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Tribune poll: Hoffman still in third place, Kirk maintains huge lead

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010

* David Hoffman is, indeed, surging, but he’s still in third place according to the new Tribune poll. December Tribune poll results are in parentheses…

Giannoulias 34 (31)
Jackson 19 (17)
Hoffman 16 (9)
Meister 1 (1)
Undecided 13 (21)

Most of the undecideds appear to be breaking to Hoffman, but a lot of this movement is within the margin of error, so be cautious.

From the Trib

Jackson, the lone African-American contender in the Democratic contest, has the support of 48 percent of black voters, which has helped keep her virtually even with Giannoulias among Chicago voters. But Jackson’s percentage of black support has not increased significantly since December, while Giannoulias’ backing from African-Americans has roughly doubled to nearly a quarter of the black vote.

Giannoulias also holds a healthy edge over his rivals of 2-to-1 or better among suburban Cook County and collar-county voters.

Experience has shown that an African-American candidate can go from 50 percent to 85 percent of the black vote in a heartbeat late in the game, so keep that in mind.

From the Trib’s pollster

Three major candidates have gained a few points in name recognition and favorable ratings. Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman has been critical in TV ads of Alexi Giannoulias about Bright Start college fund losses due to Oppenheimer Core Fund investments in mortgage-backed securities, plus questionable loan recipients from his family’s bank. However, there is not much indication this led to increased unfavorability for Giannoulias, +3 points.

* On to the Republicans

Kirk 47 (41)
Hughes 8 (3)
Thomas 3 (3)
Martin 3 (2)
Undecided 35 (46)


More than half of GOP voters said they agreed with the tea party movement, including nearly 70 percent of those who describe themselves as very conservative. But that hasn’t translated into support for Hughes. The survey found Kirk being supported by 48 percent of Republicans who said they backed the tea party movement while Hughes got only 10 percent support.

While one-third of likely GOP primary voters said they mostly agree with Kirk on the issues, nearly a quarter of GOP voters said they believe he isn’t conservative enough — a percentage similar to six weeks ago.

Trib’s pollster

Kirk’s opponents are still known by only half or less of primary voters. Voter opinions of any of his six opponents - good or bad - ranges from only 4% to 16%. That means only 4%-16% know enough about any of them to have an opinion. The level of undecided voters remains very high just two weeks before Election Day. Unlike the race for governor, none of his opponents have run or been elected to state office so unknown alternatives to Kirk leads to many who remain undecided – 35%.

* Hughes released his own poll, according to CQ Politics

With eight days left until the Feb. 2nd primary, real estate developer Patrick Hughes (R) has significantly increased his support in a new survey from his campaign - although he still trails GOP front-runner Rep. Mark Steven Kirk by a 20-point margin in the open-seat Illinois Senate race.

Hughes scored 22 percent with likely GOP voters in a survey sponsored by his own campaign, while Kirk scored 42 percent. Every other GOP candidate in the race had less than 5 percent support in the uninformed ballot poll, while 27 percent of survey respondents said they were undecided.

Hughes, who has already given upwards of $250,000 of his own funds to the race, is considered to be Kirk’s cheif primary competition, but has been badly trailing the five-term lawmaker in prior public polls.

The Jan. 21-22 Shamrock Polling survey took the opinions of 1,104 likely Republican voters.

I’ve never heard of Shamrock Polling, and a Google search comes up almost empty, except for that CQ story and one person who claims he received an e-mail from the company, which allegedly charges $500 a month for 1,000-person polls.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - shore - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 4:22 am:

    Hoffman is making the same mistake obama is making in d.c. hes talking about what he wants to talk about not whats going on in peoples lives. a laid off middle income person I am guessing does not care about a trial later this year, he wants to know who will get him back to work.

    hughes is jv .a decent congressional poll costs 15-25k from my experience.

  2. - bored now - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 6:21 am:

    wow, shore, you must live the high life! obama is talking about jobs and economic recovery, which pretty much is the thing everyone is talking about in the suburbs. what are people talking about in whatever super-wealthy location that you must live?

  3. - (618) Democrat - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 6:33 am:

    Hoffman surges from third place to third place. Wow! The same place he will be on election day.

  4. - Team America - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 7:18 am:

    Tried to post this earlier but it did not show u p, so I’ll try again. I think it’s pretty clear that Hughes did not intend to release that poll before he found out about the Tribune’s abysmal numbers. Leaving aside questions about the quality of the Hughes poll, the Tribune above-the-fold headline showing Kirk in the lead, with his lock on every major newspaper endorsement, pretty much means the ballgame for Hughes.

    Moreover, as of January 13th, Hughes reported only $22K cash on hand, after raising less than $300K total (excluding his loan, which he’d already started to pay back to himself, even before the election is over, according to his FEC disclosure).

    For a statewide race, a $300K fundraising effort is pittance, and $22K in cashe is probably enough to pay his battery of consultants only through election day.

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 8:16 am:

    It will be interesting to see if the national Tea Partiers rally around Kirk because of the Obama seat angle. Zig-zags aside, he’s really not their kind of guy.

  6. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 8:20 am:

    Wasn’t Hoffman polling at 15 percent when he announced his candidacy based on his reputation as Chicago IG?

    Hoffman succeeded in losing almost half the support he started with and has now gained it back, leaving him about where he started.

  7. - Screwball - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 8:47 am:

    Wow Hoffman really is surging. Down 22 points with a month and a half to go, now only down 18 with 8 days to go. He made up three points in a poll that has a margin of error of +/- 4, all the undecideds must be breaking his way. Can you feel the Joementum?

    Never let the facts get in the way of the surge story the press wants to write.

  8. - Deep South - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:15 am:

    I wonder if some of the Tea Party types are starting to understand that even a RINO is better than a Democrat. But again, this is Illinois. Perhaps Illinois Tea Party types DO have a tinge of blue in them. How else does one explain Mark Kirk?

  9. - Deep South - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:17 am:

    One more observation: People are laughting at Cheryl Jackson much the same way they laughed at Harold Washington and Carol Mosely Braun. Is an upset in the making?

  10. - Reformer - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    It appears that newspaper endorsements aren’t enough for Hoffman to compete. Fewer voters read the papars.

  11. - cassandra - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    Name recognition and voting based on race. Looks like not too much has changed in 21st century Illinois.

  12. - corvax - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    Although Mosley Braun may not have looked like a winner against Dixon, I don’t remember folks “laughing” at her or at Harold Washington. And race-based voting seems certainly to have eroded (Alexi’s support among African American voters has jumped to 25%).

  13. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:49 am:

    Actually, Carl, Hoffman was at 9. He’s now at 16. Statewide TV buy starts today, so we’ll see how this race breaks when all is said and done.

    But let me say this, all you Alexi folks on this blog who are laughing at what it means to be behind in the polls better get used to it if your candidate wins this primary. An Alexi victory = Sen. Mark Kirk. The only reason Hoffman hasn’t made much of a dent in Alexi’s favorables with all his baggage is that Hoffman didn’t have millions to throw at Alexi in negative TV. I promise the Republicans will not have that problem.

  14. - Deep South - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    Corvax…I don’t necessarily mean voters were laughing at those candidates…but they sure were laughing at their supporters.. believe me..I was there.

  15. - LaurenA - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    If Hoffman gets the undecided…he is a clear cut winner. Polls are just that…polls…not the real thing. Polls ask if you know a name not always if you feel the candidate is the best for the job. Lots of folks know Alexi but don’t trust his character or judgement. Hoffman is THE choice for US Senate. Trust, transparency, tenacity.

  16. - E Pluribus - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:07 am:

    Half the tea partiers are already backing Kirk in the primary. The vast majority of the rest will come on board after the primary.

    There are actually conservatives on the North Shore too, and every two years they support Kirk in November, some holding their noses, some realizing full well that he’s the only Republican who can win, and others enthusiastically.

    The extremists who will actually skip the race are relatively few compared to the number of suburban independents and moderates that Kirk will win over.

    Surprising that Hoffman hasn’t closed the gap more. I would have thought his consultant team would have gotten more traction with the endorsements and the outsider schtick.

  17. - Peggy SO-IL - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:14 am:

    Go, Pat go! About 35% of respondents undecided still. There is talk of a moneybomb for Hughes over at Red State. I hope so. It is illogical for a tea partier to support Mark Kirk. I have to question the sense of that result.

    The IL GOP never give conservatives the time of day and wonder why they can’t win. [eg, Topinka] They will lose with Kirk. I do not approve of Martin’s sleazy ads, but Kirk’s divorce makes him open to Jack Ryan Part II.

    Do these polls ever include voters outside of Chicago?

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    ===If Hoffman gets the undecided…he is a clear cut winner.===


    Well, yeah. But the question is, can he and how?

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    ===There is talk of a moneybomb for Hughes over at Red State===

    Getting a bit late for that. And “talk of” and an actual and successful moneybomb are two different things.

  20. - bored now - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    i don’t think anyone is laughing at cheryl jackson. however, she is weighed down by two things: her association with blagojevich and the popularity of alexi among african-americans (at least down here in the south suburbs). from what i see down here (and i know we don’t count for much among the elitists), jackson benefits more from being the only female than she does from being the only african american in the race…

  21. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    It will be interesting to see if the national Tea Partiers rally around Kirk because of the Obama seat angle. Zig-zags aside, he’s really not their kind of guy.

    word, it’s something to look out for, but I think what I’m seeing (and I believe the poll shows) is that Kirk DOES appeal to the Tea Partiers.

    Hughes is making a mistake in believeing that the org is comprised of Conservatives, and it’s not.

    Furthermore, many Conservatives WILL vote for Kirk because they understand how important it is for Rs to win this Seat and because they like the fact that Kirk, is in fact, a “security hawk”. Cap&Trade aside, they alsoknow his record on cutting taxes. I’d bet areas like DuPage love the guy, and we’ve seen that in how they’ve received him, in straw polls, etc.

  22. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Not surprised re: Jackson, and I’ve been saying what Rich has been all along. Very stealthy campaign, which could wind up being very effective.

  23. - Conservative Veteran - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    Tea Partiers are pro-tax cuts and pro-spending cuts. Rep. Kirk voted for the cap & trade bill, which included a large tax rate increase, and he ensured that the federal government spent millions dollars, in his district, for HUD, Headstart, Metra, and local police departments. If Tea Partiers vote for Kirk, they’ll vote for someone who usually disagrees with them.

  24. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    I do not approve of Martin’s sleazy ads, but Kirk’s divorce makes him open to Jack Ryan Part II.

    Oh, BS.

  25. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:06 am:

    And to add to that, people now know EVEN BETTER how ridiculous the whole Ryan “demise” was and CLEARLY see the results.

    If you’re a D, you’re WAY over-estimating the ability to manipulate Rs that way again. If you’re an R, interesting how you’d say stuff like this just to get Hughes through the Primary, only to see what happens to him during the General.

    Remember, how different things would be right now if Jack HAD won.

  26. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Remember, how different things would be right now if Jack HAD won.===

    Woulda, coulda, whatever. He dropped out. He wasn’t going to win.

  27. - Moving to Oklahoma - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    I am going to wind up with Mark Kirk as my U.S. Senate Candidate. As a republican I am personally going to write a $500 check to Alexi.

  28. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    ConVet, Hughes’ campaign has been based on zilch else besides repeating the Cap&Trade talking point over and over again, and people are getting tired of it.

    Kirk explained it. His explanation makes sense to most voters. In Congress, he’s been REPRESENTING one of the most liberal districts around. His Constituency for US Senate changes and therefore he’d vote on THEIR behalf against it.

    Sad that the Hughes Campaign can’t understand what representation is all about and would even try to “label” good representation as something we SHOULDN’T want or EXPECT from our elected officials. Reflects VERY poorly on Hughes and his abilities.

  29. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    ===and people are getting tired of it.===

    How? Most don’t even know of it.

  30. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    Furthermore, Hughes can’t even get on the offensive when it comes to security and defense–even though he’s been provided advisors in that area.

    And, where’s all the money and support that he was supposed to get? Reports are stating he has $22K left.

  31. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    lol. OK. Those who DO know are getting tired of it. Better? lol

  32. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    He dropped out.

    Good point. Maybe George Will was right. I don’t think, though, that Kirk would EVER stop fighting IF ever placed in a similar situation, which he won’t be.

  33. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    Furthermore, Kirk has cut taxes while in Congress over 40 times. Does Hughes not know that?

  34. Pingback Primary season anew « The Zoo: A foray into Illinois politics - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    […] The Capitol Fax Blog has a nice rundown on polling information for Burris’ Senate seat. […]

  35. - TitforTat - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    The headline says it all. HoffmaN STILL IN third? Please, other than Miller, who is still covering Hoffman’s campaign? Try as you might Rich, you don’t posses the power to jump start a dead campaign. Fact is Alexi wins and Hoffman loses. Get over it.

  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    ===Try as you might Rich, you don’t posses the power to jump start a dead campaign. ===


    Try the Google. Plenty of people are covering Hoffman…

  37. - Scooby - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    Is CAPS LOCK on sale today?

  38. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 1:23 pm:


  39. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 1:23 pm:


  40. - georger - Monday, Jan 25, 10 @ 11:20 pm:

    (618)Democrat, Public Policy Polling (not a Hoffman poll) shows that Hoffman is now in second place. Hoffman is the only candidate moving up in the polls and undecideds are breaking Hoffman’s way.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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