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Tribune poll had campaign scrambling

Monday, Oct 4, 2010

* Last week’s Tribune poll with Pat Quinn leading Bill Brady by a point kick-started a whole lot of buzz behind the GOP curtain that the paper’s Senate poll would have Alexi Giannoulias with an even larger lead. So, Kirk did a little preemption by leaking his ad buy and his own internal poll to POLITICO, which dutifully published its story a couple of hours ahead of the Tribune poll release Friday night

Republican Mark Kirk has reserved almost $5.2 million worth of advertisements for the final weeks of the competitive Illinois Senate race, POLITICO has learned. […]

Kirk’s campaign is prepared to empty its arsenal and spend about $1 million each week in an effort to win the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama. […]

Kirk campaign’s own polling shows him ahead: An internal polling memo from the Kirk campaign and obtained by POLITICO shows him holding a 9-point lead. Kirk had 42 percent and Giannoulias had 33 percent, per a Kirk-sponsored Fulcrum Campaign Strategies poll taken Sept. 26-29 of 900 likely voters in Illinois. About 22 percent of survey respondents were undecided and the Green Party nominee, LeAlan Jones, received 2 percent in the poll.

Karl Rove’s group is set to spend a million dollars this week alone on the race.

* It turns out, though, the Tribune pollster portrayed a tight race. Giannoulias led Kirk by just two points, 38-36

A potentially troubling sign for Kirk is that voters in the traditionally Republican-leaning collar counties were almost equally split between the two candidates on the trustworthiness question.

In addition, 41 percent of voters, including 42 percent of independents, said they were less likely to vote for Kirk because of his exaggerated military claims, while 59 percent said it made no difference or didn’t know enough to decide.

About one-third of voters, including the same percentage of independents, said Giannoulias’ connection to the bank and loans to convicted felons would make them less likely to vote for the Democrat. The remaining nearly two-thirds said it didn’t matter or didn’t know enough to weigh in. […]

Kirk’s esteem dipped among independent voters, a key swing demographic. A month ago, only 17 percent viewed him unfavorably. Now 34 percent do. Overall, Kirk holds a 38 percent to 27 percent edge over Giannoulias among independents, similar to his margin last time, though 22 percent are undecided.

* The Tribune has sorta hidden their crosstabs. Go to their Election Central Senate page and scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll see the file. From those xtabs…

And from their previous poll…

* Meanwhile, Kirk has a new radio ad

* Roundup…

* Kirk returns to military credentials in Senate race

* Illinois Senate Race Turning on ‘Who Do You Trust (Less)?

* Giannoulias, Kirk stay true to political parties on tax issues

* Giannoulias, Kirk rally their bases of support in city, suburbs

* Statehouse Insider: Not exactly a ‘regular guy’

* Giannoulias embraces Obama

* Durbin Hits the Road for Democrats

* Democrats Face Tough Fight to Keep Obama’s Old Senate Seat

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:31 am:

    More of a side point, it looks like Kirk’s internal pollster may be providing him bad numbers which over optimistically show him ahead. Seems counter productive to havean internal poll that does not tell the real picture if you need to make strategic decisions based on the issue.

  2. - HoosierDaddy - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    On the other hand, I would not be surprised if the Trib poll turns out to be an outlier. Isn’t this the same poll that shows Quinn in the lead? I find that hard to believe.

  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    A little off-topic but, I was listening to the Bears pre-game show on WBBM last night and heard a commercial for a female write-in candidate for US Senate. I almost drove off the road. Can’t remember her name, but it was a really amateurish (although sincere) ad that must have cost enough money that it wasn’t a joke. Maybe a dirty trick? Maybe a really naive candidate?

    Was I hallucinating or did anyone else hear it?

  4. - DoubleDown - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    From PPP Polling today


    ” Bill Brady continues to lead the Illinois Governor’s race but Pat Quinn’s pulling a little closer, trailing 42-35 in PPP’s newest survey of the race. Independent Scott Lee Cohen gets 6%, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney is at 4%, and Libertarian Lex Green is at 2%. ”

    They have a PDF file on the methodology on the poll on how it was done

  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    Let’s face it….CommandoMakeItUp, NoTaxBill et al just don’t cut it folks.
    GOPers are running wild across America (sorta) and IL GOP has got zilch.
    Gags Brady is out promoting another candidate named RYAN in what must be viewed by the ultimate ill-conceived high school prank ( especially if you are a GOP in a cashed strapped race aka/MaryPat and her xeroxed literature, etc. etc. etc.)
    Meanwhile the GOP bathroom wall aka Chicago Tribune poors on the slop but is going nowhere
    Geez where’s TugBoatAndy McKenna when we need him.

  6. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    Hoo… yes the tribune is known for its anti-gop stylings and polling….

  7. - shore - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    18 months into the race and kirk still doesn’t have any kind of a message beyond mobbanker.

    His people didn’t read the durbin 96 playbook on how to make a house appropriator into a senator. This has been without question his worst campaign of the 6 he’s run and it’s come in the easiest cycle.

  8. - DoubleDown - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    OT - Chicago Suntimes endorses Adam Kinzinger (If this is not the right spot to post this please delete)

    Is this a surprise coming from the Suntimes ??

  9. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    Karl Rove’s group has already started spending money here. I don’t know if that “Friends don’t let friends vote Alexi” has been airing long, but I saw it for the first time this weekend. I thought it was way more effective than the own ads Kirk has been running on his own behalf. Definitely one that would cut through the clutter if it got enough airtime.

  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:27 pm:

    47th, I think Jay Cutler heard it in the locker room at halftime, as well as much buzzing and ringing, lol.

    I didn’t hear it, but I think Kirk had edited his “Baby” spot this morning to include a mention about creating jobs. I don’t think that was there before. But I’m still a little shell-shocked from the Bears historic first half as well.

  11. - bored now - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    shore: well there’s something we can agree on…

  12. - The Captain - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Usually when I’ve worked on campaigns we’ve had to spend hours and hours trying to figure out how much money the opponent probably had to spend, when he/she was going to spend it, and what he/she was going to spend it on. Thank god for Kirk, he just makes it easy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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