New poll shows Kirk up over Alexi Giannoulias

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) holds a seven-point lead over Alexi Giannoulias (D) and a wide lead over GOP primary opponents in his Senate campaign, according to automated polling conducted for Kirk’s campaign.

The surveys, which were done by Colorado-based Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies and obtained by The Hill, show Kirk leading Giannoulias 42-35 in the general election, with 23 percent of voters undecided.

In the primary, Kirk leads developer Patrick Hughes 61-3, with several other candidates registering and 30 percent undecided.

The poll shows Kirk with a 55 percent favorable rating among GOP primary voters and just a 12 percent unfavorable rating. Hughes’s unfavorable numbers are somehow higher, at 16 percent, even though his name recognition is more than 40 points lower. His favorability is 7 percent.

In fact, every candidate except Kirk has a net-negative favorability, according to the survey.

The results contrast with a poll Hughes’s campaign released last month showing him trailing Kirk 24-11 in the primary. Kirk’s favorability in that poll wasn’t nearly as high as in his own.

There hasn’t been much polling on a Kirk-Giannoulias matchup, but the two were tied 35-35 in an April poll by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.

Kirk’s primary poll was conducted Thursday, and his general election poll was conducted Friday. One-day samples and automated dialing aren't always regarded as the most accurate measures, but they offer quick and cheap snapshots of a race.

UPDATE: Here are copies of the general election poll and the primary poll.

UPDATE 2: Hughes questions why Kirk, who has raised lots of money, is spending it on automated polling when he could afford better. He is accusing Kirk of running a push poll.

"We have a lot of reasons to question Rep. Mark Kirk’s polling data,” Hughes said.