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Polling, schmolling

Monday, Nov 3, 2014

* Sun-Times

A new poll conducted just days before Tuesday’s election shows the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is “too close to call.”

The poll, released by Public Policy Polling, shows Quinn getting 47 percent support, while Rauner comes in at 45 percent. Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm is polling at 3 percent, while 5 percent say they’re undecided. The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday among 1,064, has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

* From PPP

Pat Quinn is one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 31% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 54% who disapprove. But he’s still clinging to a slight lead for reelection over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, 47/45. Only 58% of Democrats approve of the job Quinn is doing, but 83% are nevertheless voting for him. Rauner is under water on his favorability but still in much better standing than Quinn, at 39/42. This is a race where the Libertarian candidate could play spoiler for GOP hopes. Chad Grimm is only polling at 3%, but those voting for him say they would pick Rauner over Quinn 54/14. In a head to head without him Quinn and Rauner would be tied at 48.

PPP surveyed 1,064 likely voters in Illinois

* But check this out

* OK, now look at the difference in results between phones and Internet

Iffy, to say the least.

* And here’s one that the Rauner campaign is shopping

* They have Rauner leading…

But what about that methodology?…

That means, of course, that new voters aren’t contacted.

Ogden & Fry is owned by Tom Swiss, the Chicago Republican who attempted to fly under the radar a couple of years ago in the Democratic primary and lost. His company is mainly about robocalls and the like, although he did come pretty close on the Chicago mayor’s race a few years ago.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    In my opinion the composite polling is the only truly reliable polling out there. Its latest update had Quinn with 44.7 % and Rauner with 44.4%. As Rich might say “Its gonna be a long night campers.”

  2. - John Parnell - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    I’m waiting for the Rod McCullough poll to be released to clear up this confusion.

  3. - chi - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    New voters aren’t contacted and relatively new voters (i.e. young people) are undercounted.

  4. - Cassiopeia - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    No matter what type of polling methodology is used and no matter who is polling it results in “too close to call” which essentially means to quit paying attention to polls.

    It comes down to who “doesn’t vote”.

  5. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Rich -

    Ogden and Fry is not only dropping New Voters.

    According to their methodology, voters who were not registered to vote since 2008, and most likely registered at their current address since 2008 (the last three elections) were not contacted.

  6. - Anonymoiis - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    New voters typically aren’t included because they’re unreliable as to whether they will actually show up. The toughest part of polling is predicting who will show up, but past voting history is a pretty standard factor to use

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    “Mrs. Jones 4th graders say Mom and Dad are voting for…”

    Pretty pathetic polling, trying to prop up Rauner.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Right now the last few polls released show Quinn recapturing the mo a little bit. There have been problems with various polls, such as big fluctuations in certain demographics, but who knows?

    The few “insider” polls I’ve seen (not from either campaign) had Quinn ahead.

    We won’t know, of course, until at least tomorrow.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Maybe Quinn is pulling away in internal Rauner polling…

    Just a thought.

  10. - Nonplussed - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Nate Silver has an article re: poll bias. It is long but the gist is that GOP candidates in red states will outperform polls and Dem candidates in blue states will outperform polls. The redder and bluer, the more they will outperform.

    I think any poll showing Quinn up even a little is bad news for Rauner.

  11. - walker - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Get your friends to the voting booths.

    That’s the only poll that counts right now.

    I hope we’re not in for a long week or month.

  12. - Dave Fako - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Actually, newly registered voters can be very reliable voters. They are registering because they know that can / want to vote and need to register. The 18 year old newly registered voter, the newly minted US citizen who gets to vote in their first election and the new resident of the State all tend to be more motivated than your average, typical voter. This is why our firm always includes newly registered voters in our samples.

  13. - MrJM - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    The only poll that matters is the one showing my candidate in the lead.

    – MrJM

  14. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    There is a fascinating polling study being done right now, in real time. Dr. Sam Wang is doing it at his web site. He shows polling aggregation from past election years, and how far off the polls were to the actual results (sometimes substantially off).

    What Dr. Wang says he’s looking for tomorrow is to gauge whether there will be a wave in the US Senate races based on the voting results in Kentucky and New Hampshire, and how close those are to the polling aggregation results prior to the actual election.

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Fako is correct.

    Academic research shows that newly registered voters turnout well.

    Where turnout of newly registered voters is subpar, it reflects decisions by the campaigns to not include those voters in its direct mail, phone, and GOTV efforts.

    Which, is kinda dumb.

    Because you can usually bet that New Voters will be the first to be dropped from your opponents’ campaign plan.

  16. - Just Thinking - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Swiss is the same guy who had Peraica winning by 12 over Tobolski,did you see how that story ended?

  17. - Snucka - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    What’s striking to me is the similarities (in the crosstabs) between this poll and PPP’s final 2010 poll. That one had Brady +5, but underestimated the AA and Hispanic vote. With the correct racial breakdown, that poll wild have been about right.

    Also, Quinn’s approval is almost exactly where it was in 2010.

    It’s gonna be a close one, but I think Quinn pulls it out.

  18. - Norseman - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    The only polling I’m doing shows that 99% would vote for none of the above if that was an option.

  19. - Wordslinger - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around a tight race in which the incumbent has such a low approval rating.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ===The only polling I’m doing shows that 99% would vote for none of the above if that was an option.===

    That’s the sweet spot - Norseman -. I feel more confident by the hour.

  21. - A guy... - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Definitely, Schmolls. No one knows.

  22. - The Captain - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    PPP - Quinn +2
    McKeon - Quinn +3
    IL Observer - Quinn +5
    YouGov - Quinn +4
    Rasmussen - Rauner +1
    Tribune - Rauner +2
    Sun-Times - Quinn +3
    Reboot Illinois - Quinn +4
    Libery Principles - Quinn +2

    That’s about the last month or so of public polls with the most recent on top. They all have their own unique characteristics and possible flaws but generally suggest a very close race with perhaps a slight advantage to Quinn.

  23. - I Vote My Heart (AKA Downstate GOP Faithless) - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    I’m undecided, sort of. I plan to listen to HERE COME THE PEOPLE IN GREY, have many beers and come to an educated decision.

  24. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    At this point who cares what pollsters say?

    The vote will happen tomorrow.

  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    === At this point who cares what pollsters say? ===

    Apparently, the Rauner camp, since they are shopping Tom Swiss’ poll around.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Rauner needs a 3-5 point lead heading into election day to have a chance. Don’t see it.

    Ogden and Fry? Is that a joke? Hey, I just heard Ogden and Fry are merging with McKeon to form the worst pollster ever.

    By contrast, I hear ya Rich about the PPP methodology but they have a very strong track record of accuracy.

  27. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Some side bets for tomorrow:

    Does Quinn exceed his 2010 vote total of 1,745,219?

    Will the total votes for Governor exceed the 2010 total of 3,729,746?

    Will the non-major Governor candidates exceed the 2010 vote total of 271,142??

    Which down ballot candidate will receive the most votes? Here are the 2010 numbers:

    J. White 2,558,671
    L. Madigan 2,367,679
    J.B. Topinka 1,911,900

  28. - Lake County Guy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Quinn will carry the day due to his team and the Democrats being still more practiced in GOTV than the Rauner team. The Dems are really good at this GOTV and they are going to be in high gear on Election Day to make it happen and it will.

  29. - The Captain - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    @DuPage Dave

    1. Don’t know
    2. Yes
    3. No
    4. White

  30. - steve schnorf - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    You all may be significantly underestimating Rauner’s GOTV program. Certainly in the past the D effort has been far better than the R, largely because the R effort was pretty pathetic except in a few places. But this is a new day, and I have no doubt the Rauner campaign has financed a big-time operation. It is untested, so we won’t know until tomorrow evening how it worked, but I’m betting it will put to shame anything we’ve seen my Rs do in a long time.

  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:53 am:


    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No
    4. White

  32. - Quiet Sage - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Too many variables here for the human political mind to compute. Some of them:

    For reasons far beyond my comprehension, Quinn has preternatural abilities when it comes to elections. He is to Statewide campaigns as the Speaker is to politics within the State House.

    On the other hand, Rauner is the most aggressive, organized, well-funded Republican campaigner in decades.

    For unions and for many State and local government workers, notably including teachers around the State, this is seen as a do or die election, and their efforts on behalf of Quinn will be correspondingly intense.

    On the other hand, the Republicans have clearly gained renewed confidence under Rauner’s mantle.

    Quinn is a mainstream Democratic landslide in a more and more strongly blue state. He fits like a glove into the majority political culture here.

    On the other hand, we may be feeling the first winds of a Category 4 or 5 national Republican landslide.

    On the other hand… (as Tevye the milkman said in Fiddler on the Roof).

  33. - anon - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Listen to Steve, he is dead on regarding the R’s GOTV.

  34. - Dee Lay - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    @Dupage Dave
    This looks like the start of a really nice set of polls for Rich to post!

    3.Yes (This will be close)
    4. J. White

  35. - Lake County Guy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Good points you make -steve schnorf- about the new Repub GOTV effort this time around. But still, the Dems have been doing this better and longer .. and they are going to be in high gear this Election Day to make it even better, they are going to be extremely intense to mildly say it. So I have to go with the Quinn team, as they see this as a battle royal and they are fully going into this thing with full steam ahead as never ever before.

  36. - Percival - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==You all may be significantly underestimating Rauner’s GOTV program==

    I sure hope so, because so far this campaign is in grave danger of being the biggest failure in Illinois political history.

  37. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    This stuff doesn’t matter anymore.

  38. - Lake County Guy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    VanillaMan … what makes you think that efforts to GOTV do not matter any more ?

  39. - Mighty M. Mouse - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===Maybe Quinn is pulling away in internal Rauner polling…

    Just a thought.===

    OW, what is or are your reason(s) for saying that?

  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===OW, what is or are your reason(s) for saying that?===

    The day before the election the Rauner Crew chooses THIS poll and this polls methodology?

    They choose a shoddy poll, barely above the MOE?

    Why? Why go out with that poll, whose window of numbers, and tout it as you are?

    Quinn might be pulling away, with more sound polling, and the crutch is needed in the last 24.

    If the polling is stagnant, you run a more credible poll, more credible methodology and make it about turnout.

    That’s not happening here.

    Hope that helps.

  41. - Wordslinger - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    What’s the point, today, of shopping a poll saying that you’re up?

    Is that from the Tom Dewey playbook? Trying to give your peeps a reason to stay home?

  42. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Polling works well when a question is posed to a group that fits into a bell-shaped curve or subscribes to the binomial distribution (e.g., yes/no questions). But, when there are such clear differences between cell phone vs. land line vs. internet,as an example, it makes no sense to lump the responses together as if the respondents came from a single population. The pollsters appear to be struggling with how to combine the bifurcated data into a single win-lose statistic; they don’t all subscribe to a uniform model. Hence, polling results may have a higher degree of uncertainty than is being presented. As pointed out by others, it is likely to be a long night.

  43. - Mokenavince - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    I’m truly amazed that Quinn looks like a winner.
    My question is will this win have Mike Madigan giving him the time of day?
    Or will he figure that Quinn’s gone in 4 years?

  44. - Black Ivy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    For the faithful, we still believe that Raunder can and will take this, with independents breaking for him in the end. The polls still point to undecideds.

  45. - Enviro - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    How can we better understand why the unpopular Governor Quinn can still lead in polls over an opponent who is a venture capitalist and deemed not as trustworthy even by many Republicans?

    Compare this political race to Obama winning over another venture capitalist, Mitt Romney, who was considered less trustworthy even by many Republicans in 2012.

  46. - anonano - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 6:28 pm:

    There is deep buyers remorse right now with Obama in the WH. Hopefully, the majority of people in IL can avoid this same remorse and misery by electing Rauner.

  47. - steve schnorf - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 6:45 pm:

    so you don’t think Obama would carry Illinois tomorrow?


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 6:48 pm:

    - steve schnorf -,

    I think Obama will easily win Illinois, tomorrow, but lose Lincoln County 2 to 1…

  49. - Wordslinger - Monday, Nov 3, 14 @ 6:52 pm:

    Schnorf, that’s what I’ve been talking about.

    It’s guys like ano that would rather whine than work to win, rather spout cable talking points than take the lumps of governing.

    They act like the GOP never won in Illinois. Not with them, they didn’t. Nor will they.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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