Duckworth Increases Lead Over Kirk In Illinois Senate Race

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth expanded her lead over Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois in a Friday state-wide poll published by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Duckworth is polling just below the fifty percent mark at 48 percent, compared to Kirk’s 34 percent. Ten percent of voters remain undecided in the poll.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also leads Republican nominee Donald Trump in the state-wide poll, earning 53 percent in the state compared to Trump’s dismal 28 percent showing. Illinois hasn’t voted for a Republican president since 1988.

“The poll is a clear outlier based on all the other public polling and internal polling we have seen,” Eleni Demertzis, communications director for the Kirk campaign, told Roll Call.

An American Enterprise Institute (AEI)-sponsored panel declared that there was “no chance” for Kirk to win the Senate race, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in September. Demertzis disputes AEI’s conclusions, citing an internal poll taken in July, 2016, that gives Kirk a slight edge.

“Every pundit has an opinion, but when actually looking at real math in this campaign, the election is a dead heat between Kirk and Duckworth,” Kirk Campaign Manager Kevin Artl told the DCNF.

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