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Poll: Mendoza leads Munger 40-32

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2016

* More from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s recent poll…

In the race for state Comptroller, incumbent Leslie Munger is running to retain the seat she was appointed to by Governor Rauner upon the death of Judy Baar Topinka. She is being challenged by Democrat Susana Mendoza. Mendoza is leading by a 40 percent to 32 percent margin among likely voters. There is a large 22 percent of the voters who remain undecided. […]

Mendoza is leading in the City of Chicago at 52 percent compared to Munger’s 23 percent. Downstate the incumbent, Munger, is leading by 43 percent compared to Mendoza’s 28 percent. The balance of power is held in the Cook county suburbs and collar counties where Mendoza is leading by 42 percent to Munger’s 28 percent.

* That collar county result seems odd to me. Just keep in mind that subsets have much higher margins of error than do the full statewide results…

I’ve seen a couple of other private polls on this race that I wasn’t allowed to share, but they were both pretty close to the state’s generic partisan ballot. This one isn’t far off, either. And it’s why Munger’s TV ad campaign is absolutely crucial.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:25 am:

    Munger should feel pretty good about polling 23% in Chicago.

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:26 am:

    Her ad where she is gleeful about not paying the Legislators is a bit much. First of all, she is lying about them not being paid, their pay is simply delayed like all other vendors. Second, they did pass a budget, a full one that was vetoed and then the stop-gap. So why are you not paying them (or delaying it) now? I’ve never seen such a jubilant hostage taker.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    I’m of the belief “see me in 2 weeks after the ads”

    The absolute biggest mistake if Munger loses will be the stalking out the clock with breaking the caps.

    Still feel that Munger should have broke the caps August 15th-ish, then spend, overall, $9 million in a mix of negative ads against Mendoza, after a 2-3 week introduction of Leslie Munger to Illinois.

    Mendoza won’t match the $5 million, think about 6 weeks ago until now and $4 million spent burying Mendoza and defining Munger.

    If Munger loses, by being “cheap”, the irony won’t be lost on me, that’s for sure.


    “See me in 2 weeks after the ads run”.

  4. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    23% in Chicago for Munger - with 22% undecided?! Wow. That is a high amount of undecided voters this close to the election. Unlike previous years the Comptroller’s office has been a steady story in the news and budget impasse.

  5. - muon - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    It looks like the poll lumps suburban Cook with the collar counties. If so Cook could make up half the total in that category. That would explain the suburban results.

  6. - The Captain - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    They’re combining the Cook County suburbs and the collar counties into one number. It’s more common to see that broken out into two separate numbers. The City of Chicago and the Cook County suburbs are about the same size and the five collar counties combined are actually greater than each of those so you usually see the three segments broken out, here it appears to be just two.

  7. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    If Munger wins, Rauner wins. If Mendoza wins, Rauner will also “win”. He will use Mendoza as a Madigan connection in the blame game to further his bid in 2018. This is Rauner’s “investment” in Illinois.

  8. - chi - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    If Munger is counting on getting 23% in the City to win, she’s in trouble. Rauner only got 20% in 2014 and I don’t see her improving on those numbers.

  9. - Magic carpet ride - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    Madigan will educate the Mendoza campaign that Mungers campaign is funded by Rauner. There is a tremendous amount of money from Bruce but Bruces popularity is waning. Im glad Bruce is not electioneering… /s.

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Early voting has already started.

    If Munger’s ad blitz was supposed to push her over the top maybe it should have gone out sooner.

  11. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    OW you’re quick! I hardly read Rich’s post before I began wondering what you would say.

    So you’re saying, wait till we see the effects of the money surge, then get back at me.

    Now here’s my question and it actually has to do with the recent AFSCME ad.

    Is there such a thing as the narrative high ground and is it more advantageous to seize and hold it first? So for instance, did Munger fail to seize the high ground first and is now defined by Rauners failure OR did she seize it with the Legislature nonpay, barely holds it, then Rauners money locks her in.

    The above polling makes me think she is just off the high ground, mid ridge, but fighting to retake it. Thus the 5 million to push Mendoza off. But can she when it seem that being labeled as the wingwoman hangs around her neck?

  12. - From the 'Dale to HP - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Munger’s got a shot here… Mendoza better start working a little harder.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    ===So you’re saying, wait till we see the effects of the money surge, then get back at me.===


    Thus snapshot has yet to weigh and measure the Ad campaign and allow saturation, probably at a multiple 7-figure sum.

    This could very well be a basement.

    To your thoughts, and they’re valid, it’s more of a reflection of 1) POTUS voting universe 2) the 22% still undecided, and people are learning about this race 3) Munger not IDing herself as a Republican and thus separating the idea of the partisan split with the hopes of “oh, I like her, Munger”

    The race is literally just starting now. The high ground or positive/negatives leanings in this snapshot with 22% undecided seems to tell me, there room for all kinds of messaging to help, positive or negative.

    Can $5+ million close an 8-point gap with 22% undecided?

    Yes. Quickly. Very quickly.

  14. - Bigly Tronclodyte - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    I’d agree more with OW if there was more to Leslie Munger’s campaign than a rich white woman saying:

    “You better do what Daddy Bruce says, or else you don’t get paid.”

  15. - Tron - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    This poll is great news for Munger. Already at 23% in the city with another 22% up for grabs. $5 million in ads will only help. Factor in big upside opportunities with those downstate numbers and Munger is looking very, very good.

  16. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Bigly- Great name but I think OW is correct. 5 million on gap closing can do a lot of damage with a generally uninformed 22% undecided electorate. They watch TV and are I imagine impressionable.
    Look, case in point. I really try to engage in this blog every day. Because of that I imagine I’m in the 1% of informed Illinoisan on state issues. It wasn’t until 5 minutes ago that I looked up what exactly the Illinois Comptroller does. I had an idea but I really didn’t get why it was so important to Rauner, 5 million, important to Rauner till just a few minutes ago.

    So, if I didn’t get it, the majority of undecided won’t get it. That’s a bad place to be. Assumptions killed my Labor sisters and brothers last time. That’s why I personally participated in the calling of all AFSCME’s about this election. We have two phone banks up and running in Alton and Caseyville just for 2 locals 799’s and 1805’s. It’s not calls to the outside. ALL internal AFSCME TO AFSCME.

    We took OW’s suggestion to reduce the 2/5 union households who voted for Rauner

    VERY VERY Seriously.

    We have taken a lot of steps to inform and motivate

    70,000 AFSCME’s in this state.

    We’ll see if that’s enough to fight 5 million $.

  17. - Bigly Tronclodyte - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:39 am:


    Don’t be complacent, but don’t despair either.

  18. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    Mendoza is mostly invisible downstate. Based on Madigan’s unpopularity, Democrats could take a hit as his “tools.”

    Who’d have thought there would be any interest in the Comptroller’s race?

  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Ugh, my phone recycled …

    To THIS post…

    - Big Muddy -

    I guess we’ll see. You forgot to answer the 3-win and Munger loss question. Must be an oversight.

    - Honeybear -

    You’re on it. That’s YOUR (Labor’s) ball game.

    Control exactly what you can control and maximize your own impact at the highest possible levels in races that can use that impact and get the statewide messaging on Labor speaking with ONE voice.

    Then, then you can say, if you accomplish all that, you’ve done everything you could and the results show that hard work.

    Thanks for the hat tip, but it’s you and all those like you, individually and collectively recognizing where you need to be, not me.

  20. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    $5 million in a normally afterthought of a race is a lot - and that is just what was dropped last week. I’m sure there will be more. From what I saw over the weekend the ads were on during NFL games. Not cheap.

    Streator - think about it. When was the last time a constitutional office election was held during a presidential year?! I can’t think of one. It’s an oddity and in order to keep people’s interest the money and visibility have to be increased. This is also a “down payment” on 2018 for the full term, and if Munger can pull it out then she’ll have six full years as Comptroller when she runs in 2018.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    ===Munger can pull it out then she’ll have six full years as Comptroller when she runs in 2018.===


    I count it will be 4 years. Is my math wrong?

  22. - Annon - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 10:57 am:

    —When was the last time a constitutional office election was held during a presidential year?!—


  23. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    Willy - whoops! I think I was going for a full term. Sorry about that. I had a Munger math moment. How’s that for some Tuesday morning alliteration?! :)

  24. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    10:57 - thanks. I was -4 years old during that election cycle. Hence why it is so rare: it happened 40 years ago.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    - Team Sleep -

    I fed you, you tipped it in brilliantly with an outstanding alliteration. You made the pass look better than it was.

    Maybe the next question is…

    Dear Mendoza Crew,

    Whadda got?

  26. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    I don’t buy the notion that this 22 percent undecided is really undecided in a persuadable sense. More like they haven’t been following the comptroller race, probably won’t follow it, and will probably vote for whatever party they come down for in the president and Senate contests.

  27. - Not It - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    I’ve never understood why Madigan even created this election. Isn’t it way better to just blame Rauner and his party for all the problems in state government? If Mendoza wins don’t the Democrats now have skin in the game?

  28. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    @Not It

    What is so hard to understand?

    Dems are up in the race at the moment. If they win, they can use Mendoza to squeeze Rauner on the budget in terms of how or what bills get paid. But just as a general matter of basic politics it’s better for Dems to have one of their own in power in a statewide office and Dems fare better in Illinois during presidential years and it’s easiest to unseat an appointed incumbent in their very first time running for election.

    And the notion that Dems suddenly have skin in the game via Mendoza but didn’t with Dem majorities in the legislature is just batty.

  29. - Union Dues - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    It would seem to me that people who are still undecided come election day would likely vote party.

  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===people who are still undecided come election day===

    Hence the ads.

  31. - Restore sanity - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    I think it is lazy polling to not include all candidates that will be on the ballot. There are third party candidates who will be on the ballot and pull from the Republicans and Democrats. I really can’t take these polls seriously. Although, I would predict Clinton, Duckworth, and Mendoza win.

  32. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===there are third party candidates who will be on the ballot==

    Name one who isn’t in the POTUS race. The Greens and Libertarians will cancel out each other’s 1% in the downballots.

  33. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    hisgirlfriday- “If they win, they can use Mendoza to squeeze Rauner on the budget in terms of how or what bills get paid.”

    True, but they need to be very careful on that tactic. Rauner is runnin’ for re-lection (not a typo-intended snark), and he will be sure to use any blockades by Mendoza as campaign fertilizer. “Because Madigan” will take on a whole new level of viciousness. Rauner doesn’t care if bills get paid or not. He doesn’t have any skin in the game. This is his retirement hobby.

  34. - Anonymouth - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    To put those numbers in context, Freirichs got about 76% and Pat Quinn got 77% in 2014. Judy got a higher percentage because of who she was, not because of party. Those Chicago undecideds are going to break HARD for Mendoza.

  35. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 4, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    Mendoza is in fact working very hard at retail politics all over the state. Munger has her outgunned both in ad messages, and in money to deliver them.

    I’m with OW — ask again in two weeks.

  36. - albl - Friday, Oct 14, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    Munger’s family looks like a nice family in her tv ads, but they appear as if they came from a lilly white country club with their matching blue sports coats.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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