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A closer look at that new Tribune poll

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* The new Tribune poll shows pretty much what my polling has shown since last year, but with one big difference

The survey showed Rauner at 40 percent support, more than his top two rivals combined. State Sen. Bill Brady pulled 20 percent and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford was at 13 percent. State Sen. Kirk Dillard had 11 percent.

Notice Treasurer Rutherford’s numbers?

All previous polling has shown Brady and Rutherford within a point or twoish of each other, even back when Rauner was trailing the pack. Rutherford trailing Brady by seven points in this new poll is not good news whatsoever.

The new Tribune poll appears to show some real damage to Rutherford. The Trib’s poll was taken Wednesday through Sunday, which means the pollster was in the field after the allegations against Rutherford surfaced.

Then again, Rauner’s two-to one lead (which We Ask America has been showing for quite a while now), is the real problem for those who don’t want to see Rauner nominated.

* The poll shows that huge numbers of voters have no opinion of or haven’t heard of three of the four candidates.

61 percent don’t have an opinion of Dillard or haven’t heard of him (49 and 12, respectively), 58 percent don’t have an opinion or never heard of Rutherford (49 and 9) and 45 percent don’t have an opinion or never heard of Brady (42 and 3).

Time definitely fades memories. And even statewide officeholders on a lower rung aren’t that well known to voters.

Rauner, however, has been running ads since last summer. He has a 48 percent favorable rating, just a 10 percent unfavorable rating, 28 percent had no opinion of him and 14 percent never heard of him, the poll found.

* Another question

Bruce Rauner says his personal wealth makes him independent of special interests. His opponents say he is trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor. Who do you side with….Rauner or his Opponents?

The results

* Side with Rauner 54 percent

* Side with opponents 20 percent

* Don’t know 26 percent

* More

Dillard had complained that he was denied the Republican nomination last time because the crowded field split up his home base of support in Republican-rich DuPage County. But the poll found Rauner leading in the six-county area, which holds the bulk of the GOP primary vote, 43 percent to 18 percent for Brady. Dillard had support of 15 percent of voters in the area, while Rutherford had 11.

At the same time, Brady and Rutherford were expected to look to Downstate for a core base. While the contest tightens outside the Chicago area, the poll found that Rauner led Downstate with 35 percent to 23 percent for Brady. The poll found Rutherford had 15 percent and Dillard had 6 percent among Downstate Republicans, with 20 percent undecided.

Rauner’s opponents also have sought to attack his ideology by noting his relationship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor Richard M. Daley and other Democrats nationally. But among voters who call themselves conservatives, Rauner leads with 42 percent compared with 19 percent for Brady.

If there is an area for weakness for Rauner, it is a slight gap between men and women. Republican men prefer Rauner 44 percent to 19 percent for Brady, while GOP women backed Rauner 35 percent to 22 percent for Brady.

* Methodology

This Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll is based on a sample of 600 confirmed registered voters in Illinois likely to vote in the March 18th Republican primary. The potential margin of error for a sample of 600 is +/- 4% at the 95% level of confidence. Interviewing was conducted by phone with live interviewers from Wednesday - Friday evenings and Saturday daytime, February 5-8.

Registered voters are screened to determine voting likelihood - registered to vote where they now live, absolutely or fairly sure will vote, and voted in one of last two GOP state primary elections. Illinois is one of the states that do not have party registration. Self-described party identification is a variable.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - MrJM - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    Nearly one out of ten likely Republican primary voters has never heard of the current Republican Treasurer of Illinois?


    – MrJM

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    ===…(Rauner) just a 10 percent unfavorable rating,…===

    That is the biggest obsticle.

    “Bruce Rauner” is five weeks out in a 4-person primary, and his negatives are at 10%?

    Cripes sake, the “3″ have been so busy not to ruffle the Rich Guy’s feathers, and try to “out-Conservative” the other, or even just be a “swell guy”, that no one thought about roughing up “Bruce Rauner”?

    I mean, c’mon, this poll is pretty doggone accurate, considering a 10% negative for the guy who is on pace to go well past $10 million, and NOW it takes “2PACS” to try to whittle away at a guy at 40% in a 4-way race and not even in the teens in negatives?

    The “3″, you are blowing this race as much as Rauner’s Crew is destroying you. As those Ads burned and the image cultivated, you Dopes are worried who is standing in the Rotunda with groups preaching hate towards other humans. You have pick ineffective running mates who have not been the “attack dogs” to “Bruce Rauner”.

    To that, what the heck is the point of picking a good or bad running mate if you don’t use them as the “Bad Cop”? What a Dopey way to run, picking someone who is useless in the role of being the biggest mouthpiece to attack your opponents!
    Months and Months pass not one of you think of using the LG as the 24/7 attack dog? Who was going to get those negatives up? Who? The “3″ have been outflanked, and have undersetimated the Rauner Crew at every turn.

    Embarrassingly pathetic.

    The “3″ are like the 9-year old child making the “vinegar/baking soda volcano”, but they mess it up so badly, an adult (can you say “2PACS”?) has to come in and try to salvage a “C” Guess what, while “Cs get degrees”, there is no ribbon for second. Right Dillard? Right Brady?

    The only telling number in the poll that will have a significant difference in this race turning anyway but what it is heading is …

    ===…(Rauner) just a 10 percent unfavorable rating,…===

    Now, go fix your volcano, and get going getting that “10%” up to Spinal Tap “11″.

  3. - Downstater - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Rauner is being viewed, as the pure outsider, no matter how others are trying to tie him to the insiders. People don’t believe it. Rauner has done an excellent job of establishing his identity early.

  4. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Rauner’s strength is a direct result of his opponents and the overall weakness of the ILGOP.

  5. - dave - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    **Bruce Rauner says his personal wealth makes him independent of special interests. His opponents say he is trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor. Who do you side with….Rauner or his Opponents?**

    Of course, this question completely ignores the fact that Rauner has also taken MILLIONS from other special interests other than himself. He isn’t self-financing. He’s spending a lot of his money, and taking a TON of money from other rich folks.

    He isn’t independent of special interests. He just had a different set of special interests.

    Of course, with that said, polling continues to show it won’t matter in the primary, and he may end up getting 50% of the vote.

  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Hard to see anyone catching Rauner. His numbers are solid.

  7. - Smoggie - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Brady raised no money and is down by 20.

    What a shock.

    When they write the history of Illinois campaigns, Brady will go down as one of the most incompetent candidates ever.

    He benefited from a split field to get the nod in 2010, and then ran a miserable campaign to give the office to Quinn in a year when anybody with “R” behind their name could win.

    Now he tries it again and somehow thinks he can run for gov. without raising any money at all.

    What is the guy thinking?

  8. - Downstater - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Oh, if only one of the “3″ had listened to Oswego Willy. NOT!

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    - Downstater -,

    If I knew what that meant, I might respond with something snarky, yet silly. My advice is like the air we all breathe, free, and worth just as much.

    They are running their races as they see fit. Including me in their thoughts is not really a swipe at any of them or me, unless it makes you feel better.

    To the Post,

    - Smoggie -, they are all to blame, not just Brady. Picking any of the “3″ without including the other 2 in this running of a campaign ignoring the biggest threat as an annoyance speaks more to the “3″ and the ILGOP, “non-money” people than anything else.

  10. - Smoggie - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:28 am:


    I never thought Dillard had a chance so I didn’t include him. I just didn’t see how he could get either the nomination or win in November. I never understood why he got into this race.

    Brady had a shot at the nomination if he would have raised enough to get his name out and do some negative as to Rauner. He didn’t have to match Rauner dollar for dollar. He just needed to raise enough to run some ads as the “real Republican.”

    While Brady was in a position to get the GOP nod, I still think he would have a very tough time in a second race against Quinn. Even with Quinn’s performance, it likely would come down to abortion, again.

    I don’t include Rutherford because, although I now agree with you that it took him too long to go negative, that will not be the reason for him losing. That lawsuit is going to kill any chance he had.

    So I find Brady more worthy of criticism for the way he ran his campaign than the other two. Brady had a real path to the nomination and the other two did not.

  11. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Bruce Rauner says his personal wealth makes him independent of special interests. His opponents say he is trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor. Who do you side with….Rauner or his Opponents?

    —-Why can’t both be true?

  12. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    I was about to say just that, North Shore Joe. It’s kind of an odd question. Clearly, he’s trying to buy the office. So there are only two real questions - do you have a problem with someone trying to buy an office, and if not, do you think he’ll do a good job once he’s in there?

    I’m not a Republican, but even if we were talking about a wealthy Democratic businessperson trying to do the same thing, I think I’d be deeply concerned by the seemingly uncritical assumption that the ends justify these rather undemocratic (though very much lawful) means.

  13. - RU kidding me?!!! - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    “…Bruce Rauner says his personal wealth makes him independent of special interests. His opponents say he is trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor…”

    As usual his opponents are barking up the wrong tree.

    How about agreeing that Rauner is independent of special interests…cause Rauner funds the special interests - he is the special interest! They should also be agreeing that Rauner is incorruptible…his money is the root of all corruption…Rauner is the corrupter!

  14. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    To the billionaire with nothing better to do.

  15. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    CO Norton,

    Rauner has never hid the fact that he is buying the election. In fact the entire motif of the Rauner campaign is that HE is buying the election instead of the “special interests” (in the form of union bosses) which normally do. It’s pretty comical, actually.

    “No, like seriously you can’t buy me. I’m so frickin rich… Just try me.”

  16. - flea - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    As a life long Democrat, I am actually thinking about taking a republican ticket so I can vote for Rauner…..My folks are spinning in their graves. If he can afford to buy the election, perhaps he deserves it.

  17. - shore - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    to me the story of this race has become more about who hasn’t emerged than who has. I’ve never been a dillard guy but that kind of political experience, that amount of prep, the edgar thing. Those guys are going to spend the rest of their lives saying we had this thing and we totally blew it. Nothing personal against the other 3 guys on the gop side, but this thing was tailor made for dillard and he’s just shanked every ball off the tee into the pond.

  18. - The Myth and the Man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    ===The “3″, you are blowing this race as much as Rauner’s Crew is destroying you. As those Ads burned and the image cultivated, you Dopes are worried who is standing in the Rotunda with groups preaching hate towards other humans===

    Preach it coach!

  19. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Rauner will be tough to catch but I think his numbers have peaked and it’s all downhill from here-just how far is the question.

  20. - Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Low information voters who hear / like the sound bites Rauner’s money buys. I think this primary is just a small example of the nation’s politics. Sad…

    It is also a strong condemnation of the GOP. Just like in the Presidential election, they seem determined to beat each other to death while ignoring the other party. Like Obama during the presidential race, Quinn can simply sit by and hand them a hammer every so often.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    ===I think this primary is just a small example of the nation’s politics.===

    No, this poll and the way Ruaner is running is based on overwhelming the field, and keeping the negatives low. Nothing more.

    ===It is also a strong condemnation of the GOP. Just like in the Presidential election, they seem determined to beat each other to death while ignoring the other party.===

    “Bruce Rauner” is attacking Democrats, “and even some Republicans…” and totally ignoring the other three in the field. this is nothing like the Presidential where there was backbiting, because the narrative is not out there because the other three can’t afford to take shots at Rauner.

    ===Quinn can simply sit by and hand them a hammer every so often.===

    What does that mean? Rauner’s negatives, and Rauner running against everyone is at play here. Did Mitt Romney run against EVERYONE? No.


  22. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    The Republican primary, if anything, reminds me of the 2011 Chicago Mayoral election. One extremely well funded candidate, ignoring the rest of the field, ditching debates and buying air time while the other three stumble over one another. Substitute the incompetent or inherently flawed A.A. candidates for the 3 rubes in this primary, and there you have it.

    The writing has been on the wall since the beginning.

    By the way, the skipping debate thing is quickly becoming the ultimate power-move in a financially lopsided election like this… The other three should not have agreed to do debates without front runner.

    The only question now is how effective will the Quinn/union counter offensive be against Rauner that was absent against Rahm in 2011. And the more pressing question, when will it finally begin?

  23. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Rauner figured out who the most unpopular guy in the state was (PQ) and started pounding him early. The other 3 used their very scant resources to try and pound the pounder. Bad choice. Now, it’s even a worse choice and they’re pounding one another for second place. They’ve been outspent obviously. But they’ve also been outthought, outworked, outmessaged and outmanuevered at every turn. If you can’t spend with the guy, you’ve got to out think him. They’ve all failed miserably. The tabloids and the cartoons just look a little too hollow now. The guys who’ve been running for Governor for 20 years never looked at Lane 4.

  24. - Rod - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    If we assume Mr. Rauner wins the primary and based both on Rich’s polling and the Tribune’s that seems very possible, then the question is will the Republican establishment in central Illinois and down state work for his election? Moreover, will the Dillard influenced DuPage County Republican Party machine turn out the vote for Rauner? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but my suspicion is that Rauner believes the party as a vote generating operation is largely worthless and his advertisements will generate his vote.

    Rauner as Rich pointed out in his talk to the City Club of Chicago has upset a lot of traditional politicians and they in my opinion may prefer the devil they know, Pat Quinn, to Rauner. What these traditional party operations do is get out the senior vote, get Republican County employees to vote and work the community. How many votes this may cost Rauner is an unknown factor.

    The Speaker has been declared the enemy by Rauner so he will work to see him defeated even if he has little use for Pat Quinn. I don’t think Mr. Berrios is going to be neutral either and he will try to turn out the Chicago and Cook County vote for Quinn. Mayor Emanuel has no reach in terms of vote generation in the wards because he has not fought for control of the Cook County Democratic Party and I suspect Quinn has done enough for the City for him not to turn on him.

    Advertisements and money will not be enough to beat Pat Quinn. But the Governor can beat himself with mistakes. But I see lucky Pat winning this one.

  25. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    If Bruce wins, it will be because he is a Republican populist, the opposite of Pat who is a Democrat populist. Both these guys may take it away from the traditional orgs and give it to the people to decide. The real question is: when that happens, what will be the purpose of maintaining a group that is every bit as responsible for the economic misery and problems as the people they supported and kept sending back. New party orgs will develop and leaders will have to be chosen very carefully. There’s a huge primary on one side, but in this guy’s opinion, there’s a revolution occurring on both sides.

  26. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    “I see a lucky Pat winning this one.”– I thought this before the primary began but am having second thoughts.

    The Governor is similar to a 10-22 NCAA team that won its conference tournament to sneak into the big boy tourney (Blago impeachment), got a #12 seed and upset the #5 (Brady) in the first round.

    He’s now going up against a juggernaut #1 seeded (30-2) Kentucky team. Will the Cinderella story continue? Not impossible, but he sure does have the deck stacked against him.

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    North Shore Joe, that’s the best analysis I’ve yet seen on Quinn’s prospects. Congrats. Want an internship? lol

  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===If Bruce wins, it will be because he is a Republican populist,…===

    You have to be a Republican first, to be a Republican populist …Bruce Rauner and “Bruce Rauner” are “Raunerites”

  29. - Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Neither Quinn nor Rauner are particularly appealing. If it were a viable choice on the ballot for the general election, I think I’d choose “None of the above”.

  30. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    “Mayor Emanuel has no reach in terms of vote generation in the wards because he has not fought for control of the Cook County Democratic Party and I suspect Quinn has done enough for the City for him not to turn on him.”

    Don’t forget that the Mayor is widely unpopular and will have own February race to deal with.

  31. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    “I think his numbers have peaked”

    It seems like his anti-Quinn message has peaked also. What’s Rauner going to say in two or three months (assuming he’s nominated), the same thing, that Quinn is a lifetime politician who caters to special interests, that he’s destroying the economy, etc.? I’m not saying this won’t work, just that where can Rauner go from here? Will he saturate the state with the same type of ads over and over, for months?

    I would rather be Quinn in 2014 than Quinn in 2013. He has some major legislative accomplishments in his pocket. That’s a good place to start, if you’re at the bottom, like he is.

    I’m going to go on the thinnest limb of the weakest branch and predict that Quinn will win the General. This prediction is subject to change, but if I don’t change it, and Quinn loses, I’ll donate to charity.

  32. - North Shore Joe - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Rahm’s re-elections will be easier than Daley’s were.

  33. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    the difference between Rauner and Rutherford is that if Rauner wins-the union houses might stay home to boycott Quinn but will never vote for him. He might even generate a huge call to arms and bring out the vote.

    Rutherford would probably get the union vote if he is on the ticket.

    That’s a lot of votes

  34. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    I’m having second thoughts too, although I still believe Quinn can use Rauner’s great wealth against him effectively, which Quinn has plenty of money to do. However, I think the unions will come out for Quinn in a crunch. That’s a lot of votes and a lot of folks walking precincts.

    Do I think Rauner will be a disaster for the state. Of course not, just a different disaster than Quinn. He’ll shake up the state bureaucracy, make it more of a meritocracy, less of a Democratic patronage farm. It’s time for those Blago holdovers to go–and there are a lot of them, just not at the very top of the bureaucracies. He’ll pick his fights-nobody says he is stupid. I still think Quinn is the likely
    winner, but it seems like it’s all up to Rauner now–can he run a smart campaign that attracts independents despite the Democrats’ efforts to portray him as the Koch brothers on steroids.

  35. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 7:56 pm:

    With only 16% Undecided, as I’ve suggested before, not only Rutherford, but likely indeed, also, the RACE is over, too. The only hope the Anti-Rauner folks have would be for Rutherford and/or Dillard bow out and throw their support to Brady (who at least almost everybody in Illinois KNOWS/has HEARD of) in an effort to unite to defeat the scary Von Baron Zillionaire Outsider…but THAT’S about as likely as them holdin’ the Winter Olympics in the Everglades some day, so, once again–and it pains me to say it ‘cuz I love battles to the end and Cliffhangers like in the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Contest–but it’s over.

    (And, QUITE likely now as well, the Governor’s forces are well-underway in their research and preparation on the Attack Rauner General Election Campaign Strategy)…!

  36. - T.J. - Wednesday, Feb 12, 14 @ 4:11 am:

    I’m mystified by this ongoing polling with Rauner strong among men. The only two people I knew for Rauner were grandmothers, and they’ve both backed away from him since last month.

  37. - Prairie Center Farmer - Wednesday, Feb 12, 14 @ 4:29 am:

    Watching Twitter ‘ s, looks like guys are busy fundraising. Election is less than 6 weeks away and the 4 horsemen don’t have much for policies. Yeah, we know Quinn is bad. What else you got. Like so many Illinois elections, this primary is a popularity contest.

    Give us policies. Farm policy, or energy policy. Give us ssomething to motivate us. Heck, we’ll exploit the social media if you had something to excite us. Give us substance to not vote for Rauner.

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* Cooler temperatures lead to greater needs
* Women for Women tops half million mark
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work
* Central Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan
* Charles Krauthammer: My vote, explained

* Extra: Senior living in central Illinois
* Ambulance Director gets new contract; new Regional Superintendent of Schools No. 30 named
* Recycling event brings new life to tires
* PFOP: Dual church membership headache for Stevenson
* Oct. 23 Bob Asmussen Top 25
* Illinois Civil Air Patrol squadron assists FEMA with disaster relief In NC after hurricane
* Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come
* Don Follis: Voting with your life is ultimate test for humility
* Voices: The rabbit and the penknife
* John Roska: Cameras of media OK in many Illinois courts

* Purdue University's football season impacts local economy
* Bill Murray to receive humor prize at Kennedy Center
* Democratic hopeful aims to unseat Hawaii's only GOP lawmaker
* Younger, diverse voters are reshaping California politics
* Mundelein high school sued in connection to teen's suicide

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Photos: State's Attorney Glasgow, Senator ......
* Durbin Joins Women for Clinton Group - FOX......

* Should A Stroke Disqualify A Candidate? - ......
* Dems count on Duckworth 'W,' Kirk predicts......

* Morning Minute: NAR identifies top home buyer and seller trends over last 35 years
* Illinois REALTORS® give Rep. McAuliffe IE support
* They've Got The Power, They've Got The Speed, To Be The Best In The National League
* Chicago #Cubs championship history #postseason
* EXTRA: It’s about time!!!
* Walls closing in on Rhonda Crawford. What should the sanction be?
* Gooseberry Playlot Nears Completion On Malden
* Treasure Island Foods Slated As Anchor Retail Tenant of Maryville Development
* Where's Weyermuller?At #P**ssygrabsback protest at Chicago's Trump Tower
* Top IR picks for third week of October 2016

* Illinois EPA Sponsors Interactive Environmental Education Event with Riverton Elementary School - Riverton Third and Fourth Graders “Dive In!” to Celebrate the Environment
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Veteran Mr. George Pempek
* Illinois Partners with State of Telangana, India to Strengthen Smart State Initiatives - State to state agreement to accelerate opportunities and service to citizens
* Illinois EPA Announces Vehicle Emissions Testing Network Updates - New Contract to Offer More Efficient, Less Expensive Tests
* Annual Training Underway For Gas Station Owners, Service Technicans

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