The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of the Illinois Senate race finds that Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias has fallen behind Republican Mark Kirk in the race for President Obama’s former Senate seat, likely due to the collapse of Giannoulias’s family bank. But at the same time, the underlying issue climate should be favorable to the Democrats here.
The numbers: Kirk 41%, Giannoulias 38%. The poll of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. Back in late February, before the bank collapsed, Giannoulias was ahead by 43%-36%. The TPM Poll Average puts Kirk ahead by 41.9%-36.0%.
In addition, Giannoulias’s favorable rating is only 38%, with 46% unfavorable, down from a 49%-34% favorable rating in late February. Kirk’s rating is 39%-33%, not significantly changed from a 42%-35% rating in late February.
Kos finds a silver lining in this question: “Would you be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports and will work to improve the new health care reform law, or a candidate who will work to repeal it completely?”
Here the answer is support 51%, repeal 35% — suggesting that a Democrat ought to naturally have the upper hand in this race.
Kos writes: “The best possible news for Giannoulias is that Kirk can’t possibly drag out the bank stuff for the next six months (though he’ll certainly try). And on the issues, Giannoulias has the obvious advantage.”