[Updated and bumped up because some people missed this post in the clutter.]
* From the pollster…
Republicans continue to lead the races for both Governor and Senator in Illinois, albeit by close margins. Mark Kirk is ahead of Alexi Giannoulias 46-42 for the state’s open Senate seat and Bill Brady is ahead of Pat Quinn 45-40 for Governor.
There are three main reasons Republicans are headed for big gains across the country this year and the Illinois races exemplify all three of them:
-Independents are leaning strongly toward the GOP. Kirk leads Giannoulias 46-31 with them and Brady has a 45-27 advantage over Quinn with them.
-Republican voters are much more unified around their candidates this year than Democrats are. 87% of GOP identifiers are planning to vote for Kirk while only 78% of Democrats are planning to vote for Giannoulias. In the Governor’s race 86% of Republicans support Brady while Quinn’s only getting 75% support from his party.
-Republican voters are much more likely to head to the polls this year than Democrats. In 2008 Barack Obama won Illinois by 25 points. Those who say they’re likely to vote this year only supported him by 14 points. That’s a strong indication that many of the voters who were a part of the Obama ‘wave’ are staying at home this year.
No matter who wins either of these races Illinois voters will be left with a Governor and Senator that they don’t like. Giannoulias’ favorability is 35/49, Kirk’s isn’t much better at 39/45. Quinn’s approval is 32/54 and that’s a good thing for Brady because voters don’t like him either, giving him a favorability of 39/45.
The presence of the third party candidates in the race seems to really be hurting Giannoulias. In a straight head to head between him and Kirk he trails by only a 46-45 margin. But a fair number of progressive voters who don’t like Giannoulias but can’t bring themselves to vote for Kirk are supporting the minor candidates in the contest.
As for Quinn he’s made an impressive comeback over the course of the campaign and his prospects certainly look a lot better than they did back in the spring and summer. But at the end of the day it’s an open question whether an incumbent Governor with a 32% approval rating can win reelection, no matter how blue their state or weak their opponent.
* Crosstabs are here.
*** UPDATE 1 *** From CQPolitics…
An Anzalone Liszt Research poll taken for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign committee from Oct. 27 and 28 shows Democrat Alexi Giannoulias leading Republican Mark Kirk 39 percent to 37 percent, a statistical tie since the poll had a margin of error of 4.9 points.
The same poll of 400 likely voters found Libertarian candidate Michael Labo with 4 percent, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones with 3 percent, and 16 percent of voters undecided. It’s a small shift from the Anzalone Liszt poll taken Oct. 20 to 24, which showed Giannoulias with 38 percent and Kirk with 36 percent.
…Adding… Please, ignore this stupid YouGov “poll.” First, it’s not a poll. It’s an opt-in Internet survey. Second, they only allow the choice of two candidates in each race. This is a multi-candidate race. PPP noted, for instance, that the third partiers were taking votes away from Giannoulias. Either way, though, this is not a poll. Repeat: This YouGov thing is not a poll.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Fox News has a new poll…
Rep. Mark Kirk doubled his 2-point lead in last week’s Fox News battleground state poll of likely voters, and now leads Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias 46 percent to 42 percent.
Giannoulias continues to suffer from Democratic defections to Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, who drew 6 percent support, including 8 percent of Democrats.
In the state’s gubernatorial election, Republican state Sen. Bill Brady added a point to his margin over incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn from last week’s poll. Brady now leads Quinn by 6 points, 44 percent to 38 percent. In this race, the Democrat is suffering at the hands of two minor candidates, the Green Party’s Rich Whitney and independent Scott Lee Cohen.
Whitney and Cohen are taking a combined 10 percent of the vote, largely from Democrats or liberal-leaning voters. Cohen, a successful pawnbroker, won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor but was chased out of the race by Quinn and others after allegations of domestic violence emerged.
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