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Rauner polling within same range for months

Monday, Nov 18, 2013

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Back in mid-August, near the end of his summertime TV advertising blitz, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner scored 14 percent in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of likely GOP primary voters. That was up a tick from the 12 percent he got in a June 20th poll by the same firm. His campaign has run some radio ads since then and sent out some direct mail, but Rauner has been mostly absent from TV for a few months or so.

The absence doesn’t appear to have hurt him all that much. According to a poll taken November 14th, Rauner is at 11 percent. So, he while he did slide back a bit, he’s still within the same polling range that he’s been trading in for months. Not to say that’s good news. It isn’t.

Last week Rauner let it be known that he is spending a half million dollars of his own money to support a fresh round of TV ads. Ironically enough, he’s personally spending a fortune on an expensive television spot that tries to show he’s just a regular guy by featuring a cheap watch that he supposedly favors. The folksy ad makes no mention of his home in Winnetka, his big spread in Montana, or his Chicago lakefront condo, of course.

Anyway, the question now is whether the wealthy retired financial wizard with close ties to Chicago’s last two Democratic mayors can finally begin to rise to the next plateau among Republican primary voters. Despite raising $3 million, he has yet to rise above third place in the four-man primary and this latest poll showed him in last place.

State Sen. Bill Brady continues to maintain his lead over the rest of the pack, according to the poll of 1,191 likely GOP voters. Brady scored 25 percent, to Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s 18 percent and state Sen. Kirk Dillard’s 14 percent. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 2.94 percent.

“This poll parallels tracking polls we’ve been conducting in the Republican governor’s race,” said We Ask America pollster Gregg Durham. “While Brady and Rutherford continue to stay a step ahead of Rauner and Dillard, the evidence points more to the top two contenders’ name recognition advantage than anything else.”

The overall numbers have moved so little that it’s difficult to say if there’s much of a pattern here. However, Sen. Dillard appears to be doing significantly better in the collar counties, coming in first place with 24 percent in last week’s poll versus 17 percent in August (second place behind Rauner) and 13 percent in June.

And as has we’ve been seen since at least June, Rauner is still doing much better with men than with women, perhaps because his ads so far have relied on “manly” images of him wearing a high-end barn jacket. There’s a seven-point spread between his support among men (14 percent) and his backing among women (7 percent). That’s a larger spread than everyone else’s, but, then again, women are significantly more undecided as a whole than men (37 vs. 28).

Just keep in mind, though, that it’s still early, despite it feeling like this campaign has already been going on forever. Even though he’s raised and spent almost no money, 2010 victor Bill Brady actually scored four points higher than he did in August. Treasurer Rutherford has raised some cash, but has spent almost no money as well, and last week’s polling shows him pretty much exactly where he was in August. Sen. Dillard has moved into third place and his numbers have risen five points, but when it’s this early in a contest, that could just be statistical noise. Far and away the “real” first place finisher, as in all earlier polls, is “Undecided,” at 33 percent.

Meanwhile, former Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross is leading DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan for state treasurer 29-18, in that same Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of Republican primary voters.

But 54 percent remain undecided, about the same as in June, when the firm found that 56 percent were unsure of their choice.

Cross’ people have to be somewhat relieved by these numbers. They’re polling higher than any Republican gubernatorial candidate just days after Cross received a ton of press for voting for a gay marriage bill.

Subscribers have crosstabs.

* Related…

* Kirk Dillard confident he can beat Quinn

* Rauner the unions-slayer, Nov. 14 in River Forest: Go after government unions, for one thing, whose “bosses bribe politicians.” Gov. Quinn, for instance, while “not a standard crook . . . is inept and owned by government unions.” Unions have “bought [even] a number of Republicans.” To the unions Rauner would say, “You can’t bribe me.” He would limit collective bargaining rights if need be, as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did. It’s “a key part” of his platform. Another “big union issue” is the “right to work” for government employees, which he called “critical.” No one, he said, should be subject to “forced membership” in these unions.

* Rauner Raises Bar in Governor’s Race: Rauner predicts the governor will be able to pull in a lot of money and says he’s just preparing himself for the financial fight. “I’m the one person who can go toe-to-toe with him on every dollar and take him out of office next year. That’s critical.”

* Q&A: Illinois GOP leader wants end to ‘name calling’

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    Brady is going to steal this thing again. Pat Quinn is the next governor of Illinois.

  2. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    === Rauner is at 11 percent ===

    QOTD: What will hit 40% first?

    A. Quinn’s approval rating
    B. Rauner’s poll numbers
    C. None. Neither will ever hit 40%.


  3. - Belle - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    Rauner has been all over TV in Chicago this weekend kind of like the storm. He’s wearing a fleece vest and other than admitting he is a business guy, he continues to act like a normal city-dude.

  4. - J. Nolan - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    I do not understand why folks think Brady at 25% means he will sneak this one past the goal line. The man was our nominee last time - everyone knows him…yet he is at 25%. With that amount of undecideds left, he will quickly get passed up by one or two of the others once they start spending money. Brady, has none of his own to spend. Sorry, you can’t win a statewide race based entirely on nostalgia from four years ago - especially when he has no ground game.

  5. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    “bosses bribe politicians”

    Rauner’s donations to politicians were from the generosity of his heart and not because he wanted to get his preferred policy outcomes or in any way benefit personally.

    >>”forced membership” in these unions

  6. - Loop Lady - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    I live just down the street, and it was all I could do to stop myself from going to the Rauner gathering and disrupting the misinformation and hate fest…

  7. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    Sorry, the posting gremlin ate part of my last post.

    >>”forced membership” in these unions

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    I wonder if Brady/Dillard will get another look from some of the money guys?

  9. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    I was at a Scout thing this weekend and mentioned I had to step out for a while go to a fundraiser (not for Bruce) for a candidate for governor. One person at the Scout event mentioned he saw an ad but could not recall Bruce’s name…

  10. - MrJM - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    “Somebody get Carhartt on the phone! We need more jackets!

    – MrJM

  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    From an earlir Post …

    ===- Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 13 @ 9:25 am:

    When I was about 7 or 8 I went to a party that had a magician. This magician was “good”, or at least from the eyes of a child that young he was good, and I remember a back and forth that went something like this;

    Kid: Do that again.

    Magician: I did it twice, that was enough.

    Kid: But I want to SEE the trick.

    Magician: That is why I am not going to do it again, just believe in the ‘magic’

    That always stuck with me, I think becuase in life, those who try to fool others, would rather you just see the trick and accept it, instead of having the trick done so many times, the ‘trick’ really just becomes a trick, and the ‘magic’ is seen as a fraud.

    Bruce Rauner is going to try to “out-trick” his opponents in the Primary. The ads will not answer any burning questions as to where Bruce Rauner stands. Bruce Rauner is going to make the voters believe that running away … from the Primary race at hand … is actually running… in the Primary come March.

    Seeing how this “trick” is being done, might not fool as many people as Bruce Rauner would like, because media buy after media buy will reinforce this “one trick” that eventually will not be seen as “magic” anymore.

    I have also learned from many that the “dead time” is from the week before Thanksgiving through the first of the year, January.

    “…any buy of real significance is going to be lost, or if it is the commmercial seen during ‘holiday programming’ or ‘Football Playoffs’, the bounceback is something to consider. Real buys need to be made after the first, and stay up all the way through March. Then you are making headway. Otherwise, the only one ‘making’ on large buys during that time between Thanksgiving and January one… is the media buyer for the campaign.”

    So why would Bruce Rauner go against that wisdom?


    For a guy who is so measured in his work, and monies, and ROI, why got “full frontal”? Bury the other 3, versus the “tired” Rauner factor? The “because he CAN” factor?


    All of the Carhartt wearing and the stuffed dog pictures are not getting Bruce Rauner where he needs to be. Rich guys… they love to poll and scream from the mountain tops, “Look at me, I am leading…”, Rauner’s Crew says, “Well, if the voter knows of or had heard of Bruce, he is …”


    They know.

    The gamble is also a “magic act” too. How much do you show, without more being revealed?

    Payton Prep? Rahm Emanuel vacations? An OR folder to rival binders found to teach those how to work CAT Bulldozers …

    The more that is shown, the more that can be revealed … with no caps, for anyone right now.

    Captain Jack Ross had a great Opening statement about the idea of “fooling”. If I can borrow a little of that to make a point;

    “Bruce Rauner is gonna try to put on a little magic act here. Hes gonna try a little misdirection. Hell astound you with stories of Insiders Deals and dazzle you with official-sounding campaign terms like “Shake Up Springfield”. He might even try to cut into a few Republicans for you in the Primary too. Hell have no credibility to being an ‘Outsider’, mind you, none . . . but it will be entertaining.”

    Bruce Rauner … did you order the “Caps Off”

    Your dog gone right “We” did…

    Now let’s see the ROI, if it pays off. Is there going to be ‘magic’ in seeing his ‘tricks’.===

    The bottom line for Rauner is ALSO to try to define himself before the others get that chance to remind voters of;

    Clouting a denied New Trier Living Daughter into a Chicago school through a Rich Daley appointee.

    Vacationing with Rahm Emanuel.

    Tens of Thousands of Dollars to Rich Daley, Rahm Emanuel, and Ed Rendell.

    Making loads of money of pensions, while trying to destory the very groups Rauner made his multi-million frotune.

    It is also a “race” too.

  12. - Joan P. - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    “Illinois GOP leader wants end to ‘name calling’”

    Yeah, well, good luck with that.

  13. - phocion - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    If anyone is at 11% at the end of February, that’s a problem. A bit early to tell for now…

  14. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    I’m sorry, I’ll try posting again without the quotes. Rauner says that workers shouldn’t be forced to join unions. The same can be said about unions, that the benefits they earn through collective bargaining should not go to workers who don’t pay dues. If I’m not mistaken, that is what is being contended in the Indiana courts right now, that according to state contract law, workers who don’t pay union dues are not entitled to services and benefits provided by unions.

    We wouldn’t want any freeloaders now, would we, Mr. Rauner?

  15. - PublicServant - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    Maybe the jacket just isn’t enough. What about Levi’s with suspenders, and cow-manure caked boots?

    Then he could say “You smell that? That’s the stench of union corruption, and insider greed.”.

    Come on Bruce. A prop-upgrade is needed for you to break through to those low-information voters.

  16. - Ghost - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    so how many counties is Rauner looking to carry in IL? just the 3 that dont have any government offices, schools or universities?

    Whats with the race to wipe out/unions the middle class?

    Wisconsin, Indianna and texas have addes jobs but wages are decreasing. The average household income in those States is dropping.

    Is the goal to replace china for cheap labor but celebrate that everyone is employed?

  17. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    As far as unions bribing politicians, we all have to admit that the best example was when unions bribed Madigan into signing SB 2404.

  18. - shore - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    Priorities of actual voters and most actual partisans right now.

    1. bears
    2. Holiday plans
    3. something else

    Rauner has to spend this $$ because most people have known, heard, and probably met dillard and brady for years if not decades. I also still have yet to see how rauner is not mckenna.

  19. - Aldyth - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    LOL, PublicServant. You gave me a good hearty laugh when I badly needed one. Thanks!

  20. - reformer - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    == Quinn is owned by government unions ==

    That’s why Quinn insists on pension reform the government unions find anathema.

  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    LOL…This is a completely BOGUS POLL, with NO substantiating backup/links provided.

    Straw polls in the 3rd largest county (Lake) indicate BRUCE RAUNER has a huge lead!

    Two weeks ago 503 total votes were cast over the weekend in TWO STRAW POLL EVENTS…Bill Brady had a total of 17 votes!

    Total rough numbers:
    BRUCE RAUNER……….. 312
    Kirk Dillard……………… 102
    Dan Rutherford…………. 72
    Bill Brady…………………. 17

  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Before I jump all over this - Anonymous -,

    Are you saying Rich Miller’s polling is Bogus …

    Compared to a “Pay to Vote” (A Payton Prep Clouter Bruce Rauner Special!), and two other unscientific polls based on … packing a room?

    This is the chance to clarify …

  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    If you’re looking to start a fight, Willy. Better figure out who that Anonymous is before you wind up with egg all over your face again.

  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    And there’s your clarification.

  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    And seriously? When the heck hasn’t Rich been able to “take care of himself?”

  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    How did I get egg on my face?

    So can you answer directly? You beleive Rich is wrong and Payton Prep Clouter’s bogus straw polls are real?

  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    Do. Not. Feed. Trolls.

  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 5:31 pm:

    ===Straw polls in the 3rd largest county (Lake) indicate BRUCE RAUNER has a huge lead!===

    Yep, and just to show you how accurate straw polls really are, US President Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll in 2011.

    Get a brain.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 5:31 pm:

    $3750 Dollars were paid, like when Bruce Rauner Donated to Rahm Emanuel, or Rich Daley, or Ed Rendell.

    Buying? Where have I heard that before?

    ===- Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Let’s be a bit honest here;

    Bruce Rauner is buying…

    …buying credibility PPC has never earned as a Republican..,

    … buying credibility PPC needs to seem like a Republican..,

    … and Payton Prep Clouter Bruce Rauner bought a condo to be a “credible” um, “Chicagoan”, even when his Daughter was denied, so when Rauner Clouted her, they would appear, you guessed it… credible.

    Bruce Rauner lacks integrity and ethics, and is willing to pay ANY price, buy any Condo, donate to any Organization, and spin any “advocating”, teaching all watching that ANYTHING can be bought by PPC, and Rauner will pay the freight. That is what those who lack integrity do if they can, they try.., to buy it.===

  30. - DuPage - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 5:38 pm:

    Rauner, part of the Decepticon species, sub-species, Constructicon Devastator. Instinctively wants to devastate unions, pensions, public employees, and anything else that gets in the way.

  31. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 6:12 pm:

    ===Better figure out who that Anonymous is before you wind up with egg all over your face again.===

    Joe “Chavez” Ptak.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 6:20 pm:

    ===Joe “Chavez” Ptak.===

    I didn’t have HIM in the “pool”…

  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 7:17 pm:

    =So can you answer directly? You beleive Rich is wrong and Payton Prep Clouter’s bogus straw polls are real?=

    Jeez. The “directly” thing again? I.cannot.because.I.did.not.type.that.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 7:25 pm:


    ===Before I jump all over this - Anonymous -,===

    “this - Anonymous -” was not towards you, “- Anonymous - “, because you are not who I think of every time someone, ANY one posts - Anonymous -.

    Quite frankly, if you think you are “owning” the nickname “- Anonymous -” and we all think of you first, guess what, I don’t think of you first.

    I don’t…

    So, ===Before I jump all over this - Anonymous -,=== was more about “this” being directed towards the Post, and “this” was not directed towards you.

    Do you undeerstand … how much better it could be to just have a nickname?

    Whatever you think you are proving; to yourself, to Rich about a nickname “lost”, or to any of us that you are just going to be stubborn, it is at least lost on me. I kinda feel bad about it, then I read, then I get over it.


    Leave the - Anonymous -, take on a Nickname…

  35. - fake county chairman - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 8:01 pm:

    Brucey is trying pay to play with out no grass root support.MR R and MR Gidwits are strong bus. people but are not politicians.By the way Bills book deal is being cut this weekend.

  36. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Nov 18, 13 @ 8:04 pm:

    And I don’t really see BR moving very far beyond those percentages anytime soon…and in part, because, in Illinois, USually, money just can’t BUY you an Election…!

  37. - LaMont Cranston - Monday, Nov 25, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Have there been any other polls to confirm or posibly disagree with We Ask America? It’s hard to have full confidence in a polling firm with a cutesey name owned by a subsidiary of the Illois Manufacturers Assn–meaning no disrespect to CapitolFax

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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