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Democratic poll: Quinn leads Rauner and Grimm 43-40-5

Thursday, Sep 11, 2014 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 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.


  1. - Wally - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 8:58 am:

    Must have been the lawn mower ad!!!!

  2. - Interested Observer - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    The 5% showing of Grimm in this poll is the kiss of death for Rauner.

  3. - too obvious - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:01 am:

    Obviously I take it with a grain of salt given who paid for it.

    But I’m hearing more and more people saying they are uncomfortable with Rauner. “Creepy” is a description I hear quite often now.

    And the big negative ads haven’t even started yet on Rauner.

  4. - Skeptic Cal - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    I find it hard to care who wins. If my feelings are shared by regular voters, the polls will have a challenge predicting the actual outcome of the election.
    Rauner still has time to focus on some realistic plans, if he has any, on the State budget, education and pensions. He needs more than the platitudes that are not credible. Even a plan that the Dem. controlled GA would block would give him a platform.
    And Quinn needs to find a way to show some ethical gumption if he has the spine to do something.
    Still disappointed in the lack of choice….

  5. - anon - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    Im happy with the results, but I prefer to feel like we’re down. The worst thing for PQ would be for people to feel too confident and stay home. Keep the foot on the gas, governor!

  6. - Anonymoiis - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    48% Democrat? That would be high in a presidential year, in an off year…sorry I have to disagree, Rich, but that’s not a realistic turnout sample. But it allows them to get the results they wanted, that’s for sure

  7. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    Is 600 people really a good sampling? I want to see a poll where Mickey Mouse is a candidate and see what the numbers are.

  8. - Ike - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    “Keep the foot on the gas, governor!” That’ll be helpful when he leads Illinois off the cliff.

  9. - Empty Chair - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    It’s absurd that people would honestly think a D poll or an R poll would truly be skewed to a certain result (with the exception of outfits like Rasmussen, who was caught pushing). The campaign may *choose* to release the poll because of favorable results, but favorable results don’t negate their validity or accurate reflection of the electorate. A poll only has value to a campaign if it is accurate, so that the modeling and strategy based on the poll will be effective. Polls are expensive and there are cheaper ways to get good press. To insinuate that the poll should be discounted because of “who paid for it,” as too obvious stated, is silly.

  10. - chi - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    What does any private equity guy worth his salt do when he there’s competition (Grimm) that threatens his market share? First, he tries to eliminate it (knock it off the ballot). If that fails, he tries to buy it out (t/b/d what exactly this will entail).

  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Why doesn’t the govs internal poll include Grimm? Seems like that would make sense….

  12. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Any one poll should be taken with a relative grain of salt. It’s poll aggregation that gives the best picture of public sentiment, from what I’ve seen.

    There is a great poll debate that is going on now between poll analyst Dr. Sam Wang at Princeton Election Consortium and Nate Silver. Silver predicts Republicans will win the Senate and sites “fundamentals” such as presidential approval rating and voter enthusiasm.

    Dr. Wang has Democrats+Independents winning the Senate and uses a polls-only approach, stating that fundamentals are already in the polls.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    ===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.===

    Remember, when Bruce Rauner was at 10% negatives in the Primary, he was “going to win” by 20 points.

    This is where Quinn will make hay, education and define Rauner. Rauner’s negatives were so low, the way to get this closer is to get the negatives WAY up.

    That said, I still believe the running polling window; Rauner is leading, and above the MOE. However, the trend isn’t Rauner’s friend, and the negatives will keep hammering and shaking Bruce Rauner…

    It’s the negatives that will help Quinn across the finish line, the trend here seems to support that.

  14. - Easy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    48% self id as dems? No way.

  15. - foster brooks - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    WBEW is playing the mightyb quinn

  16. - Niles Township - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    This self-identified Democrat will not be voting for Quinn for what it is worth. My view is that he is a good man (I don’t honestly believe he is corrupt, though he may have lacked judgement in keeping Jack Lavin and others around), but that he way overmatched byt he job of governor particularly at this time in our history. Sometimes, a change is just needed. I believe this is one of those times. That being said, I think the race is neck and neck. Wouldn’t be surprised if Rauner wins by the same vote totals that Quinn did last time.

  17. - foster brooks - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    Fred klonskys blog which I assume is mostly teacher’s cant stomach quinn

  18. - goose/gander - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    the owners of a certain gold’s gym franchise are awaiting an offer they can’t or won’t refuse, lol

  19. - MrJM - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    “The bottom line is this: The more Democratic and Independent voters hear about Bruce Rauner, the less appealing he becomes to them.”

    If Quinn’s team has any sense it will be “flip-flop-flop-flop” ads, and a “maybe, not so much…” theme from now till November.

    Nobody likes a phony. And Baron Carhartt is the phoniest.

    – MrJM

  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    ===48% self id as dems? No way.===

    Rasmussen had it at 44 in late July, so there’s a way.

  21. - Odysseus - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    I don’t know that you can trust polling anymore in this race. Both Mom and Sister-In-Law are now yelling at the TV when political ads come on. “Just shut up already!”.

    It’s September.

    The wall-to-wall ads are already ineffective.

  22. - Steve - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    I doubt the Libertarian candidate will get 5% of the vote. However, this is a real poll and Rauner is going to face two problems at once in the homestretch. 1) The conservative Republican base might not fully show up given that he was a Democrat party fundraiser. 2) Illinois has more of a Democrat party base. Lastly, Rauner has to worry : if Barack Obama comes into town and does commercials or campaigns with Pat Quinn- this could be the end of the Rauner campaign.

  23. - walker - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Still early, and this doesn’t sound right for the suburbs. It will depend on who comes to vote.

    Note that Rauner might be feeling some tightening, and is pivoting hard toward suburban women.

    He led prime time last night, with a TV ad starting with an apparent suburban woman supporting Rauner because “Bruce Rauner is for a woman’s right to choose.”

    That’s the first and most memorable message, as I recall it.

  24. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    This will be remembered as the outlier poll very shortly. Too many Dems for one thing.

  25. - chi - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    “Fred klonskys blog which I assume is mostly teacher’s cant stomach quinn”

    Right, but I don’t think it means they vote for Rauner, does it? If they don’t want to vote for Quinn cause he punched them, it doesn’t mean they want to vote for the guy that wants to punch and kick them, does it?

    And I think they’re too politically engaged to stay home in large numbers… so they end up holding their nose and voting Quinn.

  26. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Rich’s numbers from Rasmussen sound about right. A few years ago - when I was working on a statewide race - I was told by pollsters and an RNC source I trusted that the split was about 44% (D), 33% (R) and 22% (I). Yes, I know that comes out to 99%, but those were the numbers I was given. I know 2010 was a good GOP year overall, but we still lost the big prize. That is my fear this year. We may even out the Illinois Congressional Delegation, hold onto the Treasurer’s office and gain a few seats in the House, but the Governor’s race should give party officials heartburn because of those numbers. And if Rasmussen finds 44% as self-identified Dems, that is cause for concern for Rauner.

  27. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    If Rich Whitney could get 10% statewide in our Autumn of Discontent with Rod and JBT, the Libertarian guy could easily get 5% in our Ad-Nauseum Campaign with BR and PQ. If he legally changed his name to “None of the Above” a la Brewster’s Millions, he could go much higher.

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    - will be remembered as the outlier poll very shortly. -

    That so, Nostradomus? You’ve been predicting PQ’s demise since forever, I’m willing to bet you’re just as right this time.

  29. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    At my sister’s bridge club this week a friend of hers said,”I swore I would vote for an orangutan before I would vote for Pat Quinn. But I can’t stand Rauner. ”

    One small data point to add to the mix.

  30. - Dave Fako - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    n=600 is a reliable sample for a statewide poll, and probably the most common sample size for statewide surveys in IL. Rough MoE = + / - 3.94%. For comparison, most localized (state leg. / municipal) polls use n=300-400, most national polls use n=800-1200.

    the 48% self-IDed Dem is probably a high water mark, but not out of the realm of possibility and at the least within the outer fringes of the MoE.

  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    chi at 9:32 has it right.

    This an election between worse and worser.

  32. - SAP - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    To your last point, I remember saying to someone back in mid-June that I was surprised Rauner wasn’t taking advantage of his huge pile of cash to rune positive ads all summer long and try to put Quinn away early.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    ===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.===

    Spot on.

    Thus will be a Staff/Strategy loss, not as much as people turning on Rauner.

    What was the unlimited resource Bruce Rauner had March 18th?

    Time? People? Yard signs?


    If Bruce loses, the deafening silence of a campaign that had the resources do define and destroy Quinn will be front and center to the loss.

    I am sure the structured GOTV, that is now dealing with a wave of negativity towards Rauner can easily identify a real Plus, or someone like me they are already counting on being a Plus, but still think I am their voter…

    I wouldn’t worry about the Unions either. Or the state workers. Or just teachers. They no nothing about maximizing turnout for their constituencies…

    Rauner is up, I feel, just above the MOE, single digits, but that may not be good enough….

    …with the sounds of silence…all summer long.

  34. - too obvious - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Illinois GOP pins all its hopes on a vulture capitalist who got his money who knows how.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  35. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    ===saying to someone back in mid-June===

    I’ve been writing about this in the Fax since May. It has completely dumbfounded me.

  36. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Great point, SAP. Rauner could’ve played with house money (pun intended) from Memorial Day until Election Day and run ads non-stop.

  37. - leprechaun - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    48 is off by how much not sure.
    Willy I believe is correct.
    Close maybe within the MOE but Rauner ahead.
    Quinn still, as does Rauner needs to navigate through a lot of problems between now and Nov 5th.
    NRI hearings loom large for both.

  38. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    No one likes a phony, that’s true. The problem is here in my opinion we are saddled with two of them, just phony in different ways. I will have a hard time voting for either of them, and don’t suspect I will. Feel the same way about the Senate race.

  39. - OLK 73 - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    I doubt if Quinn is really ahead but no doubt that the race has tightened. I agree with Rich that the “go light” strategy failed in light of all the outside negative adds. But as the Tribune debate showed, Quinn can’t win on just trying to paint Rauner as the worst of two evils. Too much baggage the last six years to justify to people sitting on the fence.

  40. - Ghost - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    The van and the watch bespeak a man who is cheap. Perhaps he let his cheap side get the better of him when it came to the decision to spend money after the primary…..

  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Quinn has the NRI Hearings & a Federal Investigation that wi be front an center come early October.

    The more Bruce Rauner is portrayed negatively, and is seen as the lesser of two evils, the better for Quinn.

    The hard work is only going to get harder, and the hill steeper for Quinn. The Quinn Crew, by hammering and shaking Rauner to elevated negatives flatten the hill, but a hill is there all the same.

  42. - Illinois taxpayer - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    I give this some cred. Rauner seems to be still running as a Republican even though he’s in the general election now. Would have thought he’d be reaching out to Dems and I’s on symbolic social issues or softening his image by talking about his prior work with at-risk kids. This is still a blue-blue state.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    “The more Bruce Rauner is portrayed negatively, and Quinn is seen as the lesser of two evils, the better for Quinn.”


  44. - Snucka - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Point of information: Self-identification of party ID is not a demographic. Thus, it is not generally considered by the pollster when trying to get a representative sample. You consider gender, age and location. Party ID is not an inherent condition– I can call myself a Democrat today, an independent tomorrow and a Republican the day after that. If I’m a likely voter, my response to the poll is worth just as much as a voter who always self-identifies the same way.

  45. - MrJM - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    1) Rich posts poll results,
    2) Some commenters inevitably don’t like the results,
    3) Commenters question Rich’s judgment that such “dubious” poll results are in any way newsworthy.

    Regardless of the party, this inevitable cascade of events never fails to amuse me.

    – MrJM

  46. - Scoot - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why Rauners camp didnt blitz Quinn with ads after the primary (similiar to what Rod did to JBT in 06′). If you are willing to spend $40 million on this, do it!!! Rauners team could have defined Quinn and basically buried him with an avalanche of ads. Instead of getting into a dog fight with Quinn down the stretch in a “D” state.

    It was/is Rauners to win…

  47. - Apocalypse Now - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    When your candidate is getting smoked, you run a poll getting the results you want. Publish the poll results and say the other guy is tanking and your guy is surging. Desperation.

  48. - Robo - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    It’s all over…the poll I mean.

  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    “When your candidate is blowing his lead, again, you run away from polls not having the results you want. Trash these poll results and say the other guy is tanking, no matter what anyone thinks and say your guy is surging. Desperation.”


  50. - Wensicia - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    People are starting to pay attention; Rauner is a complete unknown, beyond the phony regular guy schtick. I’m not surprised the polls are tightening up.

  51. - Gabe - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    The guy to watch is Chad Grimm. He’s not a bad candidate, if he can get a message out, he could pull 7-8% and that all comes out of Rauner’s support.

  52. - Belle - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    MrJM at 10:07 is correct. When we don’t like the info, we tend to dispute the source and the information.

    The real loser in this election cycle is the voter and people of IL. There are way too many people talking about “holding their nose”, and saying variations of “the best of the worse.” I consider myself to be a flexible voter and I am among them — it’s sad when we cannot feel good about the choices and our vote.

  53. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    ===if he can get a message out===

    That takes money. He has no money.

  54. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    I guess you can see why Rauner went great guns to keep the Libs off.

  55. - Gooner - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    This is consistent with my personal experience over the summer.

    I started the summer as a person who tends to lean D, but also who was a likely Rauner voter. I’m not a fan of Quinn due to a list of concerns, ranging from political hiring to the stunts and failures of pension reform to his apparent overall lack of leadership skills.

    However, as the IL economy has seemed to pick up, and as we learn more about Rauner’s plans or lack of same (and for, his sales tax plan was probably the biggest factor), I slowly moved over to the Quinn side. I don’t see that changing before the election.

    So the poll is interesting because it does seem to track my personal experience, and I’m pretty sure there are many more like me.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    ===… if he can get a message out,…===

    What is the difference between Grimm and SLC?

    About a million disposable dollars.

  57. - Wensicia - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    The fact that a third choice is on the ballot may be enough. Many people can’t stomach either of the other candidates.
    Advantage, Quinn.

  58. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    It’s a race between Rauner’s lack of appeal and the third-party candidate’s traditional lack of ability to hold those votes through Election Day.

  59. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    ==- Empty Chair - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 9:10 am:==

    Commenters: “But if I can’t demean a poll based on who paid for it, then I’ll nothing to spout but tired old talking points you all have debunked!”

    To everyone else such commenters sound like Fredo Corleone.

    ==- Apocalypse Now - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:09 am:==

    Unskew this one for us buddy. What does it really say?

  60. - Of Course - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    The current and future Union endorsements will help Quinn spread that gap even further. Teachers…Firefighters…Law Enforcement….Laborers. These people have a voice to be heard.

  61. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Since Quinn really needs the suburban Cook County women vote, would it be a good idea for the Quinn campaign to run ads trashing Rauner’s fairy dust budget proposals, especially the property tax freeze, and how they would harm education funding and the state budget?

    Rauner has bought into the property tax freeze idea, literally, since his campaign is running TV ads.

  62. - DuPage - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    So far there has been fewer Rauner ads then I expected. With all that money his campaign has, I expect non-stop outrageous lies to open fire on the airwaves 2 or 3 weeks before election day. Every couple days, a new accusation will be broadcast, and before Quinn can respond, another Rauner ad will show up. Rauner is waiting to see the white of Quinn’s eyes.

  63. - A guy... - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    The best conclusion from all of these polls is that this race is going to be close. That should be a bulletin to absolutely nobody. I think Quinn has a ceiling. I don’t think Rauner does. Incumbents usually do. From all of the polls and data I have exposure to, it looks to me like Rauner has the potential of a 4-5 point win. Quinn has the potential for 1-2 points. That’s what I see as the ballgame.

  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    === I think Quinn has a ceiling. I don’t think Rauner does.===


    With negatives increasing, Rauner’s numbers aren’t growing.

    No ceiling? Yikes.

  65. - ZC - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    I guess the counter-argument, backed by a fair amount of social science research, is that ad effects wear off very quickly - sure, Rauner could have bought a boost with a heavy ad buy over the summer, but the vast % of that would have naturally faded by Labor Day. When you try a controlled experiment, you see that running an ad will boost your support, but the effects generally revert back to where your support was before the ad ran - and like within about a week or two.

    But at the same time I’m not sure I trust that finding. It’s one of the most mysterious puzzles for my money right now between the “academic research” and the campaign craft - the rush to dump money early and “define your opponent” during the summer, vs experiments that suggest any boosts in the polls basically go down the memory hole by September.

    Four possible routes forward: 1) the vast amount of that money never actually shows up in November, but in a micro-tight race, every miniscule advantage helps; 2) early ad $$ doesn’t last in the polls but it somehow seeps into voters’ psyche and “frames” issues in a way that affects their later interpretations of campaign events - good luck testing that though!!; 3) ad buys largely influence the -news media-, and how they cover the race - a rather expensive way to lobby a handful of journalists; 4) most of these studies are drawn from Presidential races, and it’s a whole different ballgame for gubernatorial races, which are not covered night and day by the press - in these races, early ad buys have more sticking power.

    I’d be curious, any campaign professionals’ opinions out there. “Spend tons of money early” is a time-honored strategy - but how much of that is just being driven by campaign consultants who stand to make a bundle personally, from that strategy? Thoughts?

  66. - Put the Fun in unfunded - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Rauner ads touting his pro choice stance and that he is for (or at least not now against) SSM will not inspire the conservatives. On the other hand bringing in the President to stump for Quinn might do so. Sometimes it’s more about the enemy of my enemy. Whitney had a lot more visibility than Grimm does, so I find it unlikely that the libertarians would reach 5%.

  67. - Summerwind - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Global Strategy Group may work (exclusively?) with Democratic candidates, but they are very reputable and I doubt they’d put their name behind something unless they believe it. Not to say they are “right”, but they are credible.

  68. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I was wondering also if the Quinn campaign can help Quinn and the Libertarians who have no money by running voting rights ads and attacking the Rauner campaign over the armed people trying to get the Libertarian off the ballot.

    In that way the Libertarian candidate (assuming he gets to stay on the ballot) and Quinn might be helped.

  69. - Armed Rauner Poll Watcher - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Obviously the corrupt Democrat machine is fraudulently packing the polls. They’re polling the graveyard and polling twice in St. Clair county.

    I demand that all respondents produce valid IDs before accepting these results.

  70. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Baffling choice to scale back after the primary.

  71. - Marty Funkhouser - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Agree with the befuddlement about why Rauner didn’t put the governor away over the lost summer. He’s a gazillionaire but maybe he hoped to do this for a lot less than what we all thought he would spend. Maybe he’s just cheap. Remember the cash bar on primary night?

  72. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    === Rauner is waiting to see the white of Quinn’s eyes.===

    The problem with this strategy is, 2 or 3 weeks before the election just about every commercial on tv will be a political commercial. Rauner’s “big finale” will be lost in the din.

    Seriously, can anyone think of a campaign where the ultimate winner held back until late in the season? I can’t. That’s a surefire way to lose. Rauner is a goner.

  73. - A guy... - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Yep. Everyone at Quinn HQ relax. He’s got this.

  74. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    chad`s view`s on marijuana wins votes you don`t have to be main stream just underground economy

  75. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Guy, I didn’t say Quinn doesn’t have to work hard, but the candidate that gets out first sets the narrative. Once that narrative is set it’s tough to undo. Whichever candidate sets the narrative essentially has homefield advantage. The other guy ends up on the defensive.

    Rauner starting silent has allowed Quinn to set the narrative: rich guy bad and doesn’t care about little guy; rich guy plans don’t add up and are pandering at its worst, etc. Look around. That’s what people are talking about. Rauner now has to work to undo that impression, which is tough. Whoever told him to hang back gave him very bad advice. Hanging back because you lack funds is one thing. Doing it on purpose is negligent.

  76. - A guy... - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    TFT, I don’t disagree with your point, but I do disagree with the premise of it. It’s not a matter of Rauner spending nothing in the summer, it’s a matter of his spending less. I’m not privy to whatever strategy is under discussion there, but there could very well be a lot of “earned media” pounding PQ in October with the IDOT problems, his gang initiative funding issues and the LAC gearing up again.

    One other thing I really disagree with is that Quinn has ’set’ the narrative. That’s a stretch on a good day. He’s never done that. The closest he ever came was with his work with CUB and as a reform guy. That’s a long time ago (seems longer) on a planet further and further away from here by the day.

  77. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Sep 11, 14 @ 6:18 pm:

    I still think Rauner will win, although it seems slightly less likely today than a month ago.

    But wow it would be very funny if he lost. Something at last that he can’t buy.

  78. - Filmmaker Professor - Friday, Sep 12, 14 @ 12:33 am:

    All these comments about “holding your nose” and voting for candidate X. When has that ever not been the case?

  79. - Coffee Cup - Friday, Sep 12, 14 @ 7:41 am:

    My prediction is that Chad Grimm is going to be the guy playing the role of “The Grim Reaper” for Bruce Rauner on the evening of November 4th. I am hoping Bruce Rauner wins but I am afraid that Chad will siphon off enough votes on November 4th to hand the victory to Quinn. I wonder if Rauner has ever made an attempt to talk to Grimm to try to avoid another Ross Perot debacle?

  80. - jk - Friday, Sep 12, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Illinois has become a National joke on how to run a State since Quinn has taken office. He also lied about how much he was going to increase the state income tax during his last campaign, so why should we believe anything he says now.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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