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Poll has Shimkus leading McCarter 65-13

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016

* Public Opinion Strategies polled likely GOP voters in Congressman John Shimkus’ district. Shimkus is up against state Sen. Kyle McCarter. If the poll is accurate, McCarter has a very long way to go to even be competitive. From the pollster…

Key Findings

1. Kyle McCarter has wasted three months of the campaign. Neither his name ID nor his
favorables have moved.

Back in October, McCarter had 36% name ID, with a 15% favorable/3% unfavorable image with GOP primary voters. Now, in January, he has 34% name ID, with a 13% fav/4% unfav – which is a statistically insignificant movement.

2. Meanwhile, the work that Congressman John Shimkus and his team have done has paid off.

In October, the Congressman had a solid 56% favorable/13% unfavorable image. Now, it has improved to an even better 63% fav/9% unfav image. (His name ID is 90% or better in both polls).

3. This is a district that likes its Republican leaders – Governor Bruce Rauner has a strong image here.

Bruce Rauner has 97% name ID, with a strong 67% favorable/14% unfavorable image. The Governor’s support for Shimkus is a political plus for both.

4. Shimkus remains well ahead on the ballot test.

In October, Shimkus led McCarter 63%-15% on the ballot. There has not been any statistically significant movement since then, as the Shimkus lead is currently 65%-13%. That’s three months lost for McCarter.

    Shimkus leads 64%-26% in the 22% of the district that is also the 54th Senate District – which McCarter currently represents. If McCarter is not competitive in his own geographic base, it is going to be difficult for him to make gains in the 78% of the district that is new to him.

    Shimkus leads 59%-29% among the 34% of voters who have heard of both candidates, so this is not simply a matter of McCarter raising his name ID to make big gains.

    Shimkus leads 69%-12% among Trump voters and 64%-16% among Cruz voters. Those two candidates earn a combined 54% of the presidential vote. So even the voters for the two strongest outsider candidates in the presidential primary are strongly supportive of the Congressman.

The Bottom Line

John Shimkus is well-positioned to win renomination in the 15th Congressional District primary. He is well-liked by all parts of the Republican electorate. Meanwhile, Kyle McCarter has squandered three months of opportunity to make gains. The election will tighten as undecided voters typically opt for a challenger, but Shimkus is well above 50% on the ballot and even leads in McCarter’s geographic base.


Public Opinion Strategies completed a survey of likely primary voters in the 15th Congressional District of Illinois. The survey was conducted January 7-10, 2016 among four hundred likely voters in the district, including 80 cell phone respondents. The survey has a margin of error of +4.9% in 95 out of 100 cases.

McCarter is getting thumped in his own Senate district? Whew.

Also, those are pretty rock solid numbers for the governor among Republicans, but that’s to be expected.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    You could say McCarter is just out of the Margin of Error…

    It’s a fool’s errand.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    I guess Club for Growth should put their money where their mouth is in a hurry.

    It will be interesting to see if they do so in any significant way.

  3. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:11 pm:

    Club for Growth endorsed McCarter. My thought on that is simple: Shimkus’s district is big enough that the Club for Growth will either put its money where its mouth is or belatedly realize how many media areas are included and perhaps do little more than sit on its laurels and issue press releases instead of doing its usual terrible ad campaign replete with ominous voices and last second disclosures.

  4. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:12 pm:

    Very tough district from a media perspective. Trying to influence voters from Danville to Metro East and down to Metropolis.

    Care to figure out how many different TV/newspaper/Radio plays one would need to make to move the needle?

  5. - Birdseed - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:12 pm:

    Being in the 54th Senate District, I’m not surprised.

  6. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    But McCarter’s DuPage county based consultants are brilliant…just ask them!

  7. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    This is good news. It’s past time for McCarter to go away.

  8. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    Not surprising, but unfortunately both will continue to “represent” me for another 2 years!

  9. - A guy - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:15 pm:

    This was never going to be a race. McCarter made a very foolish and embarrassing decision here. He’ll be remembered for this race and missing or barely achieving 20%. I believe he’s mid-term. Which means he’s actually hurt himself significantly in this race. It’s loud embarrassment.

  10. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    I like supporting candidates I think I could work with, and that basically, have a friendly personality. McCarter struggles on both counts.

  11. - WhiteCastle - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    Obviously Shimkus will win. As to the margin, this same polling outfit - Public Opinion Strategies - had Davis up over Harold by very similar margins, and in the end it was closer (55-41).

  12. - Eagle Eyes - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    Shimkus’ deputy chief of staff turned states evidence to avoid jail time. She admitted to laundering millions of dollars while working for Gov Ryan. Wonder what she’s done for her current boss?

  13. - Skitzzo - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    Who paid for this poll?

    This district was carved out specifically for Shimkus. Look at the district map, that tail in Collinsville was put there specifically so Shimkus wouldn’t have to move.

    Call me crazy but this sounds like a hit piece put out to try and discourage voters from getting rid of the entrenched incumbent who fundraises for all the big wigs.

  14. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    Rich, gotta take issue with your contention that these are “rock-solid numbers” for the governor.

    In this poll, Rauner’s own party’s likely primary voters only support him to the tune of 67%. The math implied here is that his fav/unfav among all voters in the 15th CD is probably only 50-50 today.

    This in the strongest GOP CD in the state. In most of these counties he won over 70% of the vote - more than 80% in some of them - and a year later he’s nearly underwater.

    Bottom line, this shows Rauner has fallen far and fast.

  15. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 5:12 pm:


    You don’t have to live within a Congressional district to run there - just within the state. The Dems drew this district as a GOP vote sink to make the 12th and 13th more Dem, not to protect Shimkus.

  16. - Skitzzo - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 6:00 pm:

    Southwest, you don’t have to live within the district but almost all do. And even if a Rep doesn’t live there while running, I don’t know of one that hasn’t moved there once they won.

    Also, it’s a well known fact the tail into Collinsville was done specifically for him.

  17. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 13, 16 @ 6:11 pm:

    Skitzoo - exactly correct. Look at what happened when he was running against David Phelps and the last minute changes made when he could have possibly have had to run against Tim Johnson in a contested Republican Primary. The IllDems, in charge at that time with drawing the district lines made sure that John and Tim did not live in the same district - by several blocks for both!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you IllDems for burdening me with John Shimkus for all these years!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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