Illinois Senate Race: Anti-Trump Republican Losing Traction

Justin Holcomb
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Posted: Oct 24, 2016 11:45 AM
Illinois Senate Race: Anti-Trump Republican Losing Traction

It has been tough sledding for Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and his bid to seek re-election.  Democrats are poised and confident that U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth will defeat the Illinois Republican in this year's election, and the polls are steadily proving their case.

According to the most recent poll, Kirk trails Duckworth by 14 percentage points.

However, Kirk is warning that the polls may not be entirely accurate.

"News of my political death has been way too early," Kirk said. "Always Kirk has closed strongly."

Kirk has consistently maintained an 'F' rating from the National Rifle Association and has separated himself from the Republican nominee for president Donald Trump, calling him "delusional" and "too bigoted and racist for Illinois."

And to make things even more complicated, Barack Obama appeared at a fundraiser with Duckworth earlier this month.

"Tammy knows what's important to our families. That's because she's walked in our shoes," Obama said, calling her "a terrific leader who will never stop fighting for all of us."

Duckworth, who is a double-amputee as a result from combat in from the Iraq, has blasted Kirk for exaggerating his own military record, including his assertion that he came under enemy fire while flying reconnaissance missions in Iraq. She has also hauled in nearly three times the cash Kirk did during the final fundraising quarter, leaving her with more than $4 million to Kirk's roughly $1.4 million.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had scheduled additional TV ads in the final weeks of the race, but recently cut back on the order and diverted the money to states with more competitive Senate races.

Kirk and Duckworth are scheduled to meet on Thursday in Springfield and Nov. 4 in Chicago for their two final debates.