The new survey of the Illinois Senate race by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that this state is now struggling in its choice between two seriously flawed candidates — and there could even be a significant protest vote for a third candidate.
The numbers: Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who has endured bad publicity from the failure of his family’s bank, has 31%. Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, who has come under fire for false statements about his military record, has 30%. And a third candidate, LeAlan Jones of the Green Party, gets 14%. The survey of registered voters has a Â±4.2% margin of error.In the previous PPP numbers from early April, Kirk had a lead of 37%-33%, with Jones not included. These numbers came in the run-up to the insolvency of the Giannoulias family bank, and well before the recent news about Kirk’s military record.
Respondents in the new poll were asked: “Do you think Mark Kirk has been truthful about his military record?” Here the answer for Kirk is an abysmal 10% yes, 45% no, and 45% not sure.
The two major candidates have identically bad personal ratings, at 23% favorable to 31% unfavorable, with 45% undecided, while Jones is at 2%-13%-84%. In a good sign for Democrats, President Obama’s approval rating is 53%-41%, and voters favor the new health care reform law by a narrow edge of 45%-43%.
PPP’s Tom Jensen writes: “It’s hard to see this race as anything but a pure tossup at this juncture but in Illinois a race between a flawed Democrat and a flawed Republican is probably going to end up in the Democratic column, and Giannoulias’ 5 point gain relative to Kirk is in the 10 weeks reflects that.”