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Poll Shows Kirk With Slight Advantage

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Republican Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Democratic Senate nominee, Illinois talk before their debate on October 19, 2010 (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Republican Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Democratic Senate nominee, Illinois talk before their debate on October 19, 2010 (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) - A new poll indicates that Republican Mark Kirk has opened up a small lead the U.S. Senate race, but it remains too close to call.

The new Chicago Tribune poll shows Kirk with 44 percent of voters’ support, compared with 41 percent for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. But that three-point lead is within the poll’s 3.7 percent margin of error.

Another 7 percent of voters were undecided, the Tribune reported.

The poll showed independent and suburban voters to toward Kirk.

Kirk also received an unusual endorsement today. Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports that a group of African American ministers, who typically back Democrats, is supporting Kirk over Giannoulias.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

About a month ago, another Tribune polls showed Giannoulias with 38 percent of voter support, compared with 36 percent for Kirk, and 17 percent undecided.

Both Giannoulias and Kirk have weathered their fair share of controversy since winning nomination in February.

Giannoulias was taken to task when his family’s Broadway Bank, which failed in April. The bank was also the subject of revelations that it loaned $20 million to two convicted felons.

Meanwhile, Kirk has taken heat after he admitted to misstatements about his military record, including claiming to win a “Navy Officer of the Year” award that was actually won by his entire unit.

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