28 August, 2010

Kirk vs. Giannoulias -- Latest polls

The three latest polls are giving mixed signals.

As I thought, Rasmussen has put this race on a two-week cycle of polling. Their latest poll has the race tied at 45-45.

Public Policy Polling has Gianoulias up by two, at 37-35. What is significant here is that they are claiming 28% of Likely Voters (both PPP and Rasmussen's polls are of "Likely Voters") as still undecided, which seems rather high to me (Rasmussen has consistently placed the Likely Voter undecided in the area of 10%). PPP is a Democratic pollster organization, so chances are their sampling size skews Democrat to begin with. Also, many observers have pointed out that PPP tends to be overly optimistic when it comes to estimating Democratic turn out; in a year where the Democrats are clearly in bad shape, heavy Democratic turnout for any race this year is not a given.

Finally, there's a poll put out by some group called We Ask America, which has Kirk up by six points among Registered Voters, 39-33. This poll also has a large undecided percentage (28%), but since its among Registered Voters rather than Likely Voters, that's to be expected (Just because you're registered doesn't necessarily mean you're likely to vote). However, it should also be pointed out that this poll had a larger sampling than either of the other polls mentioned above, so in theory its results may be closer to the general reality. Still, even these pollsters think this race will tighten up "sooner rather than later".

At a guess, I'm going to say the race is essentially tied right now, but leaning Kirk's way. I'm still not seeing any evidence that people are getting behind Gianoulias because they think he's a great choice, just the one who happens to have a (D) after his name. That's a vast difference from the people I'm seeing who are expressing their support for Kirk. In a year where the Democrats prospects appear to be on the wane, that might not be enough to overcome.

BTW, over on the Governor's race, I've just noticed that Real Clear Politics has moved Illinois to "Leans Republican". Latest Rasmussen poll has Brady leading by eight points, 48-41.

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