Polls show Republican Mark Kirk leading in race to take Senate seat once held by President Obama

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The polling numbers coming out of Illinios in the race to take President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat are yet another indication that Democrats are facing an unfriendly electorate this year.

Rasmussen Reports most recent statewide telephone survey of “Likely Voters” found the Republican Illinios Rep. Mark Kirk to be leading Democratic state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias 45 to 41 percent. Green Party Candidate LeAlan Jones trailed both men with 4 percent of the vote.

Two weeks ago, a Rasmussen poll had Kirk leading Giannoulias 44 to 41 percent with Jones pulling in 4 percent support.

Kirk reportedly is also out done Giannoulias in fundraising.

Dr. John Brehm, University of Chicago political science professor, told The Daily Caller that it is a bit of a stretch to call the seat Obama’s. “It was never really Obama’s seat per se. I mean he only sat there for two years,” he said.

Indeed, the seat has flipped from Republican to Democrat and back through out the years. Prior to Obama’s tenure, Republican Peter Fitzgerald had occupied the seat for six years and before him, Democrat Carol Moseley Braun.

“Historically it has been a more Republican seat. It has only been in the years that Illinois has been reliably blue that this has been a Democratic seat,” Brehm said.

While many Democrats are working to distance themselves from the president due to his low approval ratings, Giannoulias has embraced the president. With an approval rating of 45.5 percent according to the Real Clear politics average, Obama’s popularity in Illinois is much higher in the state than the national average

President Obama is slated to headline a fundraiser for Giannoulias in Chicago on Thursday and the first lady will attempt to provide Giannoulias a boost next Wednesday during a trip of her own.

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