Steep Climb for Anti-Trump Republican in Illinois Senate Race

Posted: Nov 07, 2016 9:00 PM

It continues to be 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 may have proven their case.

According to the Real Clear Politics average going into Tuesday's election, 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. 

Barack Obama appeared at a fundraiser with Duckworth earlier this month to support the Democratic candidate.

"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 Illinois Senate race is likely out of reach for Republicans, and comments that Kirk made about his challenger's heritage and military service are making it that much harder.

Responding to Duckworth's heritage in the U.S. military, Kirk said "I'd forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."