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Election 2008: Illinois Senate
Durbin Ahead 62% to 31% in Illinois

Majority Whip Dick Durbin now has a two-to-one lead over Republican challenger Steve Sauerberg in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois.

Durbin, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and now holds his party’s number two leadership post in that body, leads 62% to 31% in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Illinois voters.

A month ago, Durbin was ahead of Sauerberg, a doctor from the Chicago suburbs, 59% to 35%. That’s as close as the race has been since polling began there in July.

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Rasmussen Markets data gives Durbin a % chance of being relected. Figures updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the Rasmussen Market results.

Illinois’ junior U.S. senator, Barack Obama, has been consistently ahead of John McCain in his home state. New presidential race polling data from Illinois will be released at 5 p.m. Eastern today.

Durbin has the support of 92% of Illinois Democrats and 17% of Republicans. Sauerberg earns the support of 73% of GOP voters and just three percent (3%) of Democrats. The incumbent leads among unaffiliated voters by 15 points.

Sixty-one percent have a favorable view of Durbin, 32% unfavorable. Sauerberg has 30% favorables and 42% unfavorables. Twenty-eight percent (28%) don’t know enough about the Republican candidate to have an opinion.

As of the latest polling, Durbin and his fellow incumbent Democratic senators all appear likely to be reelected next month. By contrast, a number of Republican Senate seats are at risk including Alaska, North Carolina,New Hampshire,Oregon,New Mexico,Colorado,Mississippi,Minnesota and Virginia.

Sixty-five percent of Illinois voters say Rod Blagojevich, the state’s Democratic governor, is doing a poor job. Just four percent (4%) rate his performance as good. Sixty-seven percent (67%) say things in the state are worse under his governorship than before, with just five percent (5%) saying they are better.

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 13, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Illinois Trends: Durbin (D) vs. Sauerberg (R)













Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Illinois




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Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.