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*** UPDATED x1 *** Democratic poll has Duckworth widening her lead to 7

Monday, Aug 8, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Normington, Petts and Associates

To: Interested Parties
From: Jill Normington
Date: August 8, 2016

The following is a summary of findings from a live interview telephone survey conducted among 800 likely voters in Illinois. Respondents were reached on both landlines and mobile phones. Interviews were conducted August 1-4, 2016. The sampling error for this survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


    • After the recent television exchange, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has expanded her lead over Senator Mark Kirk to 44% to 37%.
    • Duckworth clearly won the recent television exchange that has strengthened her position and drained him of resources.
    • These improvements for Duckworth took place without any commensurate advantage in the presidential race.

Over the course of the last three weeks, despite national polls showing a convention bounce for Hillary Clinton, our polling indicates that Illinois is unaffected. Our July 11-14 poll showed Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump 51%-32%. The current August 1-4 poll shows Clinton besting Trump 51%-32%. Partisan identification is actually net two points more Republican over that span. While there is stasis at the top of the ticket, what has changed is the Senate race.

In late June, Republican incumbent Senator Mark Kirk began an advertising campaign in the Chicago media market focused on distancing himself from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. From June 23-July 28, Kirk spent more than a million dollars on two television ads that sought to establish his independence from his Republican party and attacked Tammy Duckworth on her commitment to Veterans, using the IDVA lawsuit as his primary evidence. According to his most recent FEC filing, Kirk’s million-dollar television expenditure was roughly one-third of his total cash on hand of $3.1M.

From July 14-29, Duckworth spent just $620,00 defending herself and reacquainting voters with her record. The net effect of this exchange, despite getting outspent, is that Duckworth increased her lead over Kirk. As the chart below indicates, our July poll showed Duckworth leading Kirk by just two points, 40%-38% in the wake of more than $500,000 worth of advertising from Kirk to which Duckworth had yet to respond. This most recent poll shows Duckworth leading Kirk by seven, 44%-37%, after airing her rebuttal ad.

Duckworth made gains among constituencies critical to Kirk’s success in November. She pulled ahead among Independents and grew her vote among white voters downstate, among whites without a college degree and among Veteran households. Moreover, she continues to hold substantial leads among the core Democratic constituencies of African American (71%-12%), Hispanic (69%-17%), women (48%-31%) and millennial (46%-32%) voters.

It is clear that when Duckworth has adequate resources to compete in a television exchange, that she can win it. Moreover, Kirk expenditures only served to increase Duckworth’s already sizeable cash on hand advantage over him. While there are still three months to go until Election Day, Tammy Duckworth has emerged from the initial round of paid communication with Mark Kirk in better electoral and fiscal shape than when it began.

* The chart

…Adding… Mobile phone users were 50 percent of the total.

*** UPDATE ***  From the Kirk campaign…

Just like every other Democrat, Duckworth got a temporary bump after the Democrat convention. But as her previous poll shows and the one released by the super pac demonstrates as well, once the race settles back down it’s a dead even race heading into the fall.


  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    –Respondents were reached on both landlines and mobile phones–

    That’s what we were supposed to look for wasn’t it?

  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    I really don’t think Ms. Duckworth is ready for the job nor really qualified, but Kirk makes it so easy for her to win.

  3. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Nice. Hope this is the “Trump effect” in action.

    And if it is, I hope it continues down the ballot.

  4. - slow down - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Kirk’s entire rationale for reelection appears to be the IDVA lawsuit and what he wants us to believe it means. Even if we assume it was a genuine scandal (which it pretty clearly is not), it doesn’t provide a rationale for why voters should send Kirk back to Washington. In a Presidential election year in a deeply blue state, Kirk has to give voters a reason to split their ticket and he simply doesn’t appear capable of doing that.

  5. - Kingsley - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    i’m not sure this shows what duckworth wants it to since they conducted the poll immediately after the dnc convention at trump’s ultimate low point.

    that fact that duckworth’s only poll had it in the margins in July is shocking and shows the fluidity of the race

  6. - The Fool On The Hill - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    Kirk lost the far-right vote, when he pivotal to the center, he found Duckworth was already there .

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    He has two arrows, the “scandal” that wasn’t and the ads about refugees. I’m not sure how effective the refugee scare tactics are while everyone is cheering for the refugees at the Olympics.

  8. - Gooner - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    It is nice to see since I have serious questions about whether Sen. Kirk is able to serve.

    Still, I expect this one will end up being very close. Oddly, as Trump continues to go off the deep end, it might help Kirk. He’s been trying to position himself as a moderate from the start. Trump acting to the extreme helps that case.

  9. - WSJ Paywall - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Honestly thought Kirk would be running a stronger campaign. What’s his message? Why does he deserve another term? Granted, Trump is devouring the airwaves, but Kirk lacks a central and compelling theme.

  10. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    I hope the election ends in a 1-1 tie in which both candidates voted for themselves. Both are doing horrible in explaining why they deserve my vote.

  11. - John Charles Fremont - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    This poll was conducted right after the DNC convention, so I’m also wary of any poll taken before Labor Day. There is a long way to go, and I expect Senator Kirk’s vocal opposition to Trump will help him immensely with suburban women as we get closer to November-Many, many voters are not paying much attention yet. That is especially true of down ballot races.

  12. - Independent Voter - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  13. - Terrible Towel - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    I’m with John Charles Fremont on this one. This poll was done on the coattails of the convention. She went to the Dem convention and Kirk stayed back to work in the state. I’d like to see the polling post labor day.

  14. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    So essentially the race is within the margin of error, after factoring in the timing of this poll and my own personal shaving of several points from partisan polling. I expect it will be that way until November barring something dramatic/stupid.

  15. - Suburban Watchman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  16. - KirkFan - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  17. - Downstate - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  18. - GOPMan - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    ===So essentially the race is within the margin of error===


    Only at the extremes.

    Read this:

  20. - John P - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    [This person’s comment has been deleted and the person has now been banned for life for violating the rule against sock puppetry.]

  21. - Gooner - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    Interesting analysis, Ron Burgundy.

    When I apply my own “personal shaving of several points from partisan polling” I find proof that Duckworth now has a commanding 80 point margin.

    That’s going to take some serious effort for Kirk to overcome.

    Also, I went over last season’s Premier League stats and found several goals that I didn’t like, so I just shaved them. As a result, I’m proud to announce that Arsenal is now the 2015-2016 EPL Champion!

    Sorry Cubs fans. There was nothing to shave. You still ended last year on the losing end.

  22. - Century Club - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    I like how the sock puppets used names that indicated they were from key Kirk voter blocs!

    As for the polls: yes, the fact this comes right after the DNC is a boost for Duckworth, but Kirk’s April poll and Duckworth’s July poll both have her ahead.

    The run to the middle strategy is much harder when the top of your ticket is so extreme. Kirk has to disassociate himself from the Republican nominee and convince left-leaning moderates to vote the Republican in his race. Meanwhile, the top of his ticket is running on a strategy of abandoning the middle, so he will be constantly swimming upstream. He’s got to paint Duckworth as an extreme lefty or disqualify her on some grounds and it doesn’t appear the ammo is there for either tactic.

  23. - Clark - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’m actually curious if Duckworth’s campaign strategy is to just sit back and let the partisan voters turnout. With polls like these, I also think it’ll be a close race to the finish, barring any major gaffes.

  24. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    So I guess I’m one of the few who always takes partisan-paid polling with a slight grain of salt? I’d say the same if it was a Kirk poll.

  25. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    For what its worth, my wife has been in contact with both campaigns. Duckworth appears better organized on the ground in DuPage county than Kirk.

    If Trump continues to self-destruct, I expect to see a lot of President Obama in the state in October. He knows the value of having a friendly Senate.

  26. - Kingsley - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Last Bull Moose–why is your wife talking to both campaigns?

  27. - Bigtwich - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    –they conducted the poll immediately after the dnc convention at trump’s ultimate low point.–

    Think so? Look at fivethirtyeight today.

  28. - walker - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Looks like a report designed to say “Our ads worked, so send more money.”

    As to predictability, ask that after September 15.

  29. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    Kingsley, Each side called her so she listened.

  30. - People Over Parties - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    I’d still take this poll with a grain of salt considering the DNC bounce… plus it was a partisan poll. We’ll see what happens after Labor day.

  31. - Northsider - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:07 pm:

    I’ve never seen this much sock-puppetry in one post here before. Someone must be very scared.

  32. - South Illinoisian - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    I’m not particularly excited about either of them. What has Kirk done to deserve another term? Nothing I can remember that stands out. Not sure Duckworth is ready for the big leagues.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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