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Rasmussen has Kirk now leading 46-40 in US Senate race - And a new DSCC video

Thursday, Feb 4, 2010

* Rasmussen has a new poll in the US Senate race. From the toplines (with Mark Kirk’s poll numbers from yesterday followed by Rasmussen’s December numbers in parentheses)…

Kirk 46 (47, 39)
Giannoulias 40 (35, 42)
Some Other Candidate 4
Not sure 10%

From the Rasmussen narrative

In December, Giannoulias was up by three points over Kirk. In October, the two men were tied at 41% each. In mid-August, Kirk held a modest 41% to 38% lead over Giannoulias.

More toplines

* How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as President… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?

33% Strongly approve
21% Somewhat approve
10% Somewhat disapprove
35% Strongly disapprove
0% Not sure

* How would you rate the job Pat Quinn has been doing as Governor… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?

8% Strongly approve
37% Somewhat approve
31% Somewhat disapprove
22% Strongly disapprove
2% Not sure

Back to the narrative

In Illinois, 45% rate their personal finances as good or excellent, while just 13% say they are poor. But only 20% think their finances are improving, while 42% say they are getting worse.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Illinois voters believe it is possible to balance the federal budget without raising taxes, but 34% disagree. Forty-four percent (44%) favor an across-the-bard tax cut for all Americans, but 38% oppose such a tax cut.

Still, the majority (53%) of voters in Illinois believe cutting taxes is a better way to create jobs than increased government spending. Twenty percent (20%) believe increased spending is the way to go.

Back to the toplines for the populist stuff…

* Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. What do you think? Has the federal government become a special interest group?
71% Yes
17% No
12% Not sure

* Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?
67% Yes
14% No
19% Not sure


Illinois Survey of 500 Likely Voters Conducted February 3, 2010. Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 4.5 percentage points

* Meanwhile, Public Policy Polling takes a look at yesterday’s poll results from Mark Kirk, who claimed he led Giannoulias 47-35…

Mark Kirk’s campaign put out a poll yesterday claiming to start the general election with a 12 point lead over Alexi Giannoulias, which was a little surprising to me since we found Alexi up by eight points just two weeks ago. I’ll give Kirk points for transparency though- he put the full results from the poll online.

Of course doing so makes it clear how the big lead in the poll was possible. Just 49% of those surveyed report voting for Barack Obama in 2008 to 42% who say they voted for John McCain. Obama won the state 62-37.

It is more than likely that the folks who turn out this fall will be less Obama friendly than the folks who turned out in 2008, but not to that extent. Our final Massachusetts Senate poll found the electorate there had supported Obama by a 56-37 margin, just a 7 point drop on the margin from his 62-36 victory there. Use a 59-41 Obama split on the Kirk poll and you get a 44-39 lead for Kirk, relatively similar to this morning’s Rasmussen poll.

Beyond that it’s important to note that more than 2/3rds of the undecideds in the Kirk poll were Obama voters- distribute those proportionally and you have a 50/50 race, which feels about right at this point. The last couple of weeks of the primary were a lot harder on Giannoulias than they were on Kirk, and his fate may be determined by the extent to which he is able to unify Democratic voters around him now that he’s the guy.

Some questions from Kirk’s poll

* Thinking now about the economy…Do you think that the 780 billion dollar economic stimulus legislation passed by Congress last year was a good idea, a bad idea or do you not have an opinion either way?

Good Idea 38.3
Bad Idea 46.0
No Opinion 15.7

* Thinking about the way the federal government has responded to the financial crisis in recent months, generally speaking, do you approve or disapprove of the expansion of the government’s role in the economy?

Approve 38.2
Disapprove 49.6
No Opinion 12.2

* Thinking now about health care…From what you have heard about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid’s health care plans, do you think their plans are a good idea or a bad idea?

Good Idea 30.6
Bad Idea 52.1
No Opinion 17.4

…Adding… The DSCC just posted a new YouTube video attacking Mark Kirk. Rate it

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:18 pm:

    Ehh… Sorry Haley Barber is too inside baseball for most people…

    Also a piece of advice for Alexi, if you are going to push the ‘Washington Insider his entire adult life thing’ prepare for some blowback from vets.

  2. - Served - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:20 pm:

    “Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. What do you think? Has the federal government become a special interest group?”

    I have no idea what this even means. Were they trying to fit the words “federal government” and “special interests” in one question as many times as possible?

  3. - shore - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    It’s pretty much the ad we’ll hear for the next 9 months. I do not think this is that ugly or tough. Took contributions from oil companies and made loans to mobsters, I think when it gets personal-the gay bashing, the blair hull, that’s ugly.

    we’ll see.

  4. - Joe McCarthy and the Red Scarecrows - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    Yeah - I don’t see this angle catching fire. Pretty weak from a committee that knows it is in trouble.

    I wonder how Alexi feels about being on the ticket with Cohen?

  5. - JonShibleyFan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:24 pm:

    you’re probably right. but this tit-for-tat internet ad thing is way too early to influence one vote, don’t you think?

    Also, if Rasmussen has Kirk ahead, Giannoulias must be in a slender lead in reality.

  6. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:34 pm:

    The polls sounds about right. With Cohen on the ticket, it will be even more challenging for the Democrats to appear clean.

    Half the Democratic Primary voters saw the train headed towards the Party this week. The races ended up being tied. Unfortunately, Giannoulais and Quinn, (and Cohen), edged out the better candidates for the General, in my, and a number of other political observers, opinion.

    If Hoffman was nominated, today’s polls may show a similar result for Kirk. However, Hoffman was on the rise, while Giannoulias is on the wane. Voters hadn’t gotten a good look at Hoffman, so his growth would have continued.

    Woulda, shoulda, coulda - whatever.

    What we’ve got now is three nominated candidates that will easily be painted as members of the established cabal in Illinois that is responsible for the state’s finances, corruption and general malaise. They are known after years in office. Their stories are known. They will not be listened to, because voters already seem to know them. Voters don’t know Cohen though, and that isn’t a good thing. They are not going to like him, especially those who believe that ladies are to be treated as ladies at all times, or those who believe that politicians a heartbeat away from the governor’s office shouldn’t be arrested, at least, before they become a Democratic governor.

    The Blagojevich Circus is only going to highlight the newly nominated governor and US Senate candidates - not in a good way.

    If only.

    The Party needed to purge all it’s incumbants. A clean sweep from the news that is on the Front Page and will appear on the Front Page throughout the campaign.

    All is not lost however. The GOP is on the verge of nominating a guy with all the appeal of a country line dancer at an Al Green concert.

  7. - crazy - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    “Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. What do you think?”


  8. - Adam Smith - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 2:56 pm:

    Alexi is already listening to completely arrogant and ignorant DC hacks who are telling him to call Kirk a Washinigton insider, because people are mad at Washington.

    While DC is certainly in disrepute, Kirk has never been seen as an insider. He’s a policy wonk. He’s never been a favorite of his party leadership (Tom DeLay hated him). And, most importantly, for the past four years he’s been in the minority, not part of the Pelosi crowd everyone is furious with. So the “DC insider” charge is weak at best.

    What Alexi’s brain trust is really missing is that in Illinois we may not trust DC, but we HATE the collection of hacks, cronies, incompetents, crooks, buffoons and morons who have run the state into the ground.

    Alexi seems to be saying, “let me do for the nation what we’ve done for Illinois.”

    Agreed that this back and forth for the next nine months will be tiresome, but Alexi is going to have to come up with something better than the spent “policies of Bush,” “took money from banks and oil companies,” crap if he thinks he’s going to make anyone believe that Kirk is anywhere near as sleazy as he is.

  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    It’s a long way to November, but Kirk is in excellent shape.

    His biggest fear, the Tea Partiers, proved to be all talk in his primary. He has a lot of wiggle room now, which he likes.

    Alexi can’t rest. He has to address the negative stuff now, or it will get drilled in through repitition.

  10. - Harry - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 3:06 pm:

    Alexi remains silent on Scott Lee Cohen.

  11. - Deep South - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    Only a fool would try to predict November results in February.

  12. - Adam Smith - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 4:03 pm:

    Only a bigger fool would think that the Broadway Bank fiasco, the Bright Start disaster, the Blago saga, and now, SLC train wreck won’t hang like an anvil around Alexi’s neck.

  13. - jaded voter - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 4:31 pm:

    Who in God’s name thought electing Alexi was a good idea? The man is a liteweight. The Senate is a serious office. What has Alexi ever said or done to deserve a Senate seat? Mouthing platitudes and wearing a well cut suit are NOT qualifications.

    Kirk will beat him soundly. Alexi’s scandals will only make it easier.

    Hoffman could have beat Kirk. Hoff was a sound candidate. Dems blew it.

  14. - JonShibleyFan - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 4:35 pm:

    Wait…how the heck is Alexi now responsible for Scott Lee Cohen?

  15. - Hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    VERY weak ad.

    What exactly is tying Mark Kirk to Haley Barbour supposed to accomplish?

    If you want to scare Illinois voters about Mark Kirk tie him to Sarah Palin. Tie him to Rush Limbaugh. Tie him to Sean Hannity. Tie him to Mitch McConnell.

    Hell, here’s a crazy concept. Why not try to pin Mark Kirk down ON THE ISSUES where he is out of the Illinois voter center-left mainstream?

    I think Alexi’s best shot is to put all his eggs in the Obama pal basket and urge people to keep the Illinois seat in Dem hands to help Obama get his agenda through. That’s the only reason he won the treasurer’s office in the first place and that’s the only way he can win the Senate office most likely.

    Of course, I’m sure Obama’s people don’t want to touch Alexi with a ten foot pole which kind of ties the DSCC’s hands.


  16. - jaded voter - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 5:03 pm:

    Someone please tell me. What merits does Alexi bring to the table? What qualifies him for Senate? Until we stop electing insider hacks and outsider hacks with money we will never improve the functioning of gov’t.

  17. - DM - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 5:06 pm:

    Hoffman was a loser, trying to buy an election.

    He and the media have learned the lesson that:
    - you cannot buy an election (He spent $500,000 of his daddy’s money to run)

    - Corruption isn’t the #1 issue on voters’ minds, jobs are, and David Hoffman has never worked a day of his life in the private sector, nor can he name one instance where he created or saved an American job

    - David Hoffman thinks the most important issue in this election is his resume. Winning campaigns think the voters are the most important issue.

    - David Hoffman, and the various editorial boards, and many others keep reminding us that David Hoffman is smarter than the rest of us, and frankly, voters are not only sick of it, but it ain’t helping. A whole lot of very smart people got us into the trouble we’re in.

    - Hoffman, as Chicago’s inspector general from 2003 to 2008, was a glorified gadfly, fighting city corruption by issuing press releases and holding press conferences. He issued his “report” on the parking meter lease 2 months after the City Council approved it. Hoffman’s impact on Chicago’s “culture of corruption” ranks between minimal and negligible.

  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 5:06 pm:

    jv, enough with the bumper sticker slogans.

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 5:06 pm:

    Same goes for you, DM

  20. - jaded voter - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 5:23 pm:

    You don’t like Hoffman, fine. What has Alexi done or what qualifications does he possess to deserve being a US senator?

    And I mean besides having the money to run. Scott Lee Cohen had the money too.

  21. - Anon1 - Thursday, Feb 4, 10 @ 7:15 pm:

    DM (lawyer) has been bashing Hoffman at various internet sites. In all likelihood, it’s Jacob Mesiter.

    Look, there are good Dems and there are bad Dems. Hynes isn’t/wasn’t perfect and comes from a corrupt background but at least he is competent and fairly smart. He’ll bore you to death with his speeches but at least he knows what he’s doing. Quinn is a like a fart in the wind, changing directions like that. I think he’d get lost in a phonebook.

    Does anybody really pay attention to LTGov. — even after the Blago to Quinn dance? I think there was over 100,000 less votes cast for LTGov than Gov — about 10 percent. Unfortunately, just like Quinn, Cohen won.

    LAstly, if the primary was at the end of Feb. rather than last Tuesday, it would be Mr. Hoffman representing the Democrats and Obama would be doing cartwheels. He came close but Marshall got 5 percent (conservative voters) downstate and Jackson had her base. We Democrats screwed up once again.

    DM, enough on giannoulias. Corrupt and incompetent is no way to life your life son.

  22. - DM - Friday, Feb 5, 10 @ 6:02 am:

    Oh, I thought this was an opinion site, not a lockstep site. My bad.

    If you are going to steal a quote from a movie (without proper attribution), at least learn to spell it correctly.
    “Corrupt and incompetent is no way to life your life son.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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