Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » New poll has big leads for Quinn, Giannoulias; Claypool won’t answer; “Fiddling while Rome burns”
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New poll has big leads for Quinn, Giannoulias; Claypool won’t answer; “Fiddling while Rome burns”

Thursday, Feb 25, 2010

* A new statewide poll taken by Research 2000 for Daily Kos has Pat Quinn and Alexi Giannoulias with significant leads over their GOP opponents. Full results here.

First, a big advantage for Quinn vs. Brady…

Pat Quinn’s favorables…

Bill Brady’s favorables…

* Giannoulias vs. Kirk

Giannoulias’ most recent poll had him ahead 49-45. Research 2K’s last poll in January had the race at 38-30.

The poll of 600 likely voters had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. It was taken Feb. 22-24.

From the Hotline

After a tougher primary race and whispers of a scandal surrounding a bank associated with Giannoulias’ family, Giannoulias is actually more popular than Kirk, according to the poll. Giannoulias is viewed favorably by 49% of respondents, while 34% view him unfavorably. Kirk’s fav/unfav rating stands at 42%/35%.

Despite a difficult climate for their party, Dems have been seeking to portray Kirk as the DC insider in the race. Among indies — those most likely to be disillusioned with DC — Giannoulias leads Kirk by the smallest of margins, 36-35%.

Kirk trounced challenger Patrick Hughes, who ran to his right, in the GOP primary. But his moderate creds, such as support for the Dem energy bill last spring, aren’t yet paying off in the general. He is capturing just 9% of the Dem vote in the poll, while Giannoulias holds 71% of Dems.

Meanwhile, IL’s most famous DC export, Pres. Obama, remains popular among the voters he once represented in the Senate. Fully 60% of ‘10 LVs view Obama favorably, while 36% have an unfavorable impression of him.

* I’m not the only one who can’t get a call-back from Forrest Claypool

Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who’s retiring from that spot to go into private business, so far isn’t returning calls about a report in Capitol Fax that the White House wants him to replace Mr. Cohen on the November ticket.

Mr. Claypool has, frankly, seemed a bit burned out on public life lately, and winning in November is no sure thing. On the other hand, the commissioner is the best of buddies with presidential counselor David Axelrod, who can be mighty persuasive.

* Our afternoon video was taken by my intern Dan Weber. Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) criticized the General Assembly this afternoon during a speech on the House floor for adjourning so early on yet another “go home” day. Nekritz said she thought that the GA was “fiddling while Rome burns.”

Dan followed up and here’s what she had to say

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    I thought Quinn was not doing well with the ladies….well, so much for that broad brushstroke….

  2. - Ghost - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    Kirk did a lot o damage to himself when he decided to lean far right; it was Kirks race to lose and so far he is losing it. He convinced me not to vote for him.

    Quinn could not have asked for a better opponent then brady. Brady will drive the majority of the independent, and probably some republican voters right over to quinn. Now quinn just needs to let brady campaign and cruise to the end.

  3. - Niles Township - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Remember than Claypool was Quinn’s Deputy Treasurer when Quinn was State Treasurer. Not a bad choice, but again a Chicago guy.

  4. - Easy - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    Rep. Nekritz–

    All nice comments to say from your office. Why not say them on the floor or to the speaker during caucus?

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    ===Why not say them on the floor===

    She did say them on the floor. Did I not make that clear enough?

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    Actually, I didn’t make it clear at all. Oops. Sorry. Adjusted now.

  7. - TaxMeMore - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    One, any poll not including Rich Whitney by name is not going to be very credible at all. Not surprised DailyKos would leave him out to skew their poll at all. And that DailyKos would add an “other” to the Senate race to help their guy, while leaving out Whitney, makes their skew a little more than obvious.

    Two, as Scott Lee Cohen proves, anything can happen within a week’s time, so these polls are of little use even right up until the day before the election.

    Three, they are still fun and interesting to see and are typically in the ballpark. I’d still like to see them ask how many callers will stay home because all of the choices are bad.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    LL, he hasn’t been when compared with Dan Hynes. Hynes is out now.

  9. - ugh - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    Nothing against Claypool, but for the love of God can we find someone, ANYONE, within Quinn’s office that hasn’t worked for Dan Walker, Rod Blagojevich, or in Treasurer Quinn’s office??

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:04 pm:

    ===would leave him out to skew their poll===

    Meh. From what I’ve seen, the Greens have taken equally from both sides.

  11. - titan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:08 pm:

    “While Rome burns”?

    The state is little more tan a pile of ashes, still standing solely due to inertia, awaiting a little breeze to disperse the remains

  12. - Hank - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    Quinn needs to adopt Daley’s campaign rope a dope strategy…say very little for the next eight months and let Brady destroy himself

  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    Daily Kos?

  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:10 pm:

    VM, R2K is not a bad pollster.

  15. - riverside - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    Claypool is originally from downstate St. Elmo in Fayette County…..

  16. - cassandra - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    This gubernatorial race is so over, no matter who is picked as Quinn’s running mate. And not because of Brady’s pet euthanasia bill.

    Kirk’s fate in a blue state was always iffy; a lot probably depends on the fate of the Alexi family bank. Bright Star seems to be receding into history and of course, there’s Alexi’s Obama connection. I wouldn’t rule Kirk out just yet though. He could benefit if a lot of Dems stay home in November because it’s not exciting like 2008 or because they figure they’ll win anyway.

    The most important unresolved battle is redistricting I think, if there are enough districts at risk to affect it.

  17. - Niles Township - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    Claypool is originally from downstate St. Elmo in Fayette County…..

    I know, but he’s been a Chicago guy for a long time now.

  18. - Pete Giangreco - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:23 pm:

    For those keeping score, this is now the third recent poll that has Alexi ahead. PPP had him up 8,his own poll which the campaign released has him up 4. That’s an average lead of 6 points.

    And Mark Kirk refuses to release his real McLaughlin poll. There’s a reason for that.

  19. - riverside - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    I know, but he’s been a Chicago guy for a long time now.
    No doubt that you are right, but he does have downstate roots nonetheless…..grew up downstate, SIU undergrad, U of I law school, at least he knows where downstate is…….

  20. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:26 pm:

    I think Claypool running for LG is someone’s fantasy, but it ain’t Forrest’s fantasy. I don’t see the Democratic State Central Committee taking special interest in his candidacy.

    At this point, it doesn’t really matter what Axelrod wants. All that matters is what the Central Committee wants. My instinct tells me they’d prefer to see Claypool stay in the private sector, and that Claypool would most certainly agree.

    Seriously, where is this coming from?

  21. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    I saw Rep. Nekritz make her remarks. There were a couple hoots from the members, but her reamrks, which were not made in a strident manner but more thoughtful reflection of the issue, received no acknowledgement in either support or rebuttal. I thought that silence was unfortunate.

  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    CF, there was applause after she spoke.

  23. - Jim - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    So there was applause, but will there be any action taken. I know Madigan doesn’t want to go forward without Repub votes, but schools, hospitals and some municipal governments may be closed by November if they wait to address the budget then.

  24. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    I think the state rodent should be the lemming.

  25. - Cuban Pilot - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    In the governor’s poll, is else anyone suprised at how bad Brady initially shows in Southern and Central Illinois against Quinn?

  26. - kj - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    i just don’t buy that brady’s unfavorables would already be at 40, i dont think 40% of the general elction voters have any opinion of bill brady. Also the quinn favorables seem to high.

  27. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    Hmmm, I don’t remember much in the way of applause, but apparently there were. I know that the speech on Nelson Mandela by Rep. Graham garnered a round previous to Rep. Nekrtiz’s remarks. Perhaps I thought the poignancy of the “leaving at one o’clock” demanded more than it got.

  28. - Concerned Voter - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:08 pm:

    Kudos to Rep. Nekritz! Wish she was my rep with a statement like that.

    On another matter, just checked my email, a lovely note from my union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

    You would think teachers should be able to write their own letters to express opinions to the guv, but hey, they have a form letter/email you can send him.

    “Subject: Budget

    Dear Governor Quinn,

    (Edit Letter Below)

    As you know, our state is facing a financial crisis that could be devastating to education and public services.

    School districts are sending out thousands of layoff notices and cutting important programs. Class sizes will go up and student achievement will most likely decline.

    Our colleges and universities are waiting for hundreds of millions of dollars in back payments from the state. These unpaid bills are forcing program cuts and may cause some campuses to shut down.

    Staffing in public agencies has been drastically cut and vital public services are delayed or not provided at all. IFT members in many offices are handling the duties of 2 or more staff positions.

    I am asking you to craft a budget that does not harm students’ education or public services. I support an income tax increase and House Bill 174 as the best way to prevent these drastic cuts. I appreciate your previous support for this legislation and ask you to make it a cornerstone of your budget proposal.

    [Your name]
    [Your address]”

    Also sent a link to the state’s interactive budget website:

    A link to a Crains blog on the state of the state:

    And this link to a state HB 174 fact sheet put out by….the IFT:

  29. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:16 pm:

    == Claypool is originally from downstate St. Elmo in Fayette County….. ==

    But when it comes to running for Lt. Gov does he has St. Elmo’s fire burning in him?

    Is he going to be a man in motion, is all he needs is a set of wheels?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  30. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    If they agreed with her, why not vote against adjourning (assuming the vote on that)

  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    Well, there’s agreeing and then there’s agreeing. lol

  32. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:32 pm:

    On further review, the dems are doing a great job of running the state. Let’s keep them for everything. It’s all Cross’ fault. And really, the skunk should be the state rodent, because the lemming is not indigenous. Or possibly the pack rat, because it takes things and doesn’t pay for them.

  33. - Obamarama - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:33 pm:

    And then there is making it north of I-80 before rush hour starts.

  34. - Cuban Pilot - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    With all this talk about St. Elmo, it should be noted that the Green Party Candidate for Lt. Gov is Don Crawford, who also is from St. Elmo. So, St. Elmo soon to become the most powerful town south of I-80.

  35. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    bad sign for Quinn. Below 50% is not good. He should be out there trying to define Brady. So what if the Brady isn’t official.

    Giannoulias is also in bad shape. He should get on the air, and he should make sure his family recapitalizes Broadway Bank before Kirk gets on the air.

  36. - Cuban Pilot - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    Rats, I missed the punch line with my last post….but anyway, Ax must want his buddy Claypool on the ticket in November in order to save the all important Fayette County.

  37. - Paul S. - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:57 pm:

    I am leery of polls before the campaigning really starts. It seems the campaigns are taking a breather before the race begins again. Look at how the poll numbers shifted in January after aggressive campaigning. I’m in wait and see mode.

  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:01 pm:

    ===bad sign for Quinn. Below 50% is not good. ===

    I doubt he’ll make 50 even if he wins with the Green on the ticket.

  39. - scoot - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:16 pm:

    I take the Senate race numbers from the DailyKos with a grain of salt…up 7 on Kirk..gimme a break!

    The Guvs race is already over.

  40. - Chicago Law Student - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:20 pm:

    ===bad sign for Quinn. Below 50% is not good. ===

    ===I doubt he’ll make 50 even if he wins with the Green on the ticket.===

    Additionally, Nate Silver just wrote that his analysis shows that the 50% argument is a myth. That guy knows numbers - so caution before using the 50% argument.

  41. - F.A.R. - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:21 pm:

    Why would Claypool pass up running for County Board to run for a job that’s not worth a warm bucket of spit? Maybe this health services company he was starting hasn’t panned out — that’s the only way it makes sense.

    Nevertheless, Claypool knows how to play the game and is personally close to Quinn. He could be very helpful to the Gov not because of anything he brings to the ticket, but because Quinn needs some folks both on the political and government side who know what they’re doing.

  42. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:22 pm:

    Another moment of pride from our pals at the RNC…Gags Brady, StatewideTom, Brady and COmmandoKirk must be bustin’ their buttons…..

    It’s one thing for a political party to send out a fund-raising mailer designed to look like an official Census Bureau document, in the apparent hope of bamboozling some confused recipients into opening it. After all, who among us hasn’t done that at some point?

    But it takes some chutzpah to double down on the tactic, even after the Census Bureau itself, as well as members of Congress from your own party, have complained about it — and to do it in the same year that the actual Census is being conducted.

    That’s what Michael Steele and the Republican National Committee are doing. Check out this mailer, dated February 8, and obtained by TPMmuckraker.

    “PROCESS IMMEDIATELY — 2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS ENCLOSED,” reads the official-looking envelope, which also says “DO NOT DESTROY — OFFICIAL DOCUMENT.”

    Inside the envelope, a letter from Steele tells recipients: “I have authorized a Census [note the upper-case ‘C’] to be conducted of every Congressional District in the country. Enclosed is your official 2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS registered CODE …. in your name as a representative of your area.”

    Further down, Steele cuts to the chase. “And when you send back your completed Census,” he writes, “I urge you to also demonstrate your commitment to the Republican Party by including a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 — or even $500.”

    Following the letter is a survey, which asks for responses to questions like: “Do you trust the Democrats to take all steps necessary to keep our nation secure in this age where terrorists could strike our country at any moment.”

    An earlier version of the mailer that appeared last fall drew intense criticism from members of Congress of both parties, and current and former Census Bureau officials.

    “My biggest concern,” said Dennis Johnson, who runs the bureau’s Kansas City, “is that it might be confusing to some residents who get this and then get the real one in a couple of months.”

    A former Census Bureau director, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, blasted that mailer as “blatantly attempting to interfere with the United States’ 2010 Census of the Population.”

    Two Democrats on the House subcommittee that oversees the Census wrote to the Postmaster General about the mailer. “We believe that the RNC mailings are an attempt to mislead recipients and appear to us to be violations of federal law,” wrote Reps. Carolyn Maloney (NY) and William Lacy Clay (MO). Even Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC) — a Republican with a reputation for intense partisanship — has raised concerns. “Congressman McHenry is very concerned about the integrity of the census and would discourage any organization from distributing information that intentionally or not is easily confused with official U.S. Census materials,” his spokeswoman told Politico.

    Despite the bipartisan outrage, the RNC — which did not immediately respond to a request for comment — apparently had no qualms about doubling down on the

  43. - Anon1 - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:44 pm:

    Daily Kos — isn’t that a Greek guy running the show over there? I’m just saying when you look at the support Giannoulias has received from the Greek community (excluding Vallas) including out of state fundraisers with Tom Hanks, I would take that poll with a grain of salt.

    Secondly, as a Democrat who will be voting for Kirk, there is not way Giannoulias is winning us over 71-9. From my conversations with fellow Democrats, half of them are voting for Kirk already and most are appalled with Giannoulias. Kirk isn’t Brady and Giannoulias is Blagoveich. Can’t be 71-9.

  44. - Anon1 - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 5:49 pm:

    Also, if Republicans had picked Dillard, it’s a 50-50 race. Back to my comment about Kirk being a moderate, Dillard is not a monster — he’s not a Southern Republican in the eyes of the Illinois electorate. Although Mr. Brady is a fine man, he’s just way too conservative to win statewide in Illinois. Indiana or Iowa? Yes. Those numbers will get closer in the race though. As a left of center Democrat, I would have voted Dillard with ease over Quinn but with Brady, I’m hedging.

  45. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:01 pm:

    Of all the…

    Now it’s slanted because Kos is Greek?



  46. - Anon1 - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:12 pm:

    Rich, I apologize about that to some degree. You’ve been around politics a lot longer than me. We see the African-American community that helps other blacks, we’ve seen Emily’s List help women, we’ve seen Christian groups help other conversative Christians get elected too. It happens across all races, all religions, both sexes, sexual orientation, ethniticy too. If you can’t help your fellow (country)(wo) man, who can you help? Daily Kos is a very very liberal guy (who shares Giannoulias ideology) who probably wants to get Obama’s bff get elected. Nothing personal against Daily Kos, from my second paragraph, those numbers just don’t like right. Not here to offend.

  47. - Brady is my Man - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:21 pm:

    Here’s a poll taken on Feb 7th:

    I found it on wikipedia:,_2010

    I think it is a little early to start judging the polls this closely.
    After all Brady hasn’t even been declared the winner yet. He still does not have great name reconition, especially in chicago. Lets just hold our horses for at least a couple months and see what bill brady is made of.

  48. - tough guy - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:37 pm:

    Doesn’t look good for Brady at all and this poll was taken before “Puppygate”.

  49. - Responsa - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 7:18 pm:

    Kirk won his primary with very little advertising. Alexi blanketed the airwaves so his name and face is fresh in peoples’ minds. If Kirk were worried we’d be seeing some ad activity on the airwaves. He’s saving his money now, but when the Kirk campaign starts defining candidate Giannoulias and his bank the polls will look very different. Have y’all forgotten so soon how well Hoffman did against Alexi?

  50. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 7:39 pm:

    The White House cares who is lt. gov. nominee in Illinois? That explains a lot.

    Their solution is Forrest Claypool? That’s revealing, as well.

  51. - jaded voter - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 7:47 pm:

    These polls mean nothing at this stage. The race is 8 months away with no one other than people on this blog paying attention.

    Kirk will beat Alexi G because Alexi is a total liteweight with banking issues.

    Quinn has 8 months to dither and further dismay the electorate. Bill Brady is very personable in a Reagan kind of way and will connect with people. He will be a much tougher candidate than some Dems are anticipating.

    Brady and Kirk will win in Nov and they won’t be tight races.

  52. - Moving to Oklahoma - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:11 pm:

  53. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:29 pm:

    Jaded - Bold statements like that really set you up for big disappointment.

  54. - Dnstateanon - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:55 pm:

    Really the poll means little it’s to early Quinn has been in office for years. For those that say Dillard would have been a much better candidate then Brady against Quinn; Dillard only does slightly better then Brady. I think the Poll with both Dillard and Brady confuses anyone who is surveyed. Lastly while I like the that fact that Brady kills Quinn in the collars I don’t think it makes sence that Brady loses downstate after only getting 6% in the collars after winning most counties downstate by 50%. Hell even the moderate Kirk does better downstate.
    Quinn Brady Undecided
    COLLAR 1 27 54 18
    CENTRAL 1 44 39 16
    SOUTHERN 1 40 41 18

  55. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:00 pm:

    Read the first line above. Daily Kos (Mr. Moulitsas) is not conducting the poll. It is (as Rich noted) a legit research outfit doing the poll. So there’s no Greek thing going on.

    Sheesh, indeed.

  56. - Geraldo - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:16 pm:

    I like this early polling. It gets people’s blood pumping a little bit. I’d expect these numbers at this point. It’s a long time ’til September 6 and I doubt that Madigan and Cullerton’s people are laying out the “Quinn-Giannoulias Endorse Legislator X” mail pieces just yet.

  57. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:23 pm:

    +So there’s no Greek thing going on.+

    Thank God for that.

  58. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:30 pm:

    LMAO AA!

  59. - downstater - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:53 pm:

    “Daily Kos” ….not that’s a publication so worthy of note. Amazing !?

  60. - T.J. - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:34 pm:

    “Also, if Republicans had picked Dillard, it’s a 50-50 race. Back to my comment about Kirk being a moderate, Dillard is not a monster — he’s not a Southern Republican in the eyes of the Illinois electorate. Although Mr. Brady is a fine man, he’s just way too conservative to win statewide in Illinois. Indiana or Iowa? Yes. Those numbers will get closer in the race though. As a left of center Democrat, I would have voted Dillard with ease over Quinn but with Brady, I’m hedging.”

    That was the same argument Democrats used in favor of Judy Baar Topinka, who was a much better candidate than Kirk Dillard. Funniest thing: not only did they not vote for her, but she actually lost by double digits.

  61. - Dnstateanon - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:34 pm:

    ====Also, if Republicans had picked Dillard, it’s a 50-50 race. Back to my comment about Kirk being a moderate, Dillard is not a monster=====

    A lot of people say this but the poll proves this just isn’t true. If you follow the link above Dillard and Brady poll with-in a few points of each other when going heads up against Quinn.

  62. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:41 pm:

    claypool would be great. but I find it hard to imagine that the old pols would be happy with the guy who messed with their patronage thing at the Park District.

  63. - kj - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:34 am:

    It is a legit poll, but their results it has trended democratic, in the way rasmussen has trended republican. Would that be fair to say?

  64. - DuPage Dan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:03 am:


    = And really, the skunk should be the state rodent, because the lemming is not indigenous. Or possibly the pack rat, because it takes things and doesn’t pay for them.=

    The skunk is a fearless animal and the pack rat is thought to be highly intelligent. I wouldn’t attach either moniker to the electorate if they blindly vote for PQ. While it is not strictly true that lemmings commit mass suicide by jumping off cliffs it makes for a good visual nonetheless. You state that the lemming is not indigenous to the state. That poll suggests you are wrong. lol

  65. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:28 am:

    i have a hard time believing that obama’s favs rating is that high with independents and even dems.

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