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Obamarama - New Illinois poll shows Obama lead here outstrips Hillary’s in NY, wide open Republican race *** Updated x4 ***

Monday, Apr 30, 2007

[Updated and bumped up to make it easier to find.]

My political newsletter, Capitol Fax, commissioned a new statewide poll last week of presidential preference in Illinois. Only “hardcore” voters in each party were surveyed - see my weekly syndicated column below for more details…

Obama 52.6
Clinton 24.6
Edwards 9.5
Richardson 2.4
Biden 2.3
Kucinich 1.25
Dodd 0.53
Undecided 6.9

McCain 26.1
Giuliani 25.7
F. Thompson 17.4
Romney 10.2
T. Thompson 3.3
Undecided 17.2

And here’s the column

It may be no surprise to some, but new polling shows Barack Obama is doing better with hardcore Illinois primary voters than Hillary Clinton is doing with voters in her home state of New York. Also, voters are split over whether Obama should be more critical of Chicago corruption, and the Republican presidential primary appears wide open here.

The Illinois poll was commissioned by my political newsletter, Capitol Fax. The poll, taken last Thursday, surveyed registered voters who have chosen either Democratic or Republican ballots in the past two presidential primaries and have never picked a different ballot. They’re the hardcore of the hardcore and are very likely to vote.

The poll found Obama leading the pack of presidential hopefuls here with 52.6 percent of the vote among hardcore Democrats. Clinton came in second with 24.6 percent. Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards was third with 9.5 percent. None of the other declared candidates topped 3 percent, while 6.9 percent chose either “other” or “undecided.”

In New York, two recent polls have shown Clinton with a bigger lead but polling well under 50 percent. A Quinnipac University poll had her ahead of Obama 44 to 14, but a more recent survey from Siena College’s Research Institute had Clinton ahead of the second place Obama 39 to 17 with 13 percent of Democrats undecided.

Obama captured well over 70 percent of the vote in the 2004 US Senate race, so his Illinois numbers in this latest poll might be a surprise to some who expected him to be doing even better. Clinton was raised in Illinois and is, of course, a very well known commodity. That probably explains why she is polling higher here than Obama is polling in New York.

The Illinois poll also found voters are evenly split over whether Obama has been sufficiently critical of Mayor Richard Daley regarding corruption in city hall.

A tad more than 49 percent of hardcore Democratic and Republican primary voters said they believed Obama has sufficiently criticized Daley, who just won another landslide re-election race, while 50.8 percent said he has not been critical enough.

The issue of Obama’s alliance with the Daley Machine has been a much bigger issue in Illinois than it has been on the national stage. But since this story is being constantly pushed here, it has the potential to one day bleed into the national debate.

About 60 percent of hardcore Democratic and Republican residents of Chicago and Cook County thought he had criticized Daley enough, but just 36 percent of downstate voters believe he has sufficiently criticized Daley.

Slightly less than 61 percent of hardcore Democratic voters said he has done enough to criticize Daley, while 35 percent of hardcore GOP voters said the same. A majority, 53 percent, of suburban collar county primary voters said he has criticized the mayor enough while 47 percent said he hadn’t.

Meanwhile, the poll also showed that Illinois’ Republican presidential primary appears to be wide open.

The survey of hardcore Republican primary voters showed U.S. Sen. John McCain with an ever-so-slight lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCain was ahead of Giuliani 26.1 to 25.7.

Former U.S. Sen. and TV actor Fred Thompson came in third with 17.7 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was fourth with 10.2 percent, and former Wisconsin Gov. and George W. Bush cabinet member Tommy Thompson was fifth with just 3.3 percent. Undecideds and “other” totaled 17 percent.

McCain is slipping rapidly in national polling, but he still has support among Illinoisans who backed him in his 2000 presidential bid. Giuliani recently signed up House Republican Leader Tom Cross, who is helping get that organization together. Thompson has not yet formally announced, but he is looking more like a candidate every day.

The automated phone poll was conducted by “Ask Illinois,” which has done a lot of polling for political candidates and interest groups and has a good reputation among insiders. The firm uses special technology to blast out hundreds of calls simultaneously and they contact huge numbers of people. In this case 3,509 hardcore Democrats and 3,761 Republicans responded to the poll, leaving us with an extremely low margin of error of +/- 1.18 to +/- 1.52 percent, depending on the question. Republicans and Democrats who indicated they intend to cross over to the other party next year were omitted from these results. The difference was statistically insignificant.

Crosstabs will be posted later this morning in the subscriber-only section.

*** UPDATE *** RealClearPolitics covers the poll.

And here’s a press release announcing the poll…


*** UPDATE 2 *** Metro Networks, which has member radio stations all over Illinois, covered the poll this morning…

Democrats who plan to vote in next year’s presidential primary have a much better idea of who they plan to support than Republicans. A new polls for the political newsletter “Capitol Fax” shows Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama with a huge lead over Senator Hillary Clinton. Both have ties to Illinois, but Obama leads the hardcore primary voter poll by 28-percent. The poll asked people who’ve voted in the last two primaries for the same party who they plan to support. Obama pulled in 52-point-6 percent, Senator Clinton is in second with 24-point-6, and Senator John Edwards has about 9-and-a-half percent.

It’s a much closer field for the Republicans. John McCain leads among his hardcore supporters, edging out Rudy Giuliani 26-point-1 to 25-point-7. Fred Thompson is third, and Mitt Romney fourth. Pollsters say the hardcore voters will vote in the primary, and a look at their support is a solid indicator of who may win Illinois if the state moves to an earlier primary for 2008.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Rasmussen has a new national poll that has Obama leading the pack

For the first time in the Election 2008 season, somebody other than New York Senator Hillary Clinton is on top in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama with a statistically insignificant two point advantage over the former First Lady. It’s Obama 32% Clinton 30%. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards remains in third with support holding steady at 17%. No other candidate tops 3%. The survey was conducted April 23-26, 2007 meaning that the overwhelming majority of the interviews were completed before last Thursday’s debate in South Carolina. The impact of the debate will be measured in polling conducted this week.

*** UPDATE 4 *** The Daily Herald’s bloggy type thing Animal Farm gives us some props

The Capitol Fax newsletter has done what I think is the first presidential poll for ‘08. It shows Democratic Sen. Barack Obama with a huge lead, more than 2-to-1, over the field in his adopted home state. On the Republican side, it’s tres tight between Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, whose wife is from Naperville, was a surprising third.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - train111 - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 8:34 am:

    You know, I got called by and answered this poll. I selected Obama. I don’t consider myself hardcore anything, but my wife and mother in law are a different story all together.
    I really struggled with the Obama question on criticizing Daley. I don’t think that he did criticize him enough, but given the political situation in Chicago and the South Side, I really doubt that he could and ever get anywhere. He made alot of uncomfortable ‘political relationships’ out of necessity. Everyone who plays the game does. I don’t belive that it is such a huge issue, but I’m ssure it will be brought up as the Presidential campaign progresses.

    I had never heard of “Ask Illinois” before, but now I know who they are.

    BTW, I voted for Kucinich in the 04 primary simply to give Kerry competition. I voted for Badnarik in the general. Last time around I voted for Eisendrath in the primary and the Green guy–Whitney in the the general. So I don’t think that I’m very hardcore anything. I also voted for some GOP’ers down ticket last year too.


  2. - Amy - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 8:50 am:

    great letters to the editor in Today’s Tribune
    on how much free coverage the Trib gives to
    Obama. especially telling is the point in one
    letter which ponders whether Obama must
    declare all of this support, campaign finance
    wise. Illinois is a virtual Barack bubble.
    If you watched the debate you know that his
    gut reactions are problematic.

  3. - Bill Baar - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 9:12 am:

    Daley’s not Obama’s problem. It will be unloading the 60’s kids he’s collected along the way during his career. He’ll end up VP with Gore (a name who should have been in this poll). Today’s NYT

    On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that “people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.”

    Provocative Assertions

    Such statements involve “a certain deeply embedded anti-Americanism,” said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative group that studies religious issues and public policy. “A lot of people are going to say to Mr. Obama, are these your views?”

    Mr. Obama says they are not.

    “The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification,” he said in a recent interview. He was not at Trinity the day Mr. Wright delivered his remarks shortly after the attacks, Mr. Obama said, but “it sounds like he was trying to be provocative.”

    “Reverend Wright is a child of the 60s, and he often expresses himself in that language of concern with institutional racism and the struggles the African-American community has gone through,” Mr. Obama said. “He analyzes public events in the context of race. I tend to look at them through the context of social justice and inequality.”

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 9:57 am:

    Rich, if it’s an automated telephone poll, how do we know who pushed the buttons? Is there a screen to ensure it was the voter you were targeting, or even a registered voter at all? I’m interested in how “Ask Illinois” conducted this poll, since they’re notorious for push-polling, most recently around the Big Box ordinance.

  5. - RBD - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    Every candidate is going to have local issues that the rest of the nation doesn’t appreciate. (Did anyone outside of Arkansas really care about Whitewater?)

    Does anyone know what the rules are when the delegates get to the conventions? Are they required to even cast a vote for “their” candidate? (I come from a state where they are not but I don’t know if that is a state rule or a national party rule.)

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 10:14 am:

    YDD, that’s a big reason why I weeded out those who said they were taking a different ballot next year. The rest of your comment sounds like partisan stuff to me.

  7. - Chad - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 10:20 am:

    Illinois is a state where the moderate GOP voters might naturally lean to Giuliani. In comparison to Guiliani, the support for McCain and Thompson in this poll is much higher than similar polls in other states (other than the early primary states where McCain has a significant staff presence). Tom Cross has a great brand name candidate, but a lot of work to do.

  8. - Bill Baar - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Somewhere over on Illinoize you’ll see me skewered last year for suggesting the GOP as a bigger tent then the Dems citing Giuliani’s likely candidacy. McCain’s a certified hero but I think Giuliani will be the better candidate. Note Roeser’s words about him a few months ago… Giuliani will have wider appeal than just the GOP moderates.

  9. - Team Sleep - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    It will be interesting to see how much stock the Guiliani, McCain and Romney campaigns put into Illinois. The battle lines have already been drawn, and the blue tint to this state might force a conservative like Romney to rethink running hard in a state like Illinois. Guiliani can do well and I think he will ultimately win the GOP primary in Illinois by a wide margin. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I can’t see a more conservative candidate doing to well. I’m also skeptical of how well McCain can do after most media outlets are now backing out of supporting his “maverick” ways.

  10. - i d - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 12:07 pm:

    At least one year too soon for this.

  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    “i d” normally I would agree with you, but other states are running polls and we haven’t seen anything for this state yet.

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 12:12 pm:

    Although I would point out that the Illinois primary is in nine months, not a year.

  13. - Chad - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 1:38 pm:

    I agree with Bill. Giuliani should put resources into Illinois — and should be able to take it from McCain. Illinois is a policy natural for him, and Cross can use this as a means to further reduce right-wing influence within the party. A Giuliani primary win makes the argument for a Cross statewide candidacy stronger. Does anyone remember who tried to do the same thing in 1988 (admittedly with a less attractive presidential candidate)?

  14. - frustrated GOP - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 3:17 pm:

    Presidential campaigns are great for local and state-wides to try out and expand their own organizations. With the early date we make a difference this time as opposed to past years, which could mean that we might see a few GOP candidates running around. The dems will probalby make hit and run missions and leave it to Obama. This will be a great time to see who has the real leadership in the State GOP.

  15. - Reddbyrd - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 6:15 pm:

    Great job.
    However this perch wonders if the CaptFax is gaining too much control over the political system in IL
    First an “endorsed” Alderman wins. Now a poll?
    What next, buy a newspaper or a chain of newspapers to impose your will across the state.
    Perhaps oversight is needed.

  16. Pingback To know her is to dislike her | Peoria Pundits - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 7:33 pm:

    […] Via The Capitol Fax Blog: It may be no surprise to some, but new polling shows Barack Obama is doing better with hardcore Illinois primary voters than Hillary Clinton is doing with voters in her home state of New York. Also, voters are split over whether Obama should be more critical of Chicago corruption, and the Republican presidential primary appears wide open here. Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary ClintonClick to share:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  17. - Beowulf - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 9:25 pm:

    Fred Thompson will play the role of the spoiler for Rudy and McCain. When Thompson actually comes out as an announced candidate and starts talking/debating, he will command far more attention from the public than political types believe he will.

    Thompson’s polling numbers will surprise everybody when he throws his hat “officially” into the ring. His forte is public speaking. Much like Regan, he will come across as somebody who people can trust and who conveys the strength needed for a Presidential leadership role in the country.

  18. - Mark - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 9:51 pm:

    17 percent undecided. Newt Gingrich is in numerous polls (Gallup/USA Today ect) at 11 to 13 percent. Would like to see where Newt would have been if he was included in the poll.

  19. - GOP'er - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 10:05 pm:

    Giuliani’s numbers keep falling and that will continue as Republicans start paying attention and learn just how off the reservation this guy has been on many issues.

    Fred Thompson is the one to watch. He’s polling impressively and he’s not even in the race. In fact I don’t think he’ll even be in the debate Thurs night (7 Central on MSNBC) because he’s not an announced candidate. (But I assume Illinois’ own John Cox WILL be. yeeha)

    If Thompson doesn’t get in, I think a strong majority of Repubs will soon gravitate to McCain. He’s not completely trusted by the base, but there is some sense that it’s “his turn” and he’s been the good soldier supporting Bush for the most part.

  20. Pingback Quote of the Day « Illinois Reason - Monday, Apr 30, 07 @ 11:45 pm:

    […] Obamarama - New Illinois poll… Blogroll […]

  21. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, May 1, 07 @ 6:12 am:

    Thompson hates campaigning. He won’t run.

  22. - chad - Tuesday, May 1, 07 @ 6:44 am:

    Giuliani’s numbers are not falling, and Thompson will wise up and decide not to run. By the way, it was Daniels who tried to use the ‘88 Dole campaign to raise a statewide personal network. If Dole hadn’t lost New Hampshire, things might have turned out quite differently for the pre-Tristano Daniels.

  23. - RBD - Tuesday, May 1, 07 @ 8:08 am:

    Thompson has a track record as a lobbyist -before he was a Senator- that he won’t want to defend.

  24. - Punley Dieter Finn - Tuesday, May 1, 07 @ 12:55 pm:

    Rich, A subscription faxletter, a website and blog with ad revenue, a syndicated column, made-to-order political polling….hmmmmm….Citizen Miller?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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