Candidates Release Self-Serving Senate Polls

Results depend on who took them!

A new poll of likely voters of my choosing shows that I lead likely U.S. Senate nominees Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias by, like, huge margins. I just might win this thing!

But then, their polls show them in the lead.

So it goes.

The latest poll out of the Kirk campaign this week has their man ahead of Giannoulias by a 44-38 margin. But last week the Giannoulias campaign released a poll showing their man ahead of Kirk 46-43. And both claimed to have polled likely voters! 

Now, it's possible that Kirk gained nine points in one week. But only about as likely as Kirk choosing this time to renounce Glenn Beck.

Both polls had a margin of error of 3.5, so that gets us part of the way there if both polls were really erroneous.

And voters' views can be fluid, especially when we're still in the primaries.

But are a lot of Illinoisans really torn between such very different candidates?

More likely, a lot of Illinoisans just don't know very much about either. Even though likely voters were polled, a significant segment were likely ignorant voters. And I don't mean that as a pejorative.

For example, the Giannoulias poll also found that voters approve of the job he has done as state treasurer by a two-to-one margin. Are there really that many voters in a position to evaluate Giannoulias's peformance as state treasurer? If those same voters were asked to explain what it is they like or don't like about Giannoulias's performance, blank stares would probably win by a ten-to-one margin.

The Kirk poll found that he also leads other potential Democratic opponents by similar margins, with a 43-32 lead over David Hoffman; a 45-33 lead over Cheryle Jackson; and a 45-28 lead over Jacob Meister.

In other words, Kirk basically has the support of about 45 percent of likely, registered Illinois voters statewide regardless of his opponent. He doesn't have any more support when compared to Giannoulias as he does to Meister. Only the undecideds go up because, well, not a whole lot of folks know who Meister is. At this point we're still polling name recognition as much as anything else.

And maybe Giannoulias has a base support of about 45 percent, as his polling seems to show.

The last Rasmussen Reports poll called it a dead heat at 41-41.

Let's just go with that until we're through the primaries. Anything else would probably be ignorant.

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Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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