It’s a crucial one for both parties, and though both candidates have mounted vigorous – and nasty – campaigns, neither has been able to open up any space from the other in the polls.
Most recently, Congressman Kirk, a moderate, has been slightly ahead of Mr. Giannoulias, the state treasurer. But with a large portion of Illinois voters still undecided, the 2- to 3-point edge doesn’t mean a lot.
The race so far has largely focused on character: Giannoulias keeps pointing out the ways in which Kirk, a former Navy officer, misrepresented his military experience. Kirk, meanwhile, has attacked Giannoulias for his mismanagement of his family’s bank.
The negative campaign may be one reason so many Illinois voters are both unenthusiastic and unable to make a decision, and the victory is likely to
come down to who is better at getting people to the polls.