* The Democratic Governors Association is touting a new poll showing Gov. Quinn actually leading Bruce Rauner. Here’s the polling memo from Global Strategy Group, which handled the polling for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign…
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Leads in Re-election Race
Bruce Rauner’s lack of appeal to Democratic and Independent voters sinks his prospects
Incumbent Pat Quinn leads Republican challenger Bruce Rauner in the race for Illinois Governor, according to a recent statewide survey of likely voters conducted by Global Strategy Group. Democratic voters are consolidating behind Quinn and forming increasingly negative views of Rauner, severely limiting the Republican’s chances of victory in the Democratic-leaning state.
Key findings include:
• Quinn has taken the lead over Rauner. Quinn leads the race with 43% of the vote compared to 40% for Rauner and 5% for Libertarian Chad Grimm.
• Rauner’s popularity is sinking. Rauner is 13 points better known now (72% familiar) than in June (59%), but his favorability has held steady while his negative ratings have shot up by 13 points (34% fav/26% unfav to 33% fav/39% unfav). Rauner has become an unpalatable choice for the state’s Democrats and an increasingly divisive figure among Independents over the course of the campaign. As he has become better known, Rauner’s negative ratings have increased by 20 points among Democrats (16% fav/43% unfav to 9% fav/63% unfav) and by 13 among Independents (35% fav/21% unfav to 35% fav/34% unfav) with no increase in his positive ratings.
• Democratic support for Quinn leaves Rauner with no clear path to victory. In an electorate where nearly half of voters (48%) identify as Democrats and just over one-third are self-described Republicans (35%), Quinn has strong odds of holding on to the seat as long as he can consolidate his party’s voters. Quinn enjoys the support of 81% of Democrats, matching Republican consolidation behind Rauner (83%). Self-described conservatives are the only ideological segment of the electorate that afford Rauner an advantage in the race, while Quinn leads among moderate voters (40% Quinn/37% Rauner) and by a double-digit margin among non-conservative Independents (42% Quinn/31% Rauner).
The bottom line is this: The more Democratic and Independent voters hear about Bruce Rauner, the less appealing he becomes to them. Rauner’s sinking popularity among these voters demonstrates that advertising from Democratic groups is successfully defining Rauner negatively and making Rauner’s uphill task to overcome the state’s Democratic lean all the more difficult. Pat Quinn’s position has been strengthened significantly two months out from the election as Rauner has become an unappealing choice to all but the furthest-right voters in the electorate and Democrats are consolidating solidly behind Quinn.
That’s a large number for self-identified Democrats, but not outside the realm of possibility (Rasmussen had it at 44 in July, as did 2010 exit polling). This is a “D” state. Also, keep in mind that “non-conservative Independents” is a much smaller group than conservative independents.
* Democratic-sponsored polls have lately shown this to be a much closer race than all other polls done in Illinois. For instance…
Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn just received his latest internal poll, which has the gubernatorial election locked in a virtual tie.
The poll of 600 people, taken by Quinn’s pollster Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group from July 27 to 29, shows Quinn at 38 percent, GOP candidate Bruce Rauner at 39 percent and 23 percent of voters undecided. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
…Adding… Assuming for the moment that these two polls are within reasonable distance of accuracy, then it truly repudiates Rauner’s summertime strategy of spending little money on TV and not responding to either the union-backed ads or Quinn’s ads.
If Rauner ends up losing this race, his post-primary “go light” strategy will be to blame. Most figured he’d spend a fortune early on in an attempt to bury Quinn with a double-digit lead by Labor Day and dry up the governor’s money heading into the fall. That didn’t happen. And whatever poll you choose to believe now, the race has undoubtedly tightened to single digits. That one’s on Rauner.