Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Kirk poll has him trailing Duckworth in an “incredibly tight” race
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Kirk poll has him trailing Duckworth in an “incredibly tight” race

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016

* From a Mark Kirk campaign polling memo

GS Strategy Group conducted a statewide survey of 600 likely general election voters in Illinois March 30-31, 2016. The survey yielded a margin of error of +/- 4.0% at the 95% confidence level. The survey tested a number of issues, including the current state of the U.S. Senate race in Illinois along with some current event issues that are important to both Illinois and the United States. Below are some key findings from the survey.


Today, the race for U.S. Senate in Illinois between Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth remains incredibly tight (Duckworth 42.7%, Kirk 39.6%), and almost 18% of voters are undecided. Independent voters are nearly evenly split in their choice between Duckworth and Kirk.

Kirk’s numbers are strengthened by voters’ belief that he is an independent voice for Illinois in Washington, DC. By 2:1, respondents agreed with the statement Mark Kirk is a thoughtful, independent leader. This positive definition of Kirk as a thoughtful, independent crosses the political spectrum, with even a plurality of Democrats agreeing (33%) and by a 3:1 margin, independents agree (48% to 16%).


Over 60% of voters say the U.S. Senate should hold hearings and a confirmation vote for President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Illinois voters know about Mark Kirk’s independent position on the issue, bolstering his moderate image.


By large majorities, Illinois voters believe there is a likely chance America will be the target of another terrorist attack within the next year, with more than half of respondents saying it is extremely (27.6%) or very (28.1%) likely. Additionally, nearly 60% agree with Mark Kirk’s position that we should not allow Syrian refugees into the U.S. until it can be done safely. National security issues are a major vulnerability for Tammy Duckworth’s candidacy.

When voters learn about Kirk’s and Duckworth’s positions on the issues, Kirk’s record wins. From the Syrian refugee crisis to her economic record to her failures at the VA, Duckworth is vulnerable on her extreme record.

Bottom Line: While the ballot test between Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth remains incredibly tight, the issues voters are focused on and most passionate about provide an edge to the Kirk campaign. Duckworth’s positions on key national security issues, such as her support for allowing 200,000 Syrian refugees into the US, put her at odds with the great majority of Illinois voters. Further exacerbating the challenges to her candidacy are her clear partisan record and failings at the VA.

The full memo with more questions and results is here. Make sure to take a look at them.

* The claim that Illinoisans know about Kirk’s position on the Supreme Court issue is only partially true. A large plurality believe he did show independence, but even more don’t know

That will change, obviously, as the campaign kicks into higher gear.

* And check out these results

Duckworth flatly denies she ever said she wanted to accept 200,000 Syrian refugees, but a recent WaPo article on the topic quotes some Chicago reporters as saying she did. Duckworth may have misspoken, but whatever. I don’t expect Kirk to ever give up on that one.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - vibes - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    Incumbent under 40%? Wow.

  2. - CornerGuy - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    Tight race but duckworth has to be disappointed with these numbers. The very last thing she wants is a tight race with Kirk. Bad news for her.

  3. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    No questions about stamina or health?

  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Looks like Kirk is going to need a lot of Rauner money for his “education” needs.

  5. - MSIX - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Typical leading statement about the Syrians. It’s actually two statements for which one could have differing answers.

    =After the bombings and shootings in Belgium, Paris, and California, there is no way to ensure some Syrian refugees are not part of terrorist groups like ISIS=

    That may be true. But it’s true of any refugee.

    =…and we shouldn’t allow them to enter the U.S. until it is safe.=

    Until what is safe? When will that be? How will we know it’s safe?

  6. - The Captain - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    The quarter is over, they know how much they’ve raised, but the filings aren’t due for another ten days and today they’ve released a poll that shows them losing? One likely explanation is that they’re talking to donors who think they’re going to lose and they’re releasing this poll to try to convince them it’s still competitive. But I suspect they think that Duckworth’s fundraising numbers are going to beat them this quarter, that’s the best explanation for making public a poll that shows you losing at this time.

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    If only there was some way to vet Syrian refugees.

    You know, make them leave their homes and everything they own and live in makeshift camps in the desert in a third country for two years while they are vetted by the U.N., Homeland Security, Defense, the CIA, the FBI, and State.

    Would that calm Sen. Kirk’s fears?

    Oops, that’s already being done.

    Believe me, I get the politics. But Sen. Kirk’s position, in reality, is an argument against letting anyone in the country, because there’s no possible 100% guarantee that someone is not a terrorist. And Kirk knows that.

    Syrian refugees are the most vetted of the millions of people who enter the country every year.

    Curiously, Kirk has no problem with refugees from Iran, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, etc. I guess those are all Mayberries.

    Kirk’s position has nothing to do with national security, it’s just ugly, cynical fearmongering at the expense of some of the most oppressed people on Earth.

    The same argument of “terrorism” was made against the Jews trying to escape Europe in the 30s. How’s that looking now?

    And for the record, the San Bernadino shooter was a U.S. citizen from Chicago, his wife was from Pakistan, and those responsible for Belgium and Paris were French and Belgian citizens of Moroccan descent.

    You can’t lay an act of violence on any refugee let into the United States since 9/11/2011.

    Wish we could say the same about our mass-shooter citizens.

  8. - chad - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    The overwhelming reliance on the Syrian talking points seems so narrow-casted, but he has been using it for months. Unless there is some kind of national security tragedy, I just don’t think that saves him. Time to diversify the issue portfolio.

  9. - Century Club - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    Two things leap out:

    ==600 likely general election voters== I’d be interested to see the demographics on respondents. It’s a crazy year and the Republican nominee may affect turnout dramatically.

    Also, I would assume the last question of the poll is a re-test of Duckworth v. Kirk after hearing the pro-Kirk arguments, but that’s not discussed in the polling memo. If your poll shows you losing in the first heat, you normally would include the final question results to show that if voters hear your arguments you’ll win. My suspicion is that Kirk’s arguments are not moving voters to his camp.

  10. - the Other Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    The question on Syrian refugees is hardly an objective question. It references the terrorist attacks and is based on the premise that refugees are not vetted. I don’t think the question can accurately measure the topic.

    For example, if the question was prefaced by ‘Millions of Syrians are being forced to leave their homes to escape ISIS” you would see the numbersupporting allowing refugees to enter the US increase.

  11. - cdog - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Duckworth will undoubtedly benefit from the anti-GOP (anti-Obstructionist) vote, especially as McConnell continues to be controlled by the few far right-wing voices.

    Both Kirk and Duckworth need to get out their with more comprehensive immigration positions. Then repeat those positions writing new history, burying these old flawed messages.

    Let’s hear about some VIsa tracking? You can now fly into the States, get through customs and immigration and completely disappear. Do Americans have the appetite for the tracking it will take to stop this?

    When we travelled in Europe our passports were scanned by hotels, car rental companies, the entire time. (Europe obviously needs a few tweaks in their systems too.)

  12. - pundent - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    The top of the ticket will have a lot to do with how things play out. Kirk seems to be hanging his hat on his war hawk credentials. It will be interesting to see how Kirk is able to contrast his position on Syria with is likely to be a slightly more extreme position from Trump or Cruz.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    That Kirk’s own polls have him trailing and under 40% tells you all you need to know about how this is going to go for Kirk. All the pandering in the world on Syrian refuges isn’t going to let him keep his job.

  14. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    I thought Kirk might step down after the primary to allow a stronger GOP candidate to try to hang on to this critically important seat. But now that it looks like either Trump or Cruz will be at the top of the ticket, I don’t think there’s anyone the GOP could find to hold onto this one.

    At least we’ll be treated to more Kirkisms along the way. That’s always fun.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    National Security - Kirk
    Preventing Terrorist Attacks - Kirk
    Keeping Taxes Low For Working Families - Kirk
    Independent/ Thoughtful Leadership - Kirk

    These numbers create a clear picture. Kirk is looking better and better!

  16. - slow down - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    So is “Anonymous” at 11:41 am Kirk’s press secretary? How can the numbers of Kirk’s own poll “create a clear picture” of “kirk Looking better and better” if those numbers have him under 40% as an incumbent and losing to his challenger? He’s going to lose. Surely you know that’s the likely outcome.

  17. - burbanite - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    She needs to start running a campaign. Haven’t really seen anything coming from her.

  18. - looie111 - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    so the people won’t vote for someone who doesn’t vote down party lines? sad ! mr. kirk helped me with a problem at the VA. they were at my house in less than 3 weeks. i had waited 8 months. ty senator !!

  19. - velournail - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Kirk will win; Tammy will loose. I have been saying for months that Tammy is a flawed candidate and stand by that statement.

  20. - cal city crew - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 4:44 pm:

    burbanite is correct.

    That said, Democrat advantage in Presidential year turn out is pretty hard to top here in IL.

    This is Tammy’s race to lose, and I’m doubtful she will.

  21. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 4:48 pm:

    There’s videotape of Duckworth saying she’s “signed on for 200,000 refugees,” reported on right here at CapitolFax ( However, that’s ALL refugees–not just Syrian–and not necessarily all at once. The letter to the president she signed back in September called for up to 200,000 total, including 100,000 from Syria. But we’ll see whether voters’ discomfort at that number, in the context of terrorist events that for now are fresher in the public mind than the sign of dead kids’ bodies on Greek beaches, exceeds voter discomfort at Kirk’s pandering. And we’ll also see whether Duckworth has the campaign chops to point out the extent to which Kirk is a faux moderate, aggressively supporting foreign wars and, to a much greater extent than moderate Republicans in the past, providing his votes to the GOP leadership when they are needed and only deviating from the party line when the margin is not close.

  22. - Roscoe Tom - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 8:44 pm:

    Kirk the wannabee warrior with a good conduct medal and nothing else versus Tammy the real warrior equals no contest. Game Set Match with Kirk back to the local VFW

  23. - Mhsheikh - Wednesday, Apr 6, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    Kirk is in terrible shape. I saw him at Fairdale - wow. Duckworth just came off of a contested primary and the spectre of Trump or Cruz isn’t in the poll.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Rauner complains it's "hard to overcome" the "biased" Illinois media
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rate Pritzker's new digital ad
* Recent endorsements: Raoul, Biss, Newman, Villivalam
* Joe Berrios' new radio ad features Jesse White, more attacks on Kaegi
* A make-work program for property tax appeals lawyers?
* Rauner tax hike claim ruled "Mostly False"
* Lawsuits expose more problems at Quincy veterans' home
* Could a Moody's methodology change push Illinois into junk status?
* Republicans get into the "holiday spirit"
* Jesse White's GOP opponent: "I'm extremely ordinary"
* Friday open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





* Miller: Rauner might never be in charge - Quad .....
* Holiday cheer from Rauner to Madigan - SaukVall.....
* New effort to assist residents facing housing c.....

* New Bitcoin-based security bounces in trading debut on CME
* The Latest: Electricity fully restored at Atlanta airport
* Chicago taking proposals for reuse of historic city bridge
* No more valedictorian, class ranks at Kankakee High School
* Police: Illinois man dies after crashing ATV in New Mexico
* 14 millionth book for U of I library is professor's work
* Iowa homeless shelter sees high demand for beds
* Police in Illinois will begin roadside drug tests
* Canadian company closes on site for new ag equipment plant
* Food stamps cut to tens of thousands in Illinois

* State paying Medicaid bills before interest piles up
* Food stamps cut to tens of thousands in Illinois
* Statehouse Insider: Holiday cheer from Rauner to Madigan
* Lawmaker's daughter gets probation in political rival attack
* Gov. Rauner unveils Bicentennial Pepsi can
* Video gambling numbers level off in Springfield
* Judge: Video gambling profits must be split with operators
* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
* Schoenburg: Jones leads fundraising in 13th Democratic primary
* Governor candidates want action on Legionnaire’s outbreak at veterans home

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Chicago lawyers: not a diverse lot
* A legal setback for Jimmy John's in wage-theft case
* A health setback for Hunter Harrison punishes CSX stock

* Man shot during attempted robbery in South Shore
* 2 men wounded in Humboldt Park drive-by shooting
* Armed home invaders near O’Hare get gun wrestled away, 1 possibly shot
* Man wounded in Washington Park shooting
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Dec. 18, 2017
* Dear Abby: I don’t want mom to spend Christmas alone
* Police warn of Gage Park, Back of the Yards robberies
* Late fumble by Raiders seals Cowboys’ win on ‘Sunday Night Football’
* Resistance is futile to the screaming porgs of ‘The Last Jedi’
* Flames threaten coastal communities as firefighters mourn

* Man wrestles gun away from attacker, possibly shoots him in home invasion on Northwest Side
* Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to sell team amid workplace misconduct investigation
* Power fully restored at Atlanta airport after outage grounded more than 1,000 flights
* Homeless man beaten to death at site of his former home, friend says
* Putin called Trump to thank him for CIA tip that helped thwart bombings in Russia
* Trump says he won't fire Mueller as campaign to discredit Russia probe heats up
* Film session: O-line had rough day and Bears can’t win when they can’t run
* LeBron wears 1 black shoe, 1 white shoe, speaks about Trump
* Teen helping stepdad deliver Tribune, other newspapers shot dead on Southwest Side
* Siri, should I believe in God?

» Is It Too Soon To Pass Sexual Harassment Policies? Some Legislators Think So
» Chicago High Schools Compete Against Each Other — For Students
» State Week: Why Are People Still Dying From Legionnaires At Illinois Veterans Home?
» Top Three Challenges For Homegrown Star Taking Over Chicago Schools
» Illinois Women Tell Their #Metoo Stories
» Illinois Issues: A Personal Story
» Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or Not To Billionaire?
» Pritzker To Be First On Primary Ballot
» 3 Years, 13 Legionnaires’ Deaths At Illinois Veterans’ Home
» Protesters Disrupt Meeting, Call For Palos Trustee To Quit Over ‘Racist’ Comments

* George Will: Whirlpool has Washington in a spin cycle
* State paying Medicaid bills before interest piles up
* Andy Shaw: Is Illinois ready to attack bureaucratic bloat and save money?
* UIS Perspectives: Educating leaders in education
* Food stamps cut to tens of thousands in Illinois
* Our View: City should enlist public input in cuts
* Statehouse Insider: Holiday cheer from Rauner to Madigan
* Schoenburg: Bernie-backing Gronemeyer vs. Clinton delegate Mazzotti for Dem post
* Lawmaker's daughter gets probation in political rival attack
* Scott Reeder: Assaults should never be swept under the rug

* Start the Week Off Right: Maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays
* Holiday gift (and selfie) hunt
* One hospitalized after single-car crash that knocked down power lines in Belleville
* One hospitalized after single car crash in Belleville
* Competition challenges gamers to create a model Modern Woodmen Park
* East Moline police investigate shooting
* Longtime state representative officially steps down
* Community creates Christmas to remember for local family who lost everything in house fire
* Overheated light prompts Country Club of Decatur evacuation
* CIRA cancels flights due to Atlanta airport power outage

* Cowboys edge Raiders 20-17 by slimmest of margins
* Giordano, Bennett lead Flames to 6-1 win over Canucks
* Power fully restored at Atlanta's international airport
* Haula's go-ahead goal in 3rd leads Vegas past Panthers
* Trump: I'm not considering firing special counsel Mueller

* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Slew of suburban Democrats seek to challen...
* Efforts continue to have Warrenville Post ...
* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Slew of suburban Democrats seek to challen...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* High school football: Randy Hultgren lauds...
* Suburban Democrats line up to challenge Ro...
* Kendall GOP chief to challenge Kinzinger i...
* Strong early filing for Illinois attorney ...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has contributed little, and other news
* Let’s not presume that Trump and his political ilk are beaten quite yet
* Bling for the budget- and design-conscious
* Standing on the shoulders of ancestors.
* Sketchbook.
* Whenever the fight for democracy reaches a crossroads, look south.
* Sunday, Sunday.
* Rahm on Colbert.
* Sketchbook.
* A Black friend and a Jew lawyer.

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Purported Sony H8216 specs could foreshadow Xperia XZ1 sequel with Snapdragon 845
* HQ Smashed Its All-Time Player Record Tonight as iPhone Trivia Show Continues to Surge in Popularity
* BlackBerry nixes security support for the PRIV after two years
* Apple finally has a Thunderbolt 3.0 cable to its name
* California’s worried about cellphone radiation and it has guidelines for use
* Buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or Gear S3 from Verizon, get $200 off a phone
* Like most things, net neutrality repeal will be gradual on ISPs’ part

* Lull in Manny Machado rumors, but plates shift underneath
* Sporcle Saturday: The richest free agent deals in White Sox history
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* White Sox news that doesn’t involve Manny Machado
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* The cracks in the White Sox-Manny Machado rumors
* Hahn mum on any White Sox-Machado talks

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller