According to a recent survey conducted by Loras College, Rep. Tammy Duckworth leads Sen. Mark Kirk by 5 points in one of the nation’s most hotly-contested Senate races.
According to the poll, which was conducted between Sept. 13-16, 41 percent of the 600 likely voters interviewed by phone preferred Duckworth, while 36 percent preferred Kirk. 22 percent of those polled were unsure.
Duckworth also received a net favorability rating of +12, while Kirk received a rating of +4. The net favorability rating was found by subtracting the candidate’s percentage unfavorable opinion from their percentage favorable opinion. Additionally, 31 percent of likely voters indicated they had no opinion of Kirk, while 22 percent said they had no opinion of Duckworth.
“The numbers undecided and those who have yet to form an opinion of Kirk, coupled with his net favorable rating, mean this race is not over," Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll, said in a statement. “Add in the general volatility of this year’s campaign season, and the next several weeks could be interesting in Illinois.”
“That said, Duckworth holds some real advantages — including that this is a presidential election year and that tends to help Democrats in a state such as Illinois,” Budzisz added.
The poll also found that Kirk has more crossover appeal than Duckworth. 22 percent of self-identified Democratic voters said they plan to vote for Kirk, while 13 percent of Republicans said they were supporting Duckworth.
On top of that, 41 percent of independents supported Duckworth, while 29 percent backed Kirk. Additionally, 20 percent of Trump supporters remained undecided about the race, compared to 12 percent of Clinton supporters.
The poll numbers are also regionally split across the state. Duckworth garnered more support in Chicago, 54 percent to 21 percent, while Kirk received more support downstate, 41 percent to 32 percent. The Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area was more evenly split, with 41 percent of respondents backing Duckworth and 39 percent supporting Kirk.
Respondents were also asked about the direction Illinois is moving. 14 percent said it was on the right track, while an overwhelming 75 percent said it was moving in the wrong direction. 11 percent were unsure.
The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4 percent and results were calculated at a 95 percent confidence interval.