Last week we took a look at the latest poll in the race for Illinois Governor. Now, with five months to go until Election Day, we have our first comprehensive look at the race for U.S. Senate since the primary. Reboot Illinois and We Ask America have released the numbers and it’s good news for the incumbent, Sen. Dick Durbin:

The first public poll of the Senate race, commissioned by Reboot Illinois and conducted by We Ask America on June 12, appears to affirm Durbin’s strong position in the 2014 contest. The survey of 1,116 likely voters showed Durbin leading Oberweis 52 to 39 percent with 9 percent undecided.

“Senator Durbin’s campaign is showing solid numbers for a June ballot test. While there is a lot of time left before the November election, having more than 50 percent in his corner this early shows a lot of strength that will be a challenge for Mr. Oberweis to overcome,” said Gregg Durham, COO of We Ask America.

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Other interesting findings in the poll:

  • Sen. Durbin is winning independents by 5 points, 47%-42%.
  • There's a substantial gender gap emerging in the race. The two candidates run even among men, but Durbin has a 24-point lead amond women (56%-32%).
  • Nine percent of Democrats say they'll cross party lines and vote for Oberweis, while 11 percent of Republicans say they'll vote for Durbin.
  • And while Bruce Rauner showed immense strength downstate (+32) and in the collar counties of Chicago (+23), Oberweis leads Durbin by only seven points downstate (48%-41%) while Durbin actually has the advantage in the collar counties (49%-45%).

Some of Durbin's strength downstate likely is due to his biography; he's a former downstate congressman and likely retains some support from that time. If there's good news for Jim Oberweis it's that the race already appears to be much tighter that the last time Sen. Durbin ran for re-election. That was back in 2008 when Durbin won with 68 percent of the vote statewide to Steve Sauerburg’s 29 percent.

It's an uphill, but not impossible, climb for Oberweis with the incumbent sitting just above the 50 percent mark. But he'll likely need to run a flawless campaign and get help from possible Bruce Rauner coattails to succeed. More problems with the Obamacare implementation wouldn't hurt his candidacy either. After all, Sen. Durbin guaranteed that if you like your health care plan, you could keep your health care plan. And we know that's not true: