Raleigh, N.C. – As yesterday’s release showed, there is some concern about keeping the Illinois governor’s mansion in Democratic hands, but its senior U.S. Senate seat is probably safe, as long as its current occupant, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, wants it. More than half of Illinoisans (51%) approve of Durbin’s job performance, and about a third (34%) disapprove. In a generic re-elect test, Durbin gets 52% of the vote to an unnamed Republican’s 38%.
Durbin is in such good shape because 20% of Republicans support his work in the Senate, and 13% of them say they will probably vote for him in two years. Independents are split right down the middle on both fronts, including 42-42 on the re-elect.
Faced with actual opponents, Durbin does even better, though slightly more Republicans and independents are undecided than Democrats. Outgoing Rep. Bob Dold comes closest to matching the ideal Republican’s standing, with a 21-point deficit (54-33). Failed 2010 Tea Party contender Patrick Hughes is down 22 (53-31), and retiring Rep. Joe Walsh lags by 25 (54-29).