Is Obama hurting Alexi Giannoulias’s Senate chances?

Mike Riggs Contributor

According to Public Policy Polling, Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias can’t even get Democrats on board!

A PPP survey taken a week and a half before the primary found Giannoulias up 42-34 on Kirk. But the closing stretch of the campaign did not go well for the Democratic nominee, with the attacks on him resulting in a final margin of victory that was a good deal less than what he had shown in earlier polls. Since then most of the news for him has been bad.

The main reason Giannoulias is behind is that he’s getting only 54% of the Democratic vote while Kirk is winning 77% of the Republican vote. It’s not that a lot of Democrats are planning to cross over and vote for Kirk, but 36% of them are undecided right now compared to just 16% of Republicans. That suggests Democratic voters don’t really know what to make of Giannoulias’ problems right now so they’re just taking a wait and see approach to the race.

Also not helping Giannoulias is that President Obama is not nearly as popular in the state as he once was. 50% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 42% who disapprove. His 7% approval rating with home state Republicans is just as bad as it is with them nationally and his 81% standing with Democrat is about par for the course. He does continue to be more popular with independents in Illinois than he is in most states, with 51% of them approving of his job performance to 38% disapproving. Voters in the state express support for his health care plan by only a 46/43 margin.