A Rasmussen poll released Tuesday shows Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias in a narrow lead over Republican nominee Mark Kirk, but a poll done on the same day for the state's governor race did not bode very well for Democrats.
Rasmussen--a typically Republican-leaning poll company--has Giannoulias in the lead over Kirk 44 to 41 percent, which is a 9-point swing from its February 3 data that showed Mark Kirk with a 46 to 40 lead.
"The poll was conducted on March 8, 2010 after a week of negative press coverage and attacks against Alexi," according to a statement from the Giannoulias campaign.
"Even Republican polls show Alexi's momentum with him leading," Alexi for Illinois Campaign Manager Mike Rendina said in a statement. "Illinois voters are showing again and again that they see through the same old, negative smear attacks from Republican Mark Kirk. Illinois families want a Senator who will fight for them every day to create new jobs, not a Washington insider who has spent over a decade in Congress taking millions from Wall Street and corporations and then voting their way."
The campaign also believes Giannoulias' lead is "actually greater" than the results released today.
As Giannoulias spoke of his White House support Tuesday, some were wondering if the powers that be in Washington really are trying to push him out of the race. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin writes:
Giannoulias met with David Axelrod at the White House on Tuesday. At the same time, Republicans were sending out dispatches with a reminder of President Obama's recent denunciation of "fat cats who are getting rewarded for their failure . . . bankers don't need another vote in the U.S. Senate." Expect heat on Alexi to exit the kitchen.
On Tuesday, Rasmussen released some rather shocking poll numbers in the Illinois governor race.
The poll found Sen. Bill Brady leading Gov. Pat Quinn 47 percent to 37 percent, with 6 percent preferring another candidate and 9 percent undecided.
As the Capitol Fax blog points out, this poll is quite different from a Daily Kos poll released a few weeks back, where Quinn led 47 to 32 percent.
Brady's numbers likely reflect at least a modest bounce from the news of his victory. Given Illinois' strong Democratic leanings, the race is sure to tighten in the days ahead.