A poll taken by Alexi Giannoulias' Democratic Illinois Senate campaign last week shows Giannoulias even with GOP rival Rep. Mark Kirk, making up for ground lost after the failure of the Giannoulias family-owned Broadway Bank.
Giannoulias, the state treasurer, is even with Kirk, according to his campaign pollsters, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Their poll of 600 likely November voters -- taken May 11-13 -- shows a 44-44 tie.
A Giannoulias campaign internal poll of 600 conducted April 27-29, just after federal regulators shut down the bank on April 23, had Kirk at 43 and Giannoulias at 37.
Both polls had a 4 percentage-point margin of error. Each time the question was the same: if the election were today, would you vote for Giannoulias or Kirk.
The Greenberg poll shows that despite taking a hit from the bank failure, Giannoulias is a viable contender, albeit one with an uphill battle.
Giannoulias gained ground between the April and May polls especially in Chicago and its suburbs.
The poll also showed that President Obama has high approval ratings in his adopted state, with 62 percent of all likely voters approving of the job Obama is doing in the White House.
Giannoulias was a vice president of the bank before being elected state treasurer in November 2006, and Kirk seized on Broadway Bank as a major issue having to do with Giannoulias' competency and credibility.
Giannoulias immediately went on the offensive after Broadway Bank failed, with a round of ads framing Broadway as a victim of the recession -- and GOP policies Kirk supported.
Kirk responded with his own $250,000 ad buy to rebut Giannoulias' claims and continued pounding on Giannoulias over Broadway Bank.