PI Original Josh Kalven Sunday October 19th, 2008, 2:53pm

Progress Illinois Poll In IL-10: Kirk 47%, Seals 41%

Bennett, Petts, & Normington for Progress Illinois. 10/15-16.  Likely voters. MoE 4.9%:

Dan Seals (D): 41%
Mark Kirk (R): 47%
Undecided: 12%

In the middle of last week, the Washington D.C.-based polling firm Bennett, Petts & Normington conducted ...

Bennett, Petts, & Normington for Progress Illinois. 10/15-16.  Likely voters. MoE 4.9%:

Dan Seals (D): 41%
Mark Kirk (R): 47%
Undecided: 12%

In the middle of last week, the Washington D.C.-based polling firm Bennett, Petts & Normington conducted the above survey for Progress Illinois in the 10th Congressional District.  The results are very similar to the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll conducted two weeks earlier, which also found Democratic challenger Dan Seals down by six points (44-38%). 

That both GOP Rep. Mark Kirk's support and job approval fell under 50 percent is good news for Seals. He remains within striking distance and a big boost in Democratic turnout on Election Day could make all the difference.  As we've reported, both SEIU and the Illinois Coalition for Refugee Rights have been doing a great deal of work in the district to register and turn out Democratic-leaning voters.  Meanwhile, there still appear to be a considerable number of undecided Democrats and Independents up for grabs.

Seals' recent barrage of television advertising seems to have boosted his name-ID in the district.  While 29 percent of respondents didn't recognize him in the Daily Kos poll, that figure was 16 percent in our survey.

The poll found that over a third of respondents were unaware of the constitutional convention question on this year's ballot.  Of those who were aware, 21 percent favored holding a Con-Con and 45 percent opposed the idea. Furthermore, we found that Gov. Rod Blagojevich has a 10 percent favorability rating in the district.

More detail below.

Methodology:

This is a telephone survey among 400 registered voters in the 10th Congressional District of Illinois who are likely to vote in the general election in November 2008. The survey was conducted from October 15-16, 2008 by trained, professional interviewers following procedures established by Bennett, Petts & Normington.

All polls are subject to errors caused by interviewing a sample of persons, rather than the entire population. In 95 cases out of 100, the responses to this survey should fall within plus or minus 4.9 percentage points of those that would have been obtained from interviewing the entire population of likely voters in the 10th Congressional District of Illinois. The sampling error for subgroups of the survey will be greater.

The data have been weighted by age and race to better reflect the composition of the electorate.

Partisan breakdown*:

Democrats: 34%
Republicans: 28%
Independents: 38%

Head-to-head toplines*:

Kirk job approval:

Excellent: 11%
Good: 38%
Fair: 32%
Poor: 6%
Don't Know: 13%

Favorability ratings:

Kirk
Favorable: 50%
Unfavorable: 21%
Neutral: 21%

Seals
Favorable: 42%
Unfavorable: 26%
Neutral: 16%

Obama
Favorable: 68%
Unfavorable: 22%
Neutral: 9%

McCain
Favorable: 46%
Unfavorable: 40%
Neutral: 14% 

Blagojevich
Favorable: 10%
Unfavorable: 74%
Neutral: 11%

Presidential numbers:

Barack Obama (D): 56%
John McCain (R): 35%
Undecided: 9%

Issues:

I’m going to read you a list of issues and I want you to tell me which one you think is the MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM that you would like to see your next representative in Congress do something about?

The economy and jobs ..................................... 48%
The financial crisis ............................................ 18
The war in Iraq .................................................. 10
Taxes .................................................................. 7
Health care ......................................................... 6
Gas and energy prices ........................................ 4
Illegal immigration ............................................... 4
(DON'T KNOW) .................................................. 2

On the constitutional convention, we first asked respondents if they were aware that the question was on the ballot this year:

First, are you aware or not aware that this November voters in Illinois will be asked to decide if we should hold a constitutional convention, for the purpose of preparing a new state constitution?

Aware: 64%
Unaware:
36% 

If aware, do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE Illinois holding a constitutional convention?

Support: 21%
Oppose: 45%
Undecided: 35%

* The original version of this post had the percentage of Independent and Republican respondents mixed up.  The Republican percentages for Seals and Kirk were also flipped.  Apologies for any confusion.

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