At least one Democrat is bucking the trend as his party sinks in the polls.

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) is actually showing a lead in the Illinois Senate race, with less than a week to go until the primaries.

Giannoulias, who still has to worry about shutting the door on former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman on Tuesday, nonetheless got some good general-election news Thursday.

After months of polling close to Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) in the general election, Giannoulias has opened up a 42-34 lead in the newest Public Policy Polling (D) survey of the race.

Giannoulias has actually increased his share of the Democratic vote in the general election, which seems to contrast the fact that he is stuck around 33 percent in the primary. But it could also reflect the fact that Democrats would be willing to turn out for him if he is the party's nominee, which is a good sign after a primary that could have really damaged him.

Neither this poll nor a Chicago Tribune poll from last week show Giannoulias with high negatives. We'll see what happens in the general election -- provided he makes it there -- but he has to be encouraged.

"The primary contest has been a good thing for Alexi Giannoulias,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "The increased visibility it’s brought him with Democratic voters has him set up well for the fall campaign."