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Illinois Senate - Giannoulias vs. Kirk

Candidates

Alexi Giannoulias

Alexi Giannoulias (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Mark Kirk

Mark Kirk (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

RealClearPolitics Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking:
2010 Key Races: 
Governor | IL-8 | IL-10 | IL-11 | IL-14 | IL-17

----------PAST KEY RACES-----------


2008:
President | IL-10 | IL-11
2006: Governor | IL-6 | IL-8
2004: President | Senate

Polling Data

PollDateSampleGiannoulias (D)Kirk (R)Spread
Final Results----46.348.2Kirk +1.9
RCP Average10/18 - 10/31--41.544.8Kirk +3.3
PPP (D)10/30 - 10/31814 LV4246Kirk +4
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/30 - 10/301000 LV4246Kirk +4
Chicago Tribune10/18 - 10/22700 LV4144Kirk +3
Post-Dispatch/Mason-Dixon10/18 - 10/20625 LV4143Kirk +2

All Illinois Senate - Giannoulias vs. Kirk Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
Illinois Senate - Giannoulias vs. Kirk
41.5Giannoulias (D)
44.8Kirk (R)+3.3

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Race Analysis

10/26/10 -- Although the race remains close, the number of undecideds is steadily dwindling.  Giannoulias needs them to start breaking his way.

10/20/10 -- And now the polls flip back to favoring Kirk by a hair.  This race has kind of flown under the radar screen this cycle, due to Kirk's steady lead; it has probably caused people to forget just how small Kirk's lead really was.  Expect more back-and-forth now that the race seems fully engaged.

10/13/10 -- The polls are now leaning a bit toward Giannoulias.  While this represents Giannoulias' first lead since April, this is still an incredibly tight race.

10/7/10 -- The latest polls are showing undecideds starting to break.  They seem to be doing so mostly evenly, which is a problem for Alexi Giannoulias.  Kirk is clinging to a small lead, even as the pool of voters to convince dwindles.  For now, he retains the edge.

----------Race Preview---------

From the Civil War through the early 20th Century, Illinois consistently voted a few points more Republican than the rest of the country. This changed with the Democrats’ nomination of Al Smith in 1928, which drew white ethnics to the voting booth in droves; they kept voting, and from 1928 through 1976 the state was consistently at the center of American politics. Democrats drew their strength from Chicago, while Republicans dominated downstate and the suburban collar counties.

That changed during the 1990s, when Bill Clinton’s appeal to suburban soccer moms moved the northern suburbs toward the Democrats. Illinois became a solidly Democratic state, to the point where a senator facing serious ethics allegations like Carol Moseley Braun only lost by a few points to Peter Fitzgerald in 1998. Fitzgerald opted not to run for a second term in 2004, and an obscure state Senator named Barack Obama took the seat in a landslide over conservative Republican Alan Keyes. When Obama was elected President, Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to the seat; Burris also opted not to run.

This set up a top-notch fight between Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. Kirk’s resume was especially interesting; he had represented the north Chicago suburbs for a decade in Congress, and thus had shown strength in a swing area of the state.

But neither candidate has acquitted themselves particularly well. Giannoulias received a round of negative publicity from the collapse of his family bank, while Kirk was caught exaggerating his military record. By the time this is over, Illinois voters may be wishing there were a “none of these candidates” option, as there is in Nevada.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleGiannoulias (D)Kirk (R)Spread
Final Results----46.348.2Kirk +1.9
RCP Average10/18 - 10/31--41.544.8Kirk +3.3
PPP (D)10/30 - 10/31814 LV4246Kirk +4
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/30 - 10/301000 LV4246Kirk +4
Rasmussen Reports10/26 - 10/26750 LV4246Kirk +4
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen10/23 - 10/231000 LV4143Kirk +2
Chicago Tribune10/18 - 10/22700 LV4144Kirk +3
Post-Dispatch/Mason-Dixon10/18 - 10/20625 LV4143Kirk +2
Rasmussen Reports10/18 - 10/18750 LV4044Kirk +4
PPP (D)10/14 - 10/16557 LV4042Kirk +2
Rasmussen Reports10/11 - 10/11750 LV4443Giannoulias +1
The Simon Poll/SIU9/30 - 10/10758 LV3737Tie
Rasmussen Reports10/4 - 10/4750 LV4145Kirk +4
Suffolk University9/30 - 10/3500 LV4142Kirk +1
CNN/Time9/24 - 9/28828 LV4342Giannoulias +1
Chicago Tribune9/24 - 9/28600 LV3836Giannoulias +2
PPP (D)9/23 - 9/26470 LV3640Kirk +4
FOX News/POR-Rasmussen9/25 - 9/251000 LV4042Kirk +2
Rasmussen Reports9/21 - 9/21750 LV4144Kirk +3
WeAskAmerica9/13 - 9/131379 LV3639Kirk +3
Rasmussen Reports9/7 - 9/7750 LV3741Kirk +4
Chicago Tribune8/28 - 9/1600 LV3434Tie
Rasmussen Reports8/23 - 8/23750 LV4545Tie
PPP (D)8/14 - 8/15576 LV3735Giannoulias +2
Rasmussen Reports8/9 - 8/9750 LV4040Tie
WeAskAmerica8/4 - 8/4998 RV3339Kirk +6
Rasmussen Reports7/26 - 7/26750 LV4341Giannoulias +2
Rasmussen Reports7/7 - 7/7500 LV4039Giannoulias +1
PPP (D)6/12 - 6/13591 RV3130Giannoulias +1
Rasmussen Reports6/7 - 6/7500 LV3942Kirk +3
R2000/Daily Kos (D)**5/3 - 5/5600 LV3841Kirk +3
Rasmussen Reports4/28 - 4/28500 LV3846Kirk +8
Rasmussen Reports4/5 - 4/5500 LV3741Kirk +4
PPP (D)4/1 - 4/5591 LV3337Kirk +4
Rasmussen Reports3/8 - 3/8500 LV4441Giannoulias +3
R2000/Daily Kos (D)**2/22 - 2/24600 LV4336Giannoulias +7
Rasmussen Reports2/3 - 2/3500 LV4046Kirk +6
PPP (D)1/22 - 1/251062 LV4234Giannoulias +8
Rasmussen Reports12/9 - 12/9500 LV4239Giannoulias +3
Rasmussen Reports10/14 - 10/14500 LV4141Tie
Rasmussen Reports8/12 - 8/12500 LV3841Kirk +3
PPP (D)4/24 - 4/26991 RV3535Tie
R2000/Daily Kos (D)**1/26 - 1/28600 LV3830Giannoulias +8