by Craig Dimitri

Democrats continue to advance upon previously safe GOP seats: the IL-10th CD is a quintessential example.  Three-term Rep. Mark Kirk won his first re-election in 2002 with 69%, and his second re-election in 2004 with 64%, even while John F. Kerry was carrying the district with 53% of the vote.  But now, Kirk is in a pitched battle with former Clinton administration official Dan Seals (D).

One could be forgiven, for deeming Kirk to be a solid, safe Republican seat.  He outran George W. Bush by 18% in 2004, so the President’s low popularity in the Chicago area, wouldn’t seem to put Kirk at all that much risk.  But it has.  The latest MajorityWatch poll was taken from October 24-26, with 1,008 likely voters and a margin of error of 3.08%.  It shows Seals with a narrow 48%-46% lead, within the margin of error and thus a statistical tie.  In MajorityWatch’s previous survey, conducted from Oct. 15-16, it was a two-point lead for Kirk, 46%-44%, also within the margin of error.

Why is Kirk in such a battle?  Bush.  Kerry carried this district in 2004, and Bush’s approval rating in the district is below the national average.  In the first poll, Bush’s approval/disapproval ratings were 26%/65%; in the most recent poll, they improved slightly, but remain abysmal: 29%/63%.

Seals official campaign site –

Kirk official campaign site –

MajorityWatch poll –

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at 

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