* Press release…
In the high-profile contest for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, the new Loras College Poll finds Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth with a five-point edge over incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. The live-caller statewide survey of a random sample of 600 likely voters was conducted Sept. 13-16.
* The numbers…
Tammy Duckworth 41 percent
Mark Kirk 36 percent
Unsure 22 percent
For whatever reason, they didn’t include the Libertarian and Green Party candidates. Not wise.
The new Loras Poll of Illinois asked likely voters whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the candidates for U.S. Senate. The results below indicate the net favorability of the candidates (percentage favorable opinion minus percentage unfavorable opinion). Positive numbers indicate a net favorable view, whereas negative numbers would indicate a net unfavorable opinion.
Tammy Duckworth +12
Mark Kirk +4
In addition, 31 percent of likely voters indicated they had no opinion of Kirk, and 22 percent held no opinion of Duckworth.
“The numbers of undecided and those who have yet to form an opinion of Kirk, coupled with his net favorable rating, mean this race is not over. Add in the general volatility of this year’s campaign season, and the next several weeks could be interesting in Illinois,” Budzisz said. “That said, Duckworth holds some real advantages—including that this is a presidential election year and that tends to help Democrats in a state such as Illinois.”
How a guy can go through a high-profile Senate race and then spend almost six years in office and 31 percent still have no opinion of him is more than a bit troubling for Kirk.
* Kirk does seem to be doing better than expected in Chicago, which may be why Duckworth hit the race button yesterday…
Kirk appears to have more crossover appeal than Duckworth, as 22 percent of self-identified Democrats indicate they intend to vote for the Republican Kirk, compared to 13 percent of Republicans supporting Duckworth.
Turning to those who view themselves as political independents, Duckworth has the edge over the incumbent. Duckworth receives support from 41 percent of independents compared to Kirk’s 29 percent.
Not surprising given the partisan divide on these issues, those who approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance and/or believe the country is on the right track are more likely to support Duckworth than Kirk.
20 percent of Trump supporters are undecided when it comes to the choice between Kirk and Duckworth, compared to only 12 percent of Clinton supporters who remain undecided on the Senate race.
Turning to support within regions of the state, Duckworth has a clear advantage in the City of Chicago (54 percent to 21 percent), while Kirk leads Duckworth Downstate (41 percent to 32 percent), and in the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area the two split support nearly evenly, 41 percent Duckworth to 39 percent Kirk.
He’s been attacking Trump, so no surprise there.
* Now, check this out…
Direction of Illinois
Right Track 14 percent
Wrong Direction 75 percent
Unsure 11 percent
Not a good year to be an Illinois incumbent (although it rarely has been for quite a while).
Crosstabs are here.
*** UPDATE *** FYI, FiveThirtyEight gives Duckworth an 80.9 percent chance of winning.