July 31, 2015 –Public Policy Polling surveyed the Illinois electorate (July 20-21; 931 registered Illinois voters; 409 likely Illinois Democratic primary voters; 369 likely Illinois Republican primary voters) and found each party spinning the Senate numbers very differently.
According to the data, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-8) scores a 42-36 percent edge over incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R). Democrats obviously are claiming that Kirk is one of the weakest of GOP senators standing for election next year since their challenger already holds an outright lead. The data indicates that Duckworth and the Democrats are taking advantage of a series of gaffes that the first-term incumbent recently uttered. Republicans, on the other hand, point to the fact that Kirk is only six points down. They argue that his negatives from the controversial statements will only have a short-term effect.
Kirk also finds himself in upside-down job approval territory, notching a poor 25:42 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. Rep. Duckworth, on the other hand, records a 34:23 percent positive score. Though the non-responding/refused to answer factor (43 percent) is high for the Duckworth question, her total name identification is strong for a lone House member in a large population state.