The new Fox News poll of the Illinois Senate race gives Republican Mark Kirk a narrow lead over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias — with quite a few protest votes for the Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones.
The numbers: Kirk 42%, Giannoulias 40%, and Jones 7%. The survey of likely voters has a Â±3% margin of error. There is no previous Fox News poll of this race. However, this poll was conducted through a Rasmussen offshoot, Pulse Opinion Research, which performs made-to-order robopolls. In the previous Rasmussen poll from last week, Kirk had 44%, Giannoulias 41%, and Jones 4%.The internals of the poll show both Obama and McCain voters from 2008 supporting Jones in the same proportions, suggesting that support for him could be more a matter of pure protest vote as opposed to support being siphoned from Democrats. Both major candidates have been dogged by negative stories in the race, relating to the failure of Giannoulias’s family bank and Kirk’s past misstatements of his military record.