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Second poll confirms Rauner primary lead

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

* As you’ll recall, Public Policy Polling’s recent statewide poll showed Bruce Rauner leading the Republican gubernatorial primary race with 24 percent.

A Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll taken before Rauner went back on the air with hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads had Rauner in fourth place with 11 percent. The object was to do a benchmark poll to test the effectiveness of Rauner’s advertising campaign.

Well, the Rauner ads appear to be working. After PPP published its results, We Ask America went back into the field. Here are their new results for the GOP primary from last night with PPP’s results in parentheses…

Bill Brady 18% (17%)
Kirk Dillard 10% (10%)
Bruce Rauner 26% (24%)
Dan Rutherford 17% (14%)
Undecided 29% (36%)

The We Ask America poll surveyed 1,233 likely GOP primary voters. It had a margin of error of +/-2.79 percent. Click here for results.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    A extra Thanksgiving treat for Governor Quinn.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    “Your move, Brady, Dillard, and Rutherford.”

    That said, Bill Brady’s polling had him leading and/or winning against Quinn. Polls never take into account GOTV, finding and harvesting “Pluses” and then actually … voting… your “Pluses” to victory.

    Infrastructure to lead to organization, which leads to votes, which leads to a win. Can the other 3 develop a Ground Game - a real honest to goodness Ground Game to beat the Air Assault?

    Can Bruce Rauner get his voters, known actual “Pluses” to the polls on Election Day, at the clip needed for victory?

    Those are the questions, and this Poll reinforces how this snapshot can go either way.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    For Brady and Dillard, who weren’t raising money before, you have to wonder where it will come from now.

  4. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    Not surprised by the latest poll results- Rauner is the only republican who has aired ads ( at least here downstate) , and first impressions make people think he is someone who he truly is not. As the primary seasons heats up and the other “poor” candidates start bringing out who he really is his numbers will drop. The other three will go after his real record and who he is, won’t they? Fingers crossed anyway…

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    ===you have to wonder where it will come from now. ===

    Were you just listening in on my conversation with somebody else about this poll? lol

  6. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:31 am:

    FarmerBrucey pulls into a lead..this should drive the whack jobs nuts. Their nominee will be the proLife, Gay Marriage referencdum, FOR (friend of Rahm for you outsiders. Can Stu Levine for Chief of Staff be far away?

  7. - Jechislo - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    When the other candidates finally point out to Republican voters Rauner’s Chicago connections, his lead will evaporate. Poof. Downstate Republicans do not care at all for Chicago/Republican connections.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    Great minds, Rich….

    The thing is, even without money, there’s no reason for either Dillard or Brady to back out.

    It doesn’t take many votes to win in a four-way primary.

    Last time out, there were around 700,000 GOP primary votes. Brady won with a little more than 155,000.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    ===When the other candidates finally point out to Republican voters===

    They have been doing that every day for weeks.

    What they need to do is go up on TV with that message. But none of them have the dough for that.

  10. - Samurai - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    ==this should drive the whack jobs nuts==

    Some of the usual whack jobs are actually behind Rauner, at least in Lake and McHenry. Their dislike of what they call the “old guard” out weighs their social principles.

    With Pat Quinn not having a primary opponent, is there any effect from democrats taking a republican ballot?

  11. - OneMan - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    With Pat Quinn not having a primary opponent, is there any effect from democrats taking a republican ballot

    That is going to depend IMHO on if the unions encourage that… Otherwise I don’t see much of one.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    Brady and Dillard are not “leaking oil”, its like an engine running with no oil pan at all, and the engine seizes.

    These 3 may need a 3rd party “educational” Ad campaign, not connected to the 3 *cough* Unions *cough* to get on the TV some leverage.

    It’s early, but early is when you bury opponents when you have the greatest leverage.

  13. - Lord Stanley's Cup - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    Ruthie Dillard and Brady better get in a room or this thing will be over by Christmas.

  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    ===any effect from democrats taking a republican ballot? ===

    That rarely happens. It’s basically a myth. People who vote in primaries are generally committed to their parties. Some folks, like myself, jump around on purpose, but mostly that doesn’t happen.

    Even organized mischief doesn’t usually work, and, from what I can recall, never here.

  15. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    I think that if Rauner wins the nomination, we do need to have a statewide convo about unions, taxes, economic growth and budgets. Rauner would provide an imporant and lively element of that conversation: a very wealthy person who thinks unions are the problem and whose position is to weaken or eliminate them. This would fit well with the Civic Committee and the IPI, who are already out there doing this.

    On the other hand, unions will have a prime opportunity to argue their side of the story.

    If Rauner wins, at least the race won’t be a yawner.

    However, I agree that it’s early, and the key to accurate polling is poll aggregation. If Rauner consistenly leads in polls, like Obama did last year, then his chances are obviously better.

  16. - Bourbonrich - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    There will likely be a tax referendum on the ballot in Kankakee County that may drive voters to the polls. Not sure which GOPer will benefit from the increase in voting. Are there any other referenda on the ballot around the State?

  17. - Matt - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    I guess I’m a “whack job” from McHenry county…Bruce has my vote - his stance and push for term limits is reason enough for me…notwithstanding his success in business and his intelligence.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    The “education” I speak has to be geared towards real GOP voters, not aimed at Democrats to cross over. If the ads promote pulling a ballot you usually don’t pull, it will fail.

    Connecting Rauner to Chicago, Rahm and Daley, at a serious clip, aimed at the usual GOP voters is the message, not getting Unions to run ads to get Dem union members to vote in the GOP primary. That is the mistake to avoid.

  19. - Norseman - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    Bruce has the Benjamin’s while the rest of the bunch are broke. That seems to sum up the sorry state of the Republican primary at this point.

    Clearly, Raunerbo has the rich guys wrapped up. Unless the others find new sources of money to get on the air quickly, this thing is over.

    Rutherford would be smart to reach out to the public sector unions to try a get needed cash. This help will be used against him by the rich guys and right wing lunatics, however, he’s not getting their votes anyway.

    Brady and Dillard are out of gas IMHO.

  20. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    I would be curious just who the 10 percent are that are for Dillard.

    I don’t understand his path to victory or niche in this race at all.

    Despite Dillard seeking the spotlight on gay marriage, before conceding he won’t lift a finger to repeal it, Brady still has the hard right on lock it seems.

    Dillard could have tried to play the moderate editorial board darling role as the “reasonable” “grown-up” candidate that Rutherford has sewn up, even though his record is more conservative and less moderate than Rutherford’s. But the Obama ad, the Jil Tracy pick, and Jim Edgar would reinforce and give him cover if he made this play.

    Finally, he can’t be the friend of the “job creator” GOP candidate either with Rauner being besties with all the masters of the universe and him having no private sector record.

    So now what? Does he go full-on anti-Romney with stuff about vulture capitalism and quoting Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the “tyranny” created by the sort of income inequality that makes Rauners 50 million-a-year wage-free income possible? This wasn’t a winning path for Perry, Newt, or Santorum but definitely softened up Romney for Obama in the general.

    Does Dillard or any of the other contenders hate Rauner enough to go after him this way even if it risks 4 more years of Quinn?

  21. - A guy... - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    Brady and Dillard are in no position to do anything but stay on the ropes and get pummeled waiting for ANY opportunity to sneak a punishing jab in at the pummeler. Rutherford on the other hand does have a few bucks to deliver a modest counter punch. I’m just not sure why he’s not doing it, but suspect he is loathe to spend money he may not be able to replace later. I’m guessing Rauner will just treat this like another trending tracking poll and continue to press messages that people are connecting to. There’s a combination of a lot of money and high intelligence operating there. With less money, the other (I just don’t think Kirk D. or Bill B. have enough steam to compete)guy needs to double or triple up on the intelligence and play Moneyball as best as he can. The other two will be useful in sucking up some votes and making the field shorter. But as of the moment, this is a contest in desperate search of another contestant.

  22. - Rod - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Re Jechislo’s comment that once the Republican base learners about Mr Rauner’s past relationships with Chicago Democrats his lead will fade. I don’t think so.

    Let’s be clear here all Republicans who have ever been members of the Assembly have had relations with Chicago Democrats and have often supported legislation sponsored by either Mayor Daley or Emanuel. I don’t think throwing that kind of mud on Rauner will stick. This is especially true in relation to education issues in Chicago and charter schools.

    As Cassandra said above Rauner’s lead is a Thanksgiving gift to Governor Quinn. The Governor running against Rauner can avoid more complex issues relating to the competency of his administration and focus on class war rhetoric which is his strength. It is all good for Quinn.

  23. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    @Bourbonrich - There may be a sales tax for schools referendum on the March ballot for McLean County.

  24. - Quizzical - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    Afscme and the other unions will probably want to get ahead of the game and see Rauner defeated or at least heavily roughed up on the primary. I predict shadowy groups surreptitiously funded by labor will be up with commericials and mailers attacking him, often by tying him to causes unions support. If Rauner can make it out of the primary with a big cash advantage over Quinn, the race is his to lose.

    I didn’t think so two months ago, but the weak performance by the other Republican candidates has changed my mind.

  25. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    I believe Dillard will drop out before January. He’s got no money and no support. He will not be missed. Even the anti-gay groups he pandered to will forget him.

    That pits Brady and Rutherford against each other as the anti-Rauner candidate. Brady is a statewide loser and Rutherford is a statewide winner, but I think both will hang on til the primary. That will split the anti-Rauner vote but probably won’t matter.

    Rauner has enough money to buy the primary. Rauner’s TV time will obliterate the competition. This will be like 2006 when Blagojevich had 10 times as much money as Topinka.

  26. - Bill White - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    @Grandson of Man

    === I think that if Rauner wins the nomination, we do need to have a statewide convo about unions, taxes, economic growth and budgets. ===

    Yes, indeed.

    Also about public schools versus charters, virtual charters and vouchers.

  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    ===I believe Dillard will drop out before January.===

    Too early to say that. Way too early. Plus, what else does he have to do? He’s already given up his Senate seat.

  28. - A guy... - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Ms Friday, I’ve been reading about education referenda in a lot of parts of the state, some asking for sales tax hikes, some property tax hikes, some to extend bonding debt w/o a tax hike. I know school boards almost always operate in an alternate universe, but jeesh, if there were a cycle that was less advantageous to them (aside from the November general-part B of this cycle), it would be hard to identify. Some, I’m sure really need to do something immediately, but if you don’t, it would seem a good time to wait. Education referenda will help the GOP more in most places.

  29. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    Curious how Rauner seems to have hired smart professional campaign staff, and listened to them, while other rich guys never seemed to do either.

    Wonder if any of them were trained up by Dems, given Rauner’s contacts.

  30. - Mason born - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    A question on the LG selections.

    How hard is it for a LG candidate to drop out of the race? Seems to me the smart money is for Rutherford to get Kim to drop out and then offer Brady the #2 spot if he will drop out of the primary now.

  31. - A guy... - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    Rich, I believe you’re right on Dillard. He doesn’t have much impetus to do a lot now, but possibly wait for a perfect storm of mistakes that could default down to him and land this thing in his lap. As long as he doesn’t make any more of the aforementioned mistakes.

  32. - shore - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    the hatred for the old guard of the gop is well founded. Rauner’s spending also shows that he has toughness and can match firepower with the muscle that quinn will bring. Brady needs to fire up the conservative right and start bringing more energy to this. Rauner is exactly the kind of candidate-quish combine city millionaire he should be relishing a fight with.

    Dillard 1.0 was edgars cos. Dillard 2.0 was perry’s illinois endorser, backer of the right. Dillard 3.0 to save his career will be?

    I think Rutherford needs to continue to build, as a first time candidate Rauner could implode-perhaps at debates and he could be seen as the likeable 2nd option there.

    I wish proft or adam a were running again, particularly with proft’s shoddy ratings at wls right now. They’d run circles around these guys in debates.

  33. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    Good point above about folks not jumping onto the Republican primary ballot, especially in my end of Cook County. But I’ve heard it twice now. Once from a retired Water Reclamation District guy and once from a retired CPS administrator. The pension issue is starting to roil them up. And they both indicated a willingness to vote in the Republican primary.

  34. - Snucka - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Rauner is the clear favorite. In a Republican primary, his team should be able to determine who is going to vote and how many votes they need. His ads will also be able to reach those targeted voters early and often. None of his opponents have that luxury.

    Still, downstate is a big question to me. Lots of undecideds there, and Rauner runs third. Almost half of all GOP primary votes come from those counties, so if Brady or Rutherford can get some momentum there, it could get interesting. Not sure how they do that while being buried under a pile of cash, but stranger things have happened.

    Also of note- Brady is polling well ahead of his 2010 totals in Cook and the collars.

  35. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    Rich- was any of the “support” for the LaRouche candidates that wrecked Adli Stevensin back in the 1980’s crossover republican votes (due to Thompson running unopposed)? I know much of it was due to uninformed voters choosing by the “nicer” names , but I seem to remember some commentators blaming crossovers back then. Not that I think there will be much if any crossing over this time…

  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===was any of the “support” for the LaRouche candidates that wrecked Adli Stevensin back in the 1980’s crossover republican votes===

    No. At least, I’ve never heard such a thing and I remember that pretty well.

  37. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    Roadie and Rich — any likelihood that big-money conservatives might come in to help Brady or Dillard? Kochpac?

  38. - K3 - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    Wow. Hard to believe anyone but Rauner would unite labor to come out for PQ.

  39. - Snucka - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    The last “crossover” that worked was Mel Reynolds against Gus Savage in the early 90’s.

  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    The unions need to attack rauner, wout leaving a trail.not necessarily head on vs anti union stmts, but other weak spots: source of his wealth from pensions he wants to dismantle, hypocrisy of having 9 homes worth tens of millions/$18 watch etc

  41. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    Thanks Rich- at that time I remember a republican precinct committeeman who worked at my job site encouraging all his fellow repubs to cross over once Stevenson lost his court challenge (to have the LaRouches taken off the ballot), and later claiming it was republicans doing so ,sealed Thompson’s victory. Didn’t know of one person who did cross over though- hurts the smaller races further down if you vote that way IMHO .

  42. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    Soccermom- not sure who is left In the billionaire club to support the other But the only thing the leaders appear to agree on. And Kochpac ( Koch brothers) has to love what Rauner has proposed. They can keep their wealth to spread on other races around the country to spread their hatred of unions and the poor…

  43. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    The “ordinary guy” schtick is working. Rauner has broke from the pack. Let’s see how well he drives out front in the clean air.

    Money can’t buy love but it can buy a lot of television time and influence the poll numbers.

  44. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 2:02 pm:


    The taste of union flesh has to be very enticing to the Kochs, and Rauner is their kind of guy and is one of them, in a sense.

  45. - Rufus - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    IMHO, I don’t believe most people are interested in the race until after the New Year (except us CF people), and maybe not until the first of Feb. Who appears the strongest, and has the experienced organization in the last 6 weeks will win the primary.

  46. - econ prof - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    Rauner spoke to a pretty conservative group last night in Southern Illinois and got a very warm reception. He seems to be working Southern Illinois and the Metro East much harder than the other 3 candidates combined.

  47. - for the record - Wednesday, Nov 27, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    If Rauner did speak to a “pretty conservative group” in Southern Illinois last night, I doubt he told them about his support for gay marriage and abortion rights.

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