Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer
• IL-Sen: PPP’s first Illinois poll of the cycle finds GOP Sen. Mark Kirk in a dire position. He currently trails his top Democratic challenger, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, by a 42-38 margin and sporting a plug-ugly 25-42 job approval rating. That’s down from a 28-32 score back in February (that survey did not include any general election numbers), leading Tom Jensen to conclude that Kirk’s astonishing and seemingly endless series of verbal debacles has harmed him with voters.
It’d be nice to believe that, though generally speaking, few normal people are paying attention to this kind of thing so far out (15 months!) from Election Day. Still, these numbers do suck for the incumbent, and here’s another reason: Kirk still only takes 38 percent of the vote against Duckworth’s little-known primary opponent, Andrea Zopp, who manages just 29 percent. (Duckworth leads Zopp 59-10 for the Democratic nomination.) And here’s the crazy thing: Kirk’s performance against Duckworth is actually better than in the only other poll we’ve seen this year, an Ogden & Fry survey last month that had him trailing 44-27!
But like we asked last time, is this poll too good to be true? Maybe, but it’s hard to see how it is. On the presidential side, Hillary Clinton leads by anywhere from 48-39 (over Jeb Bush) to 51-33 (against Donald Trump). If anything, that might seem soft, but bear in mind that Barack Obama’s election results in the Land of Lincoln were inflated thanks to his favorite son status. John Kerry carried Illinois by “only” 10 points, and a Feb. 2008 poll pitting Clinton against John McCain (the only legitimate one of the entire race, as it happens) found her ahead 48-37.
And it’s not just PPP who thinks Kirk is in trouble. Ron Gudwitz, a top Republican fundraiser in Illinois, just publicly called on Kirk to step aside, saying his big mouth has been damaging the party and could cause “collateral damage” to other GOP candidates. Gudwitz, who was finance chair for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s successful campaign last year, later tried to “retract” the remarks because he didn’t “want to take the heat” he immediately started getting—after all, Republicans don’t really have a better option than Kirk. But no incumbent facing a difficult re-election wants this kinds of headache—or this kind of polling result….
• FL-Sen: Just a day after the right-wing Sunshine State News reported that GOP Rep. Ted Yoho was considering a Senate bid, the congressman himself clarified matters on C-SPAN. Actually, no, wait, he didn’t. He just said a bunch of conflicting things:
Yoho: “I have no intention to run for the Senate.” […]Yoho: “It is ruled out.” […]
Host: “The story says, ‘looking at entering the race but is far from making a final decision.’ ”
Yoho: “Real far.”
Host: “Okay, so it’s done—you’re not gonna do it.”
Yoho: “It’s done.”
“Ruled out” and “it’s done” sound like definite “nos,” but “no intention” and “real far” from making a decision are definitely not “nos.” Whatever, people change their minds all the time. If Yoho wants to be crystal clear about his plans, he can issue a clarification. If he doesn’t, then we will still continue to view him as a possible Senate candidate.
And given how unsettled the Republican field is, that only makes sense. A new survey from St. Pete Polls confirms what we’ve seen elsewhere, finding Rep. David Jolly as the only contender in double digits in the five-man field (with just 10 percent); over 60 percent of GOP voters are undecided…..Share on Facebook