Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias remain locked in a tight race for the U.S. Senate, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Illinois.
With leaners added in, Kirk picks up 41% of the vote, while Giannoulias earns 37% support. Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, included for the first time in a Rasmussen Reports survey of the race, earns nine percent (9%). Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate in the race, and another nine percent (9%) are undecided.
Two weeks ago, when leaners were included in the totals, Kirk and Giannoulias were tied at 45% apiece. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. From this point forward, Rasmussen Reports considers results with leaners the primary indicator of the race.
The contest in Illinois remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.
If leaners are not included, Kirk has 37% support to Giannoulias’ 34% and Jones’ 12%, suggesting as is often the case that support moves away from third party candidates to one of the major party nominees as Election Day approaches. In the previous survey, Giannoulias captured 42% of the vote to Kirk’s 40% when voters were asked their initial preference.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Kirk voters say they are already certain how they will vote in November, as do 53% of Giannoulias’ supporters and 40% of those who are backing Jones.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Illinois was conducted on September 7, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.