30 April, 2010

Illinois Senate Race Watch: Kirk up by 8 (Rasmussen)

Rasmussen polling now has Mark Kirk up by 8 points over Alexi Giannoulias. Giannoulias' connections with his family's (now failed) Broadway Bank are hurting him significantly, and the Democratic candidate has so far not been able to so much as make a dent in Kirk's armor. Most ominously, Giannoulias backing among solid Democrats has remained virtually unchanged so far this year, while his support among independents is eroding rapidly.

Still, I'll have to give my usual caveat: This is a Rasmussen poll, which means it likely leans Republican. My personal belief is that the actual race is closer than this, since there are still a fair percentage of people out there who know nothing about either candidate and have probably not really made up their minds.

However, if this lead holds in this range or better into the summer, then don't be surprised if there is serious talk of replacing Alexi Giannoulias on the ticket. The Democrats still want very much to retain this seat, and may be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that.

Also, Rasmussen has Republican candidate Bill Brady up by 7 points over Democrat Pat Quinn. Frankly, no surprise here. Privately, a lot of Democrats I know think Pat Quinn is Dead Man Walking, and what support I'm seeing for him has been soft at best. My gut feeling is that Bill Brady's lead will actually widen over the summer, rather than narrow.

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