. Alexi will win by default.


  13. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:18 pm:

    As I have pointed out here repeatedly on these Alexi stories, they say nothing about Kirk. They are entirely about the public impression of Alexi. And for the last month, that view of him has been sinking pretty fast.

    It is true that Kirk needs to get his message out there and improve his own ID and favorables, which he can given his solid (not perfect) resume and record and his money. He (or his allies) can also help spread the word about Alexi downstate where the media has not given much coverage to these stories compared to Chicago media.

    It will be most interesting to see how this very negative run of coverage impacted Alexi’s Q1 fundraising. Kirk’s a fundraising machine, and we all know now that Alexi has no way of self-funding. I bet a lot of Dem money is also taking a wait-and-see approach to Alexi.


  14. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’m voting for Alexi because I can’t stand Mark Kirk. I doubt I’ll change my mind about that by November.


  15. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    Kirk is controlling the narrative?

    The Trib and Sun-Times are controlling the narrative.

    Alexi needs to figure how to campaign in an environment where the Trib and Sun-Times are shilling for Kirk.

    One theory is that Giannoulias’ campaign is letting the negative stuff come out now in the expectation it will be a dead story later in the election cycle.

    Friday’s front page story showed the Trib will be shameless in hyping these stories about Broadway Bank. They will repeat the same stuff over-and-over and insert language that makes it sound like there’s some new damning detail.


  16. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:39 pm:

    Kirk’s problem is that a bunch of people across the ideological spectrum dislike him on a personal level. People who dislike Kirk have a particularly intense distaste for the guy.


  17. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    I normally would say that a candidate - in this case Kirk - needs to be more open to the press and have more events open to the press. However, in what could easily be the most expensive race of the 2010 national landscape, it will all come down to TV, TV and TV. Kirk and the NRSC will let their ad budgets do all the talking and accusing.


  18. - Captain Flume - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    Mr. Giannoulias reminds me of the Mr. Opportunity cartoon spokesman that Honda employed a few years ago. And I think Giannoulias’s opportunity should be taken from the campaign playbook that calls for running ads just repeating the correct pronunciation of the candidate’s name, maybe using the same cartoon character holding phonics flashcards. He sure seems to need sumthin’.


  19. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    Alexi’s problem is that a bunch of people across the ideological spectrum don’t trust him on any level. With the bank, bright start and blago expect that distrust to blossom.


  20. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    The polls do not surprise me.

    Anyone watching and reading correctly the pulse of voters regarding the past two years, shouldn’t be surprised either.

    I highly doubt that either Mr. Kirk or Mr. Giannoulais is surprised. I doubt that either of them expected their campaigns to be easy. Mr. Kirk recognized Illinois’ political culture so well, he waffled and waffled over what political race he was going to enter, driving everyone batty. Congressman Kirk wouldn’t be a congressman if he thought his constituents were GOP lemmings.

    By the same token, Mr. Giannoulais had to have known that his family bank was going down the toilet. He is aware that we have to pay for his family bank’s misadventures while he and his family rake in millions of dollars, and how that would appear. Mr. Giannoulais is aware that other political veterans in Washington DC didn’t believe he could win election in this highly Democratic state, and that he was not their preferred candidate.

    So, these polls are not surprising.


  21. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 3:57 pm:

    Rich, old AA is here with one nasty migraine, so I truly “feel your pain.” Hope you and the family are back in the saddle soon.
    Iirc, someone calling himself Rod Blagojevich posted a brief sincere note to one of the threads during Carlos’ serious illness. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that as a joke, and the time frame precluded (or should have) any state worker from posting it.
    Unless he got Patti or Amy to do it for him, he may have been hiding some tech skills, for whatever reason.
    Another strange episode in Illinois’ strange political history.


  22. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    Rich, why not call out your pall Carl for b.s?

    “A bunch of people across the ideological spectrum dislike him (Kirk)on a personal level.” ?????

    Where do you get that? Polling data? None I’ve seen. Lot’s of people don’t know Kirk, but his negatives hardly indicate widespread animus. Rich would normally demand some proof of such a claim.

    Maybe everyone you know has some dislike of Kirk but you don’t get to make inane statements like that and pass them off as fact.

    And furthermore, a lot of people railed on the media for not lifitng a finger to report on Scott Lee Cohen’s shady past. Now that they are giving full coverage of Alexi’s highly dubious past (that four years ago he claimed were his qualifications!) the media are “shilling for Kirk?”

    Hate Kirk all you want but it isn’t going to help Alexi’s sinking reputation.


  23. - next! - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    Independents will decide the outcome in November. Alexi is so tainted by his past or just incompetent that independents looking for good clean competent government will not vote for him. When the family bank bites the dust I hope the Democrats replace him on the ballot with Hoffman who would give Kirk a real run for the office.


  24. - cassandra - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 4:59 pm:

    What this says to me is that Kirk should be doing a whole lot better, if you take into account the Alexi troubles combined with Obama’s poll numbers (one of Alexi’s strong points is his supposed closeties to Obama) you have to wonder why Kirk has gained such a small advantage.

    Kirk’s problem seems to be, well, blah. He’s just not an exciting candidate. And we Illinois voters have become political excitement junkies. For all his problems, Alexi has the excitement edge.


  25. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 9:41 pm:

    Hmmm.Wrong thread.
    My apologies.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 10:14 pm:

    AS, where did you get the idea that Carl and I are pals? I think we’ve met once.


  27. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 6, 10 @ 10:48 pm:

    Alexi lives under a dark cloud if he wears the jacket for this white elephant. If I recall correctly, it was a result of the hard-nosed negotiating skills and good-government policies of Big Jim and Jerry Cosentino on behalf of noted Sangamo Club poohbah Bill Cellini. There was another one done in the Metro East for a different bigfoot, I believe.

    Real estate valuations are tricky in any market. It was sold at auction. Who’s to say you could get a better deal in a couple of years?

    Alexi’s got enough real big troubles with Bright Start and the bank. And when the bank finally goes down, the stories will go round and around again.


  28. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Apr 7, 10 @ 9:05 am:

    Sorry Rich, just that he’s a regular. I thought all regular posters were your pals.


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