December 14th, 2009
12:21 PM ET
9 months ago

Poll: Kirk and Giannoulias Illinois frontrunners

(CNN) - With less than two months until primary day in Illinois, a new poll suggests that Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk are their party's frontrunners in the battle for President Barack Obama's old senate seat - though the Chicago Tribune/WGN survey also indicates that more than a third of Democratic voters and nearly half of Republican voters are undecided.

Thirty-one percent of likely Democratic primary voters questioned in the poll say they're backing Giannoulias, who was elected in 2006 at age 30 as Illinois state treasurer. That's 14 points ahead of former Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson.

No other Democratic candidate was in double digits, according to the survey, which also indicates that 35 percent of Democrats remain undecided.

According to the poll, Giannoulias leads Jackson among female voters by a two-to-one margin, even though Jackson's the only woman in the Democratic primary.


The survey also indicates Kirk, a five term congressman from suburban Chicago, has the support of 41 percent of likely Republican primary voters. No other GOP candidate breaks double digits in the poll. But 46 percent of Republican voters say they're undecided.

The Senate seat up for grabs next year was once held by Barack Obama. Sen. Roland Burris, the controversial appointment by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, still fills the seat. Burris said earlier this summer that he will not run for a full term next year.

The Chicago Tribune/WGN poll was conducted December 2-8, with 600 likely Democratic primary voters and 600 likely Republican primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Poll
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. She should posted on Engrish.com

    kirks toast, too center for repubs and not center enough for general election he cant make it out of the primary unless he flip flops and goes all rogue then he pixxes of chicago electorate
    bye bye

    December 14, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. katiec

    Well, Kirk appears to me to be the typical republican. I believe he
    is too conservative and will blindly follow along with the negativity of the party of NOthing.

    December 14, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. SocialismBad

    Wouldn't it be GREAT if Obama's old seat went Republican??!!

    The voters of Illinois should teach the Democrats a lesson for all their corruption regarding the selling of this seat by the Democrats and their placement of a corrupt politician like Burris in the seat.

    The Democrats have turned Illinois into the poster child for political corruption.

    December 14, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Republicans Need This!

    The GOP needs to win to implement the "Checks and Balances" our Founding Fathers wanted us to enjoy many years ago.

    All those in the Fighting Ill state need to help the GOP!

    December 14, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    Kirk appears to be out of touch with Illinoisans.

    December 14, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. mjm

    If it hadn't been for Kirk's Cap-and -Trade vote he would win this hands down. He still "should" win....considering the democrats have driven this state into the ground....12 billion in the hole. I don't see how that qualifies you for the national stage…..but then again we’re talking about democrats

    December 14, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Hugo

    Good luck with that both, keep that seat nice and warm because Obama is going to need it back come 2012, if there is anything left in him that is...a shell of a man, an empty husk, an empty box of cereal, a blank teleprompter screen, a (sorry got carried away).

    December 14, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Steve

    Do people bashing Mark Kirk have any knowledge of the man, or are they blindly bashing the opposition without a basis?

    I have no problem with the party of "No" if they fundamentals disagree with everything their opponent is doing.

    December 14, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Jane/Seattle

    Ho-Hum! Until we get "leaders" with Integrity, we'll not get anything meaningful done!

    December 14, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    The 35% of democrat voters that are undecided is because no one was able to contact them in their graves.

    December 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Jason

    Go Alexi!

    December 14, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. German,Irish American

    Does it make a difference? ACORN will chose the next Senator from Illinois. Any of the people in that state who think they have a choice of who goes to Washington to lick Obama's boots is out of touch with reality.

    December 14, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |