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ILLINOIS

Poll: Senate race remains neck and neck

CHICAGO | A new poll shows Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias are about even as they head into their final week of campaigning for President Obama’s former Senate seat.

The Chicago Tribune/WGN poll released Sunday shows Mr. Kirk with a 44 percent to 41 percent advantage over Mr. Giannoulias. But that difference fell within the poll’s 3.7 percent margin of error.

A Tribune/WGN poll four weeks ago showed the candidates also about even. But that poll had Mr. Giannoulias leading with 38 percent of voters compared with Mr. Kirk’s 36 percent.

The most recent poll surveyed 700 registered Illinois voters from Oct. 18 to Oct. 22.

It found Mr. Kirk gaining ground among independents and suburban Chicago voters.

NEW YORK

Paladino wants $20B in services cut

ALBANY | Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino says he wants to cut the Medicaid health care program for the poor in New York, while still providing service at the level of California.

Mr. Paladino promises to eliminate $20 billion from the nearly $52 billion program, which has grown with optional services approved by the Legislature. He said Monday that lawmakers have been serving the interests of the powerful health care lobby.

Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo also proposes an overhaul of Medicaid, focused on making the system more efficient. He would have the state take over its administration from counties and pool state and local pharmaceutical buying power to force lower prices.

Mr. Cuomo has no specific dollar target for savings like Mr. Paladino, but the Democrat proposes several ways to achieve savings.