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Poll: Kirk, Duckworth in dead heat in potential 2016 matchup

A new poll shows Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, could pose a solid threat to Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, if she decides to challenge him in the 2016 Senate race.

The We Ask America poll, commissioned by The Illinois Observer shows it’s a dead heat between the two. The poll, conducted among 1,003 Illinois voters, has Duckworth at 45.59 percent while Kirk is at 45.02 percent; the poll has a +/- 3 percent margin of error. Of those polled, 9.39 percent are undecided.

Duckworth is considering a run, while Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., has been feeling out major Illinois Democratic donors.

“Kirk and Duckworth are a dead heat at this point,” said WAA pollster Chris Wieneke. “This result is unexpected, we would not expect to see a one-term Congresswomen run this strong statewide in such an early poll.”

In another hypothetical matchup, Kirk dominates outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn, 55 percent to 35.7 percent.

Overall, Wieneke says the poll numbers should be viewed with a bit of caution.

“Holiday-time surveys can produce a weird mix of responses that meet our criteria but nonetheless sway results,” Wieneke said.