U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk not best known in country -- but still in dead heat against Lisa Madigan: New poll

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 12/03/2013, 11:51am

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The North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling is calling U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk one of the least well-known in the country after finding that 37 percent of those queried had no opinion of him.

Still, that apparently wouldn’t stop the junior Senator from Illinois from tying one of the most popular Democrats in the state.

And keep in mind that Kirk missed a year in office due to a debilitating stroke.

The survey found that Kirk would tie Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in a hypothetical race for U.S. Senate. PPP says its sample includes 557 Illinois voters including an “oversample of 375″ Republican primary voters.

The newly-released poll shows that Kirk is liked by both Democrats and Republicans alike, especially when compared to Democratic views on other Republican senators.

“What’s interesting about Kirk’s numbers though is that while Republicans are not that enthused about him (only a 35/27 approval), Democrats don’t really have much of a problem with him compared to most Republican Senators (a 23/35 approval),” says PPP’s Tom Jensen. “That crossover support means he might not be an easy out in 2016- he ties Lisa Madigan at 41 in a hypothetical head to head, taking 15% of the Democratic vote while losing only 11% of Republicans.”

What’s also interesting, and another sign of his formidability, is how Kirk fares with Hispanics, an emerging powerful voting bloc. Looking at the crosstabs (below) Kirk has a 49 percent approval rating compared to Madigan’s 32 percent.

From the survey:
Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Lisa
Madigan, who would you vote for?
Mark Kirk………………………………………………… 41%
Lisa Madigan ………………………………………….. 41%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 19%

Public Policy Polling release

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