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Behind the head to heads

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010

* Rasmussen has a new US Senate poll out that doesn’t give us a lot of new news in the head to heads. Results in brackets are from previous Ras polls…

Kirk: 40 [40%, 41%, 39%, 42% 46%, 41%, 41%, 46%]

Giannoulias: 42 [40%, 43%, 40%, 39% 38%, 37%, 44%, 40%]

Other: 6 [8%, 6%, 9%, 7% 5%, 8%, 5%, 4%]

Unsure: 12 [12%, 10%, 12%, 12% 12%. 13%, 10%, 10%]

“Leaners” tie this up at 45-45, with 3 percent for “other” and 8 unsure. We really need to get those other candidates included in these polls. I called Rasmussen yesterday, so we’ll see what they do next time.

* This topline is interesting, if not terribly surprising…

* In terms of how you will vote in the next national election, are you primarily interested in National Security issues such as the War with Iraq and the War on Terror, Economic issues such as jobs and economic growth, Domestic Issues like Social Security and Health Care, Cultural issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, or Fiscal issues such as taxes and government spending?

10% National Security Issues
55% Economic Issues
13% Domestic Issues
3% Cultural Issues
13% Fiscal Issues
7% Not sure

Crosstabs show that 58 percent of moderates, 50 percent of independents, 67 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Giannoulias supporters put economic issues at the top of their list. That number is less for Republicans (41), Kirk supporters (43) and conservatives (45) because “fiscal issues” rate higher than average.

Kirk has only recently begun talking about the economy, and now you can clearly see why. This whole “mob banker” thing is a lot of fun, but it isn’t helping him move upwards.

* More unsurprising toplines

* Do you know anyone who is out of work and looking for a job?
87% Yes
9% No
4% Not sure

* Is the job market better than it was a year ago, worse than it was a year ago or about the same?
15% Better
43% Worse
40% About the same
3% Not sure

* TPM PollTracker

* Also, if you’re gonna quote polls, you probably should at least glance at the relevant crosstabs

Alexi Giannoulias is loath to admit it, but LeAlan Jones could become his gnarliest nightmare.

Two recent polls show Giannoulias is locked in a suffocatingly tight race with U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk. Along comes the youthful and energetic Jones, a 31-year-old journalist, high school coach and youth mentor. He’s not only fresh, he’s “Green.” Jones is running with the insurgent Green Party, which is trying to make inroads in the Nov. 2 election.

Jones has no political or governmental record, paltry cash and scarce name recognition — plus a monstrous helping of chutzpah. He owns one unmistakable asset — he is African American. Jones may be a Green, but the color of the moment is black.

From PPP’s latest xtabs…

Yes, Jones could make a slight move if he becomes known. Yes, it is a concern for Giannoulias. Yes, there’s a long time to go. But Jones is not even showing up on the radar screen yet. Rasmussen’s xtabs have 5 percent of African-American voters leaning towards “other.” There are indeed plenty of undecideds, but without cash and a strategy, it’s gonna be tough to eat into Giannoulias’ numbers, particularly with Obama on his side.

* Other campaign stories…

* Birkett eyes DuPage County judgeship

* Kirk Hopes Ride a Red Wave to Senate

* The Battle For Illinois’ Supreme Court

* 8th District rivals see different causes, solutions to budget deficit

* Robert Dold Radio Show WLS 890

* Walker to host series of community meetings in constituents’ homes

* Illinois Turnaround Tour - Schaumburg Video Blog

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - shore - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    from a kirk supporter standpoint his campaign has been a dissapointment in that he survived 2 tough storms and I would have thought that he would have cruised more easily in better political weather but that hasn’t happened. He has never developed a message or vision or even theme to the campaign and it’s been frustrating to watch.

  2. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    Is no one else surprised to see the race his even

  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:57 pm:

    Ghost, I think your answer is in that economic question. Kirk isn’t connecting so far because he’s not talking about jobs. Alexi is. You may disagree with how Giannoulias is talking about jobs, but he is.

  4. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:13 pm:

    Makes sense, I guess the unemployed and struggling are more interested in working then in mob bankers.

    I wonder how many godfather/soprano’s fans have moved to support alexi from kirks mob banker ad’s :)

  5. - Robert - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:17 pm:

    I wonder if the National Green Party has money? if they did, it seems like this would be an interesting investment, with Illinois voters looking at None of the Above. It’d have to be quite a large investment, however.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    ===I wonder if the National Green Party has money?===


  7. - Logical Thinker - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    AG is completely boxed. As the Dow falls and the perception of the economy gets even worse, his message of jobs in the Obama economic mold will fall on deaf ears and will ultimately lead to his defeat.

    This race will stay close until the beginning of October at which point you’ll see Kirk open a 4-6% lead and never look back.

  8. - bmcchgo - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:45 pm:

    I am only recently back up to speed with your blog Rich, but I did not see the familiar caveat with Rasmussen polling. You know, the one about the ‘house effect’ leaning +5 to +10 Republican?
    Most aggregate polling I see in national blogs have an additional ‘Minus Rasmussen’ stat for comparison.

    That being said, Giannoulias is more likely up by 8 points. The Dem base is coming home as more are paying attention.

  9. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:46 pm:

    Rich, I hope that after November 2, you will join in the growing movement among the politically astute to treat Rasmussen like the pro-Republican pollster he is and ignore any future polls produced by that firm.

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    Kirk needs to get a little more personally involved in his election. For starters, he can come up with a good reason why he’s running for the Senate and communicate it in a hurry.

    He’s like an apparition — he appears for a few minutes, lays down some talking point then disappears.

    Alexi should have been knocked out. Now, he gets points from the base just because he’s still standing. He has better than a puncher’s chance of winning just by revving up a big Obama vote out of Cook — it’s definitely still there.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    FD, ArchPundit gives Ras thumbs up for Illinois and he’s a highly educated man who understands stats. He’s also a very liberal Democrat.

  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===The Dem base is coming home as more are paying attention. ===

    They came home briefly in 94. We saw how that ended.

  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:58 pm:

    With Kirk’s current cash advantage, this poll isn’t horrible news. Unless Alexi can find the resources to match what I expect will be a continuous barrage of Kirk ads and pro-Kirk independent expenditures, Kirk is still in the driver’s seat.

    I think this race ends up being nationalized because of the symbolism at stake. A vote for Giannoulias is a vote for Obama. A vote for Kirk is a vote for McConnell. In Illinois, that’s enough to keep Giannoulias afloat and maybe enough to put him in the Senate.

  14. - shore - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    the problem is a lack of message. Not winning moderates when Alexi hasn’t made a single move to the center or right is inexplicably bad.

    the good news is the 3 other competitive midwestern senate races -pa, ohio, and missouri which are all open seats have broke over the summer into the republican column so this could be a case of political tardiness on behalf of voters.

  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    How many millions have been given to political consultants claiming their “mob banker” or “congenital liar” angles were the way to go? Gee guys, have you learned anything after spending those millions? And after watching you two waste millions over something utterly stupid, you think we believe one of you two has any credibility regarding money?

    No way. I voted for Hoffman because I heard this train barrelling down the track at Democrats for the past 18 months. If anything, it has picked up steam and only gotten closer. Instead of selecting fresh clean faces, the Party doubled down it’s bets. Right now it looks like a wipe-out, even with the polls showing Giannoulais tied.

    Quinn is sunk. Anyone with a torch and a voodoo doll is heading for the polls, looking for blood. The chance to bell the neck of every statewide Democrat excites them as much as liberals were excited two years ago to send the GOP packing.

    This is going to hurt Giannoulais, and it isn’t reflected in this poll. Additionally, we have debates heating up regarding national defense and all that hot air wil assist a certain candidate with military creds, over a guy without.

    Economic news is not our friend. I’m waiting any day for an announcement that we have returned into state of recession. We are only weeks away from that officially, yet we are already hearing Wall Street prognosticators saying it. Or worse.

    Time is not Giannoulais’ friend. As he slides, I will jump ship towards the Greens. Since I couldn’t save the Democrats from themselves in February, I’ll try saving the Greens.

    Whitney and Jones votes looks easier than ever.

  16. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    Interestingly, of the four top statewide contenders (Kirk, AG, Brady and Quinn), only one seems to have really settled into a message that seems to appeal to the voters. Brady up by 9. Until the two Senate chuckleheads settle on a message that resonates as well as Brady’s, the final poll is the only one we will understand.

  17. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:31 pm:


    We’ve been over this before. It’s spelled Giannoul…I-A-S.

    PS: Good luck with the Greens.

  18. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    I know that, but it looks like my fingers don’t!

  19. - Logical Thinker - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    I think Vanilla is right about something: as Quinn fades to black quickly, this will impact the Senate race. Although stranger things have happened, a voter splitting a ballot with Brady and Giannoulias is just plain weird. In a sense, if Scott Lee Cohen runs strong in the African-American wards on the south side, it might help AG salvage some support.

    A strange FYI for people regarding Rasmussen: did you know he was a founder of ESPN? I always find that fascinating.

  20. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:45 pm:

    C Brady doe snot really have a message so much as quiet fortitue to stand aside while Quinn commit seppuku

  21. - The End Is Near - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    “Since I couldn’t save the Democrats from themselves in February, I’ll try saving the Greens. Whitney and Jones votes looks easier than ever.”

    I’m with V-Man.

  22. - Deep South - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    I dont’ think the “mob banker” label is gonna stick, at least not very long. People just ain’t gonna buy into it. However, I think the “serial liar” label will be a problem for Kirk. Just enough to put Alexi in Roland’s seat.

  23. - NRA associate - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:44 pm:

    “* Do you know anyone who is out of work and looking for a job? 87% Yes” For crying out loud can’t these politicians see what is happening to our state and our families! I guess because their jobs are safe while the majority of us worry day to day on when we will get our pink slip. 3 out of 5 of my family are out of work and have been looking for over a year. All are over 45 and this state does nothing but squabble and make a mockery of its citizens. Enough!

  24. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:49 pm:

    NRA associate,

    Every dollar extracted from the private sector is a bad thing. The shifting of funds from the private sector to the public sector inhibits economic growth, the public sector CANNOT increase economic growth. Increased economic is the absolutely only proven way to increase jobs. Don’t limit your criticisms to just the State, include also the Feds. There is paltry little the state can do compared to the Feds.

  25. - (618) Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:55 pm:

    I don’t believe polling has caught up to the 21st century. Until pollsters start including cell phones the polls, in my opinion, are not reliable.

    I have heard the comparisons to 1994 before. It is not 1994 and never will be again. I will give you two examples. In 1994 if I wanted to remind 150 people to vote on election day it would take me a couple of weeks before the election calling every evening. In 2010-I put in a text hit send on my cell phone and 150 people are reminded on Election Day. We also have early voting now.

  26. - NRA associate - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:42 pm:

    Cin….your right, the Feds and Illinois…both loaded with Chicago political hacks. It is not funny. The “change” they have always talked about would help pay bills now.

  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 6:10 pm:

    Cincy, interesting theory, supported by nothing.

    How about this: irrespective of public spending, the Fed is giving away money to banks at the discount window. There’s no shortage of capital; they can have all they want to lend. Where’s the Main Street/small business lending?

  28. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 9:11 pm:

    Not a single intelligent businessman will invest significant assets when there is no demand by consumers, and in an environment where they cannot predict upcoming burdens on their businesses. Consumers are wisely paying down their debt, the government should learn this lesson.

    Show me one instance where government has ever provided for economic growth. All governments can do is rearrange the segments of the economic pie, only the private sector can increase the size of the pie.

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 11:05 pm:

    –Show me one instance where government has ever provided for economic growth–

    That’s a very odd statement. Through U.S. hitory, it’s been government action and investment in transportation and communication infrastructure that has driven much of the economic growth of the country: Canals, dams, railroad easements, interstates, airports, homesteads, land grant colleges, etc.

    I don’t think it was private investment that integrated the South and Southwest into the mix to create a true national economy. It was massive infrastructure investment by the feds.

    On a more direct level, there wouldn’t be much of a defense industry if it weren’t for government investment. No nuclear industry without initial government R and D. Many similar stories in industries across the board — ag, pharma, bio. The World Wide Web was basically invented at the government-funded NCSA in Champaign. It goes on and on. Growing the economy through government investment has been a given since the old internal improvements debates.

  30. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 8:23 am:

    === Show me one instance where government has ever provided for economic growth. All governments can do is rearrange the segments of the economic pie, only the private sector can increase the size of the pie. ====

    The Civil war, WW I, WW II, the bal out from the great depression, the NASA program not only created economic growth it gave us technology such as the mouse…

    The airplane industry, cement plants, heavy construction industry, etc have all been govt created economic opportunities.

    Now here is the list of economic growth created by tax cuts:…………..

    apparently when you cut taxes you just give bigger paychecks to usiness owners. As youmention above, a business builds where there is economic opportunity, not based on taxes. States with low taxes that attarct business are not building the overall economy, they are just shifting around the pieces of the pie by putting more money into the hands of the wealthy.

  31. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 9:30 am:

    A government can provide economic growth when it frees citizens to pursue their interests. A government can provide economic growth when it is able to take savings not circulating in the Market and add it.

    Raising the economy is like raising the water level of a pool. If you have water available that is not in the pool, you can add it, and it will raise the level. You cannot however, and this has been the Fed’s actions over the past two years, is take water from one end of the pool and dump it into the other end and expect the water level to raise. When you do this, you cause ripples which show actions within the pool, which can give the impression of a water level increase, but like any wave the water level isn’t effected.

    What we’ve see over the past two years hasn’t changed the economy. Increasing the amount of money taken from the economy in taxes and then redistributing it via government programs to return to the economy wastes money.

    The idea presented to us by liberal economists, (which is a dying breed, btw), was the idea that if the government takes $1 Trillion out of the economy and then puts it back via specifically recognized government economic incentive programs, we would see the economy rebound by more than $1 Trillion.

    This clearly doesn’t work, and is fundamentally illogical economically when an economy like today’s has no savings and there is no $1 Trillion available that isn’t being used.

    Claims that tax cuts only give bigger paychecks to business owners is fundamentally flawed because these claims don’t recognize the basic competative nature of business. Any business owner padding his own pay at the expense of his business won’t be in business long in any competative market. The first guy who puts the tax cuts into his business in order to undercut the competition, causes all the other business owners to do the same in order to stay in business. This is how prices drop. We see that everyday. And when prices drop, more purchases are made, driving demand higher can stimulating the Market to produce more.

    Claiming that tax cuts only go into some rich guy’s pocket is pretty ignorant.

  32. - Jimbo - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    === “Leaners” tie this up at 45-45, with 3 percent for “other” and 8 unsure ===

    Check the maths, I do’t think 101% is possible

  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Numbers don’t add up exactly because of what’s behind the decimal points. That’s not unusual.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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