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Poll: Rauner leading by 6, Topinka up by 22, Cross up by 10

Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

* A new poll taken for a Republican candidate has Bruce Rauner leading Gov. Pat Quinn 43-37, with 5 percent going to Libertarian Chad Grimm and 16 percent undecided. Click here to read the full results, with geo-tabs.

Rauner is scoring 20 percent in Chicago, which is about where he wants to be, and leading Quinn 46-38 in suburban Cook. Not good for PQ.

The poll of 1,290 likely voters was taken September 30th by Communication Express. It has a margin of error of +/-2.9 percent. The pollster was pretty darned accurate in 2010 (off by just a couple in the governor’s race, but spot on in the US Senate and comptroller’s races), so, yes, it’s a poll for a GOP candidate, but it’s not to be taken lightly.

* The poll found Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka leading Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon 53-31, with another 5 going to the Libertarian candidate.

* And Rep. Tom Cross leads Sen. Michael Frerichs 44-34, with 19 percent undecided and the Libertarian getting 3 percent.

35 percent self-identified as Democrats, 38 percent said they were independents and 27 of respondents said they were Republicans.

However, just 10 percent said they were African-Americans, which seems a bit light to me, although not to the campaign which commissioned it. Even so, that wouldn’t have moved the needle in a huge way.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

62 Comments
  1. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    [Insert whatever the Rauner supporters said about yesterdays poll with Quinn up, but with the names reversed.]

    – MrJM


  2. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    This sounds like about where the race is. At least the poll respondents aren’t that of an “Obama wave election,” like in the Trib poll.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    The takeaway at first blush?

    Sheila Simon could possibly do worse than Webster against Jesse.

    That is more than real.

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - did the poll tell the voter I was tall? I do well when people know I’m tall. #ShrinkingVioletShrinkingPollNumbers


  4. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    JBT winning the City of Chicago. Wow.


  5. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    That’s weird. Bruce is up 3.4%…


  6. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    5% is a bad number for Rauner. This is IL, a vote for a third party candidate is as good as a vote for the democrat. If that number goes over 7 Rauner loses.


  7. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    The MoE for poll subsets is higher than the overall poll and subject to more noise, obviously, but this poll’s Chicago numbers for the Governor’s race show the most favorable numbers for Rauner in months. Either a large previously undetected shift has happened with Chicago voters or it’s a bad sample/outlier.


  8. - Del Clinkton - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    What is an “Obama wave poll” exactly? Let me guess, the Chicago Tribune is “liberal”. Ha!

    The Chicago Tribune has endorsed every Republican candidate for President of the United States of America…except for 1, since it started publishing. And had that candidate picked a qualified running mate, they would have endorsed that candidate too.


  9. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Topinka could carry 101 counties. I think Simon will carry Jackson County as most voters hope she gets elected to keep her off the local taxpayer dole which is where she has spent her entire life until the last 4 years.


  10. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    46-38 Rauner, in Cook Co suburbs, sure sounds right.

    Turnout is hard to predict. Would guess very light from what I hear locally.


  11. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Mikey is angry!!!


  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Poll is way way light on Hispanic voters from what I can see. Only 1.5% of respondents were Hispanic, and Illinois population is about 16% Hispanic.


  13. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Hi Del, this is the poll that I was referring to.

    https://capitolfax.com/2014/09/15/im-not-buying-it/


  14. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    More than any that I can remember, this race is shaping up to be determined by the candidates’ ground game/GOTV operations. A couple of really motivated precinct committeemen could tip this thing.

    – MrJM


  15. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    If we aggregate the last four polls, excluding the Trib poll, Rauner is up but within the MOE. Polls are see sawing. This is why the ground game is so critical to both candidates.

    If Quinn is directly implicated in the NRI, it should really hurt him. Rauner’s GTCR scandals can seem distant compared with what’s happening in Illinois politics.

    Who can better turn out voters is what will likely seal the deal.


  16. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    www.comexpress.com

    Is this an automated poll? If so, did they call cell phones?


  17. - Western Ave. Doug - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    I wonder where the Libertarian is pulling most of his votes from. In the cross tabs for the IL 10 and IL 11 poll from We Ask America, more Ds than Rs were going to Grimm. Perhaps more unhappy Ds than Rs will be casting a protest vote.


  18. - Down Here - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    “More than any that I can remember, this race is shaping up to be determined by the candidates’ ground game/GOTV operations. A couple of really motivated precinct committeemen could tip this thing.”
    I could not agree more and that’s why Quinn will squeek out a win with the ground game supplied by the aldermen and committeemen in Chicago and organized labor everywhere else. Rauner and the GOP do not have any meaningful ground games to compete with these.
    Election Day will be something to behold.


  19. - Gooner - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Six months ago, I thought Rauner would win by 10. Whether the polls now show Rauner or Quinn up, all of them show it to be close.

    Based on the ads we are seeing, Quinn is going positive acting like he’s up, and Rauner is going strongly negative, acting like he’s behind.

    Ordinarily, I would suspect that’s what their internal numbers show. That might be the case for Quinn but let’s be honest. Rauner’s campaign has been so terribly run their numbers might show him up 10 or down 10. I honestly don’t think they have ever had a real plan for this campaign or a real timeline. The only plan they seem to have is “stay as vague as possible.”

    So this poll is an interesting footnote, but that’s it.


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    I appreciate Rich printing cross tabs. Are we really expecting that 60% of voters will be women and only 60% of the vote in Chicago will be Democratic?

    Or that the Illinois electorate is only 13% minority? 13 PERCENT?

    The National electorate in 2010 was 19% Latino and African American, according to the Census Bureau.

    LOL.


  21. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    “The race for Governor is too close to call. In other news, the Cubs miss the play-offs again.”


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Just to give you an idea of how CRAZY the claim is that the electorate will be 87 percent white, here is a ranking of state’s by the percent of non-hispanic white population.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/united-states/quick-facts/all-states/white-not-hispanic-population-percentage#chart


  23. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    In 2010, Hispanic and African-American voters made up 27% of the electorate. This poll is based on the assumption that the number will be 12.6% this time. Seems a little optimistic on their part.


  24. - Jeepster - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    Ahh yes, glad to see that the Republican pollsters for Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor are arriving in Illinois. False polls to create false hopes which, in turn, keeps the money flowing and the volunteers motivated (and the consultants paid).


  25. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    More than any that I can remember, this race is shaping up to be determined by the candidates’ ground game/GOTV operations. A couple of really motivated precinct committeemen could tip this thing.

    That is how I am seeing it too - but as you know, the election isn’t today and I believe October is going to really make a difference this time.

    Quinn also doesn’t have that $54,500,000 grant edge going into his voter base that he had in 2010. As a matter of fact, the whole NRI thing is going to become a negative for our Governor as Ms. Shaw makes news this month.

    NRI may decide who gets elected governor this time too.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    I


  27. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I hope all the Topinka fawners here read her respose to Simon’s attack of the moonlighting in Topinka’s office. That’s what she thinks of your intelligence folks. But hey, keep mocking Sheila.

    Guv poll good news for Quinn - labor clearly will be turning out on election day, I don’t sense the same enthusiasm for Rauner.


  28. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    This is consistent with Rauner’s internals which show him up by 5-6.


  29. - A guy... - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    It’s another poll showing a close race with a different horse a little more than a nose ahead. Stack it up with the others. The Cross tabs are what would be positive here, especially positive trending in Suburban Cook. Ultimately, that’s where this whole shootin’ match may wind up.


  30. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Just to illustrate what a demographic shift like this would mean…

    Applying this poll’s predicted racial breakdown (81 White, 11 Black, 2 Hispanic, 6 Other) to the 2010 exit poll results, Brady would have beaten Quinn 52-41.


  31. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    This poll also shows Rauner up 8 in the Cook County suburbs which would be an impressive achievement if it holds. In 2010 Kirk lost the Cook County suburbs by almost 9 points, Brady lost by 14 and Rutherford lost it by 3 points. Topinka won here by 9 but then again she won statewide by almost 12.

    Either this poll has some flaws or if Rauner really is ahead in the Cook County suburbs by 8 points (where Kirk and Brady lost by 9 and 14 points respectively) then Rauner will win the election quite handily.


  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    –Or that the Illinois electorate is only 13% minority? 13 PERCENT?–

    That seems low, but might it square with off-year elections? Don’t know.

    There seems to be some volatility in the different polls. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rauner won (despite himself, at this point), or if Quinn won in a squeaker. Lot more cards to be played.


  33. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Word– in 2010, it was 70 White, 20 Black, 8 Hispanic, 4 Other.


  34. - Mighty M. Mouse - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===Poll is way way light on Hispanic voters from what I can see. Only 1.5% of respondents were Hispanic, and Illinois population is about 16% Hispanic.===

    The “answer” to every statistical disagreement always comes down to the same thing – methodology.

    The final step to achieving polling accuracy is how you project who will vote. What percentage of different kinds of voters will actually show up to vote? What percentage of the vote will be from Chicago, suburban Cook, the collar counties and downstate? What percentage of the vote will be Democrats, Republicans and independents? What percentage will be black or white or hispanic, etc.?

    The last step is to make projections of how much of the vote is coming from where, and then to use your projections to adjust your polling results to correspond to how you think the actual vote will break down.

    What are the percentages this unknown pollster employed by some unknown Republican candidate projected? We don’t know. We never do, but that’s usually the difference between being close to accurate or being a total outlier.

    Is this poll close to accurate or an outlier? What did the pollster do to adjust for the Hispanic sample being less than 10 percent of the actual Hispanic population? We don’t know.

    How accurate, how precise, are ANY of these polls? How appropriately do they adjust to account for discrepancies, such as this one pointed out by Ducky LaMoore?

    We don’t know. About all you can go by is this pollster’s (who we don’t know) track record.

    So how much validity can be ascribed to this poll for some unknown Republican candidate done by some unknown Republican pollster using some probably proprietary, unknown methodology? We don’t know. That’s why people like to average a lot of polls. But even then we hope that gets us closer to the “truth,” but we still really don’t know.


  35. - Not it - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    I don’t care what any polls say, with all the referenda on the ballot, Quinn’s GOTV strategy is far too unpredictable to say Rauner is doing well.


  36. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    == About all you can go by is this pollster’s (who we don’t know) track record.==

    According to Rich they were spot on in 2010. Nevertheless, when I see a one day poll I think daily tracking poll, which then makes me think campaigns see a days result that’s better than usual, and push it. Happens on both sides.


  37. - Ginhouse Tommy - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Even exit polls on election day can be wrong. We will know the final score when the votes are counted, but it has become interesting hasn’t it.


  38. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    –Word– in 2010, it was 70 White, 20 Black, 8 Hispanic, 4 Other.–

    Actual votes? That’s way different than what they’re polling here.


  39. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    That was the exit poll on Election Day 2010. Seems like quite a stretch to say that the minority vote will be more than 50% lower this time.


  40. - phocion - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Snucka, please give us the source for your claim that the 2010 Illinois voter demographic was 70% 20% black, 8% hispanic, and 4% other. Seems odd in that the overall population in 2010 was 77% white, 15% black, and 16% hispanic. Except in 2008 and 2012, black voter percentage never came close to their actual population percentage. And hispanic voter totals never come close to their population percentage.


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    === Except in 2008 and 2012, black voter percentage never came close to their actual population percentage===

    Illinois exit polling from 2010: 19% African American, 8% Latino http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/polls/#val=ILG00p1


  42. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Thanks Rich — that was, indeed, the source for my numbers.


  43. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Let me be clear: I am not claiming that this poll is “wrong” or that the pollster was trying to produce misleading results. The candidate who commissioned the poll is responsible for the demographic breakdown. I’m confident that, if minorities stay home in DROVES, this poll accurately represents the state of the race today.

    I’m simply pointing out that it would represent a dramatic demographic shift from the last gubernatorial election in this state. They may have a valid reason for believing it will happen, but I am not aware of what that might be.


  44. - truthteller - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    What is Communication Express’s track record? Do they do a lot of polling? Couldn’t find it on 538’s ratings of over 300 pollsters.


  45. - votecounter - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    If Rauner matches Democrats and their allies in boots on the ground in Cook/Chicago for early voting and on election day he will win. The GOP has never tried to match the Dem’s and unions with poll watchers and judges in the 20 or so Black wards and 3 Townships, I hope Rauner does it I would kike to see the difference if any in totals. It will be expensive but it could mean the election


  46. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    “2010, it was 70 White, 20 Black, 8 Hispanic, 4 Other” That adds up to 102%? Must be Chicago! (rimshot)


  47. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    –with poll watchers and judges in the 20 or so Black wards and 3 Townships, –

    Why single out those areas?


  48. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Oops- it actually shows up as 69-20-8-4. Still 101%, but it’s just a rounding error.


  49. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    To the point, the pollster did nothing to adjust the poll results to reflect the demographics.

    What is being reported is raw data.

    Which is irresponsible.

    As for Rauner’s internals showing him up: I doubt it. Candidates who are clearly up stay the course, and Bruce is flailing.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===Why single out those areas?===

    “Voter Integrity”?

    I mean, with all the voter fraud and all…

    Dopes


  51. - phocion - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Thanks, Rich. I stand corrected.


  52. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    How do Republican election judges (which are there already anyway) and pollwatchers affect the outcome of an election?


  53. - Gooner - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    Skeptic, you are kidding, right?

    Even near downtown they have an impact. An election or two ago, we had GOP judges who threw hissy fits every time a voter asked for assistance. They demanded some sort of medical verification. It slowed lines and could have decreased turnout.

    Then I got there and explained to him that the SA would be by shortly, and remarkably we had no more problems.

    Strange how that works.

    In any case, I hope that helps you understand the issue.


  54. - votecounter - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    A presence in the neighborhood that has never been there. Im not saying anything about voter integrity but I am saying I have been told by thousands of people in those wards in the last 5 years that they had never met a Republican before. Allot of state Rep / State Senate seats are unopposed. If it takes 30 votes to be GOP committeeman you can see that there is not allot of party building going on, and if you try to start you can easily be beaten. As for Judges if the committeeman doesn’t do his job by recruiting them they find people to fill the spots. This year Rauner and Oberweis to some extent, have put time and money into these neighborhoods where unemployment is at historic levels. I know from experience that the people know who’s investing in their area. That’s why I am curious to see if it will matter.


  55. - Western Ave. Doug - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    ==To the point, the pollster did nothing to adjust the poll results to reflect the demographics==
    OK, let’s assume you are right. Wouldn’t a 60 to 40 women over men advantage skew this poll in favor of the Democrats? With the war on women and all being waged by Bruce and the radical right, Rauner should be down in this poll big time.

    It’s one of many polls, put it in the average with the others to find its worth.


  56. - votecounter - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    If one side has palm cards and there is nobody from the other side, what does that do? Or say about wanting peoples vote?


  57. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    YDD– Normally, I would agree with you about candidates not flailing when their internals show them winning. But Rauner strikes me as a guy who isn’t used to being criticized and who thinks he should be able to take the big chair without anyone trying to stop him. So he might be flailing from indignation…


  58. - Of Course - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    I would call myself a Republican, but I want nothing to do with Rauner like most Republicans I know. I have done nothing but canvas and phone bank for the Quinn campaign for the past two months straight 4-5 LONG nights a week….and I bring lots of FRIENDS with me. We are not just canvasing and calling Democrats. I can tell you straight from the voter’s mouths they do not like Rauner. The first few weeks were a bit iffy walking and phone banking because common voters did not know anything about Rauner and wanted someone other than Quinn. Now that the word is out I might get 3-5 callers a night out of 80-90 that support Rauner. I will go with my own gut feeling on this pole and say it is not worth much.


  59. - LinebackerII - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Looks like Rauner is back up - look for the October Surprise that humiliates Quinn and then Rauner slides on in for the WIN.


  60. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==This is consistent with Rauner’s internals which show him up by 5-6.==

    Yes it is. Yes it is. LOL.


  61. - Brass - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    The most important part of this poll is that more likely voters self-identify themselves as Independent rather than either Democrat or Republican…further validation why the solution to addressing the dysfunctional two-party system is to bypass it.

    Open primaries are one steps but eventually when we have a contest between independent candidates, voters will be forced to consider where each candidate stands and not because they are labeled R or D.


  62. - Been there - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 8:33 pm:

    Yep, my mom has always predicted the winner correctly. She’s not enthusiastic about our current governor, but would not vote” for the other one.” She lives in suburban Cook County and is a member of a conservative republican leaning congregation, so I assume there are many others who feel the same. It seems that Rauner’s business actions may have hurt his reputation with seniors.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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