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Daily Fix Poll: Who won the Illinois Senate debate?

By Felicia Sonmez

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R), the two candidates vying for President Obama's former Senate seat, traded barbs Sunday in a high-stakes debate on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Both Senate hopefuls lobbed accusations on the issue of character during the debate, the first of three scheduled to take place this month. Recent polling shows the race in a dead heat.

Giannoulias took aim at Kirk for his repeated exaggerations of his military record and for describing himself as a fiscal conservative.

"He says he's a fiscal hawk," Giannoulias said. "The congressman has told some real whoppers during this campaign, but that may be the biggest one of all." Kirk responded that he "was careless, and I learned a very painful and humbling lesson."

Meanwhile, Kirk slammed Giannoulias on the issue of his family's troubled bank, which reportedly made $20 million in loans to two convicted while Giannoulias was working as a senior loan officer.

Giannoulias defended himself by saying that he "didn't know the extent" of the felons' criminal activity at the time.

"If I knew then what we know now, these aren't the kind of people you do business with," he said. Giannoulias also defended several of national Democrats' signature agenda items including the economic stimulus package.

So, who won? Weigh in below.

By Felicia Sonmez  | October 11, 2010; 12:28 PM ET
Categories:  Daily Fix Poll  
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