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PPP: Kirk over Giannoulias 42-40

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010

* Public Policy Polling has just released its latest Illinois survey and finds Mark Kirk ahead of Alexi Giannoulias by two points 42-40. PPP’s last poll three weeks ago had Kirk ahead by four. From the pollster

You would assume that for Mark Kirk to be running ahead as Republican in Illinois that he would be winning a good amount of crossover support from Democrats and that he would have a massive lead with independents. In reality he is doing neither of those things. He’s only getting 10% of the Democratic vote, about average for GOP candidates across the country this year. And he has just a 9 point advantage with independents, below average for what Republican Senate candidates across the country are getting. To put it into perspective when the GOP won another Senate seat this year in a state Obama won by 25 points- Massachusetts- their nominee took independent voters by a 32 point margin.

So how is Kirk ahead if he’s not doing those things? The final outcome in Illinois, perhaps more so than any other state in the country, is going to be determined by the ability of Democrats to mobilize their base in these final two weeks. We find that likely voters there only voted for Barack Obama by a 9 point margin in 2008, compared to his actual 25 point victory in the state. If what Democrats are dealing with on a national basis is an enthusiasm gap then what they’re facing in Illinois could perhaps be better described as an enthusiasm canyon. The only state where we see a bigger disparity between who voted in 2008 and who’s planning to vote this year is Obama’s native Hawaii.

The competitiveness of this race is completely predicated on paltry Democratic turnout. If that proves to be the case it’s about 50-50 as to who will win on election day with perhaps a small advantage for Kirk. If Democratic turnout exceeds current expectations there’s almost no doubt Giannoulias ends up as the winner.

Crosstabs are here. This is a relatively “old” poll since it was conducted Oct. 14-16, so some of these numbers are almost a week old.

Green Party nominee LeAlan Jones has 4 percent and Libertarian Mike Labno has 3 percent. 10 percent are undecided.

* Voters don’t like either of these guys…

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Alexi Giannoulias?
35% Favorable
47% Unfavorable
18% Not sure

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Mark Kirk?
35% Favorable
46% Unfavorable
19% Not sure

* And this is bad, bad news for Democrats…

Would you rather Democrats or Republicans held the majority in the next US Senate?
45% Democrats
46% Republicans
9% Not sure

Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance?
45% Approve
51% Disapprove
4% Not sure

* Lots of undecided females…

* And LeAlan Jones is taking Democratic and black votes away from Giannoulias…

* The DSSC leaked a topline to Lynn Sweet yesterday showing Giannoulias leading Kirk 41-36. The pollster who shall not be named once again screwed up his numbers by using “some other candidate” instead of Libertarian Labno. Stupidity.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Logical Thinker - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 1:34 pm:

    PPP and the “other” pollster have polls showing Kirk up between 2-4 points. If this holds for another week, the fat lady will be singing in the AG opera house.

  2. - shore - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    this probably explains why alexi said rove 3.4 million times last night and why seals is running on dold’s prolife position.

    kirk used a lot of conservative language last night and talking points that the chicago media which is not used to covering conservative candidates and events here probably missed, the immigration issue for one, so it will be interesting if he changes in the last debate next week.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:01 pm:

    If Obama’s Disapproval Rating really is 51% in Illinois, that is very bad news for Democrats, indeed, especially Alexi.

    How does that not transfer to a big Kirk lead? What is it about this guy that he can’t put away an empty suit with mobster pals and a bad bank?

  4. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:13 pm:

    Remember, plus -or- minus four points around all those estimators. Bouncing from ahead two points in one poll to behind two points in another poll might just be statistical error. Polls are not thermometers.

  5. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    Somehow, Word, I think you already have the answer to that rhetorical question.

  6. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Rich you could probably use a slight edit here, it’s hard to make the case that Jones is taking black voters from Giannoulias when he’s getting a higher percentage of white, hispanic and other voters. Jones seems to be getting the D protest vote and in fact the subgroup least supportive of Jones seems to be black voters.

  7. - Bill F. - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:34 pm:

    So if the race is within the margin of error with a week to go, the race is over? That’s not what I’d consider “logical thinking.”

  8. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    This race will NOT be called on election day. This race will end up in court. It will be interested to see who is seated, and using what rationale, for the lame duck session. Funnest race in the US.

  9. - Berkeley Bear - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    Cincy may be right. This is going to come down to turnout, which in turn is going to be driven by perception, weather, accusations of gamesmanship on both sides, etc., and definitely could lead to a legal challenge or two.

    I seriously think the narrative that the GOP is all but assured to win could backfire on Kirk and Brady. If downstate turnout isn’t heavy because people take a win for granted, it could really help the Dems, who have a much more efficient GOTV operation both statewide and especially in Chicago. Of course, what Dems call efficient the GOP calls fraudulent, which in turn leads to accusations of intimidation - so yeah, this is probably heading for the courts.

  10. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 3:45 pm:

    Giannoulias is at 76% among Democrats, Kirk is at 86% among Republicans. I think Giannoulias has more room to grow there than Kirk according to this poll. Kirk is leading by 9% among Independents, and he’ll need to hold that lead until the end to win. We’ll see.

    As for Cinci’s prediction of a contentious recount, this ain’t Florida. Can you imagine Mike Kasper and Burt Odelson on the same side in a disputed election? Game. Over. Kirk better hope he wins on election night, because Giannoulias will win in court.

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    DD, I really don’t. I’m down on Kirk because of his lies about his military record. But I don’t think that’s why he can’t connect. If you look around the country, I don’t see any concern from anyone about Iraq or Afghanistan — right, left, Dem, GOP.

    I’m profoundly sad — no, make that angry — that despite all the lip service to supporting the troops, no one seems to give a hoot about our soldiers being in harm’s way, or even have a clue as to what their mission is or how to accomplish it. It’s not an issue, anywhere.

    I think this generation will be judged very harshly by history for its selfishness.
    The great majority of us have been very willing to let the other guy, the volunteers, bear any burden, pay any price.

  12. - bored now - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    wordslinger: without looking at the poll itself, it’s too late in the game for anyone to be polling without a likely voter screen. so it’s important to understand that those respondents who passed through ppp’s voter screen have an unfavorable impression of the president at 51%, not the population of illinois.

    of course, we’re trying to turn out those voters who do approve of the president, and this is exactly what kirk is trying to stop with his voter suppression tactics.

    Cincinnatus: i agree that it won’t be called on election day (or night) — i’ve been arguing that for months — but i seriously doubt that mark kirk has the gumption to take it to court. he’s not exactly what you’d call a gutsy fellow…

  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    I think where Kirk made his mistake was pretending to be this hard core conservative when his career in the House was as a left-leaning Moderate. Republicans were going to vote for him anyway, he lost the opportunity to attract large numbers of Democrats and Independents by kissing up to the Tea Party crowd.

  14. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 4:58 pm:

    Cincy and BB, the odds of a vote that close are very remote. Still, before Brady/Dillard and before Gore/Bush, there was Thompson/Stevenson in 1982.

    Just a 5,074 vote difference out of 3.6 million cast.

    You gotta believe Adlai III wished he had been nicer to Seymour Simon back in the day.

    It was a huge national story; the son of the liberal lion vs. the crime-busting governor — both future presidential contenders in their own minds.

    My favorite memory of the indecisive weeks following that election was a concert at the Chick Evans Fieldhouse in DeKalb. It was snowing like crazy, “Asleep at the Wheel” and the “Charlies Daniels Band,” were way late.

    Finally, the great Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel came out and said, “We got here a lot faster than you guys can pick a governor.”

    With that, they launched into some Texas Swing with “Am I High?”, with custom lyrics for Illinois voters.

  15. - vince glothor - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 5:28 pm:

    statically the same as the poll

  16. - bored now - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 5:34 pm:

    opps. Key finding: “The competitiveness of this race is completely predicated on paltry Democratic turnout. If that proves to be the case it’s about 50-50 as to who will win on election day with perhaps a small advantage for Kirk. If Democratic turnout exceeds current expectations there’s almost no doubt Giannoulias ends up as the winner.”

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 20, 10 @ 7:17 pm:

    Jeez, how deep in the tank is the Trib for Kirk?

    Giannoulias appears on Hardball and answers questions on policy such as Iraq, Afganistan, infrstructure spending, the economy, health care and shipping jobs overseas. What does the Trib cover? The question about the mayor’s race and some kid wearing a costume.

    Did you miss the real news because there’s a naked lady running through the office again? Come get your Peabody.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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