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A third poll shows tighter race

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Sun-Times

In a survey commissioned by Illinois’ largest teachers’ union, one of President Barack Obama’s pollsters is declaring the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner “nearly a deadheat.”

Paul Harstad, with Harstad Strategic Research, gives the Winnetka Republican a slight edge, but his poll of 1,003 likely voters released Thursday gives the Quinn camp a modicum of relief since other recent polling has shown Rauner with a double-digit lead.

The Harstad poll, paid for by the Illinois Education Association and conducted using live interviews with respondents on a mix of landline and cell phones, has Rauner with 46 percent, Quinn with 42 percent and 8 percent undecided.

The poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points and was conducted between July 17 and 22.

That 4-point margin is more in line with two other polls showing the race at either three or six points. It’s also the same margin the governor’s campaign came up with by applying 2010 exit polling to the We Ask America poll.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    I’ve been lucky enough to answer one of their live polls. The live pollers need helmets after reading some of the questions they ask. If he’s still up in this one, he’s really up.

  2. - OLK 73 - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Obama’s pollster commissioned by the IL Education Assoc? Not the most impartial of organizations I would say.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Any poll at this point showing less than 10 percent undecided, maybe 15, I just can’t buy

  4. - yo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Polls, smch-molls, going to be a close race. We will know in November. Going to be wild until then.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Probably 6-10 up is Rauner…

    But you have to VOTE that margin of pluses to win, lol..,

    “Right? Exactly right”, up 17, win by 3…


  6. - Western Ave. Doug - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Dems must be nervous if they cry about poll bias, and produce polls via the teachers union that say “we are only losing by 4 points.”

    Polls don’t vote, but it can dry up some of the money on the sidelines. Perhaps trade unions holding back big cash might not want to waste it on a loser.

  7. - Western Ave. Doug - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    ==“Right? Exactly right”, up 17, win by 3…

    More pathetic that you can’t get past your Rauner hatred. PPC is the prism the view Rauner. Right. Exactly right.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    - Western Ave. Doug -,

    It July…Rauner still can’t/won’t tell the truth about his Daughter, who lived in Winnetka, with such a “Perfect” score, the IG said… it wasn’t.

    Rauner took a seat from a worthy child, a Chicago child.

    Those income taxes, were they from the Condo address? Nope.

    Drivers license? Rauner cared so much, did the license get changed? Nope.

    Chicago teachers taught his Denied Daughter, and another child…another child was denied a chance.

    It is the prism. So much so Rauner avoids it like the plague.

    Rauner is the insider that is going to cut out the middle-man.

    And those who aren’t lemmings… know it.

  9. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Well… a closer race makes more sense to me. Nobody I talk to is really enthusiastic about Rauner. And I’m a rural downstater… So, if rural downstaters aren’t thrilled with the republican candidate, it generally isn’t good for them….

  10. - Jibberish - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Western Ave. Doug- Please don’t feed the troll. Thanks.

  11. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    These are much closer to my sense of the race. Rauner winning but he still hasn’t put PQ away. Many reasons for this including his failure to press his competitive Advantage by unloading on PQ but also his failure to present credible plans. He’s up and I sti think he’ll win but he’s got to do more to win.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    - Jibberish -,

    “With kindest personal regards…” lol.

    So you don’t refute the phoniness? Ok, thanks.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Like I said, tilting Rauner.

    Bruce better bust out the old personal checkbook and get ready to drop $10 million a month.

    If Quinn is within 5 points, Bruce is taking his chances on Election Day, and at least 4 percent will remain undecided until then.

  14. - anon - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    The CBS tabs shows that if Quinn consolidates dems (now 71%) and blacks (now 61%) he can win. Rauner with 84% of GOP voters and 54% of independents has maxed out on these two groups. This helps explain Rauner’s decision to come forward with the Meeks “light” tax plan.

    Still looks like the state’s partisan demographics may save Quinn. And; if Washington’s tea partiers keep attacking Obama, Quinn’s luck could hold again.

  15. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    If Quinn is not up with this group. How can you expect him to win? It’s July. I get it. But how is PQ not up in this? I think it is much more troubling than any poll I have seen. The rank and file are not behind the Teacher union leadership.

  16. - Levois - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    At this time in 2010, I wonder what the polling showed. Was Brady ahead of Quinn at this point? If so what made the difference? What would make the difference this time?

  17. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    The polling averages have to be encouraging for Quinn, due to his unpopularity.

    We have yet to see the full campaign onslaught from the Quinn/anti-Rauner side. I’ve been reading more stuff from Doug Ibendahl at his web site, about Rauner’s ownership role in the nursing homes and long-term care homes. There seems to be a lot of ammo to use against Rauner. I’d like to see polls after the attack ads.

    There’s an interesting nugget in one of Ibendahl’s stories. Rauner negotiated with SEIU on behalf of the nursing home company, THI. Rauner didn’t seem to hate public unions a few years ago, just like he didn’t hate public worker pensions.

    SEIU reportedly was trying to call attention to the problems at nursing homes and had a web site for this purpose, but when I clicked the link yesterday, the site was gone or unavailable.

  18. - Western Ave. Doug - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Come on Willy, since when is a Republican a lemming for backing the Republican nominee?

    All the PPC, nursing homes and “drip, drip drip” stuff did not work in the primary. It was state workers (mostly Ds and some Rs) motivated by pensions and “Government Union Boss” stuff that followed instructions and voted for Dillard that closed the gap. I really think you are allowing your hatred of Rauner interfere with your usually sound political judgment.

    I really believe there is hope for you Willy, and you are always welcome in the Rauner tent.

  19. - tsavo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:54 pm:


    Here is the poll from July 2010.

  20. - Try-4-Truth - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    Mr. Doug,

    I’m not sure you are getting a Rauner paycheck or not, but that “drip, drip, drip” in the primary was nothing compared to what a well funded campaign can do. Your guy may win (may not too), but this is Illinois and winning a close election in the R primary does not translate into a win in the general.

    As far as “Government Union Boss”, guess what, government workers are citizens too. Rauner demonized them and now his followers (Tea Party?) will not stop until every public employee’s life sucks too much to care.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===Come on Willy, since when is a Republican a lemming for backing the Republican nominee?===

    Voting for someone just because they won a nomination doesn’t make them a member of a party, it just makes them a nominee of a party.

    My Party needs both …Oberweises and Sandacks … not Raunerites.

    ===All the PPC, nursing homes and “drip, drip drip” stuff did not work in the primary. It was state workers (mostly Ds and some Rs) motivated by pensions and “Government Union Boss” stuff that followed instructions and voted for Dillard that closed the gap.===

    Why worry about me then? I would be worried about…”state workers (mostly Ds and some Rs) motivated by pensions and ‘Government Union Boss’ stuff that followed instructions and voted for Dillard that closed the gap.”

    Maybe because GOP Regulars see Bruce as a phony too?

    ===I really believe there is hope for you Willy, and you are always welcome in the Rauner tent.===

    Thanks for reminding me, and all;

    It’s not the GOP Tent in this discussion, it’s the “Rauner” Tent.

    While your very nice sentiment seems painless, it’s a reminder that Rauner hijacked the ILGOP, because it was there to hijack.

    Just sayin’

  22. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    The Governor needs to be up by October’s slew of corruption news with his name on it. If he is ahead the spinning can be how voters still support him.

    But he is down. Not good.

  23. - Western Ave. Doug - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==government workers are citizens too==

    Yes they are, and are worthy of respect. But AFSCME and SEIU have to realize that private sector tax payers are citizens too, and they do not have pensions that compound 3% annually. The system is not sustainable without raising the tax burden or cutting things like education. We all need to share in the sacrifice, and people living pay check to pay check in the private sector have been making most of the sacrifices for bad decisions in Illinois for too long.

  24. - Yipperdo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    I would say the truth is somewhere in the middle and Quinn is about 7-8 points down. That is still not good for a sitting incumbent.

  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Went to the Sun-Times site and read the article and reviewed some of the printed cross tabs. This poll is pretty interesting and seems to debunk some earlier polling results.

    Rauner leads Quinn with men AND women by basically equal margins? Quinn is somewhat ahead in suburban Cook County, not Rauner? Rauner swamps Quinn in the collars and south of I-80.

    Rauner also leads Quinn in ALL income levels, including house holds earning less than $50,000.00? With low income voters, Rauner leads 49-42?

    Can one conclude that the billionaire candidate is resonating with the middle and lower economic classes in Illinois? All that class war conflict stuff being thrown against him, is it working or not? This poll seems to hint that strategy may not be working, or may not be working as well as prior assumptions.

    Interesting stuff.

  26. - Chris Wieneke - WAA - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Just for the sake of transparency the CNN exit poll that Quinn’s campaign used to get different numbers for the WAA poll broke down:

    Democrats - 44%
    Republicans - 32%
    Independents - 24%

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Western Ave Doug:

    Despite Mr Rauner’s spinning, there is pretty clear evidence that Dillard’s surge was not the sole product of unions or democrats.

    I suspect what you saw was anti-Rauner voters coalescing around the best challenger.

    As for this poll, different polling methods will get you dissimilar although not necessarily conflicting results.

    We Ask America has Rauner at 47. This poll at 46. There are three differences:

    - live pollsters push undecideds to decide. Undecideds are breaking Quinn’s way. Hurrah, says Pat.

    - WAA poll doesn’t include third party candidates, but in the IEA poll that doesn’t seem to hurt Bruce. Uh-oh says Pat.

    - WAA poll does not appear to include party ID. huh? But it appears a wash.

    Still, leaning Rauner. 48 percent ought to win this outright. Rauner has three plausible pathways to 48 percent. Quinn really only has one.

  28. - dave - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    **If Quinn is not up with this group. How can you expect him to win? It’s July. I get it. But how is PQ not up in this? I think it is much more troubling than any poll I have seen. The rank and file are not behind the Teacher union leadership.**

    Walter Mitty — I think that you are a bit confused. This wasn’t a poll of teachers.

  29. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Perhaps Capt Fax can get the text of any tax question and then compare it to the ReBooters Folly just so everyone know what to look for next time.

  30. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    - Western Ave. Doug - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Do you realize that state empoyees / retirees pay a specific percentage of their salary for the AAI? And that the AAI is sustainable, just like the pensions, IF the State had put their part in when required?

  31. - Roadypig - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:54 pm:

    RNUG- I wouldn’t waist my breath with Western Ave. Doug. If I have learned anything in the 5+ years I have been reading this informative blog, its if I don’t know the facts on an issue, it is foolish for me to post a comment on said issue (”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” A huge Illinois connection to that famous quote). The boards today seem to be full of “new” people with strong opinions that they seem to confuse with facts, so trying to educate them is probably futile.

  32. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:59 pm:

    - Roadypig - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:54 pm:

    Yeah, but if you don’t try, you don’t reach the ones that might learn.

  33. - Roadypig - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 6:01 pm:

    tsavo- thank you for posting the link to the Quinn/Brady poll taken at the same point in the 2010 election. To me it eerily similar that Quinn was down by such a large percentage back then, even down to the reporter mentioning the political raises given his patronage people while he was asking for austerity from the rest of the state (although the patronage hiring at IDOT and money wasted on the anti-violence program should cause much more pain come October this year) hurting Quinn in the eyes of those polled. Could it be deja vu all over again? Time will tell…

  34. - Jechislo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 6:03 pm:

    Louis G. Atsaves @ 1:11 pm

    IMHO your post on this topic was the best one posted.

  35. - facts are stubborn things - Friday, Aug 1, 14 @ 8:41 am:


    Yes, keep trying. Facts are stubborn things and the truth does not change. you do get through to some, and you help others that agree with you by arming them with facts.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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