The new survey of Illinois by Public Policy Polling (D) shows Republican Rep. Mark Kirk taking a narrow lead in the race for President Obama’s former Senate seat. This is due to a decline in support for Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who has been weathering controversies surrounding his family’s bank, which is facing insolvency and is reported to have made loans to people connected with organized crime.
The numbers: Kirk 37%, Giannoulias 33%, with a whopping 30% undecided, a number that comes disproportionately from Democratic and independent voters. Back in January, Giannoulias led Kirk by 42%-34%. So Kirk’s support has only increased marginally, but Giannoulias has seen a sharp decline. The TPM Poll Average currently gives Kirk an edge of 37.8%-36.3% over Giannoulias.
From the pollster’s analysis: “The controversies swirling around Giannoulias and his family seem to be taking a toll on him. Where before 31% of voters viewed him favorably to 19% unfavorably, now just 21% have a positive opinion of him and 28% see him negatively.”