* Politico had this Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research polling memo earlier today. The survey was taken for Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers…
The Democratic primary race for Illinois Governor is starting to take shape. But, the race is still fluid, even with a candidate with high name recognition in the field. In a three-way matchup between Kurt Summers, J.B. Pritzker, and Chris Kennedy, Kennedy leads with 44 percent of the vote. But 34 percent of the electorate is undecided and 41 percent are weak supporters of the candidates.
Just three candidates? Seems odd. Two others are announced.
But it does show that the Kennedy family name is still at least initially popular with Democratic primary voters.
* Anyway, back to the pollster…
When voters hear more about the potential candidates for Governor, 21 percent of the vote shifts to Summers, who has a compelling background that includes his roots in Chicago, his competence as a financial manager, and his advocacy for underserved communities.
Descriptions of Candidates for Governor
J.B. Pritzker is a successful businessman with a focus on growing the tech community in Chicago, and an active philanthropist. His family foundation focuses on improving the lives of at-risk children, he established the Pritzker Consortium on Early Childhood Development at the University of Chicago, and serves as chairman of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Pritzker knows how to grow the economy and attract jobs to Chicago, he founded the largest technology venture in the Midwest and created 1871, Chicago’s digital startup center. He has raised millions of dollars for Hillary Clinton and will have the resources to compete with Rauner.
Kurt Summers serves as the Chicago City Treasurer and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. With a strong support system, he worked his way through college and earned his MBA from Harvard University. He left a successful career on Wall Street to come back home to help save his grandfather’s small business. Later, he served as Chief of Staff to Board President Toni Preckwinkle, where he helped eliminate Cook County’s budget deficit of 487 million dollars. As City Treasurer, he has generated 100 million dollars in new revenue that is being re-invested in underserved communities to grow the economy. Summers believes economic opportunity and job creation are the solution to violence, and he has stood up against predatory lending to protect small business owners. Summers has the financial know-how to eliminate Illinois’ deficit, and would be our first African American Governor.
Chris Kennedy is a successful businessman and the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy. He was the President of the Merchandise Mart, the largest commercial building in the world, and launched a nonprofit that provides fresh food options at lower cost to underserved communities. Kennedy has been an active member of the Chicago community for three decades, serving on numerous boards with other business leaders and charitable foundations. He was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and will make college affordability a top priority. Kennedy worked to bring almost 5000 companies to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and he will use this experience to help bring more companies and good paying jobs to Illinois.
After hearing positive information on all three candidates, Summers moves into a strong second place position, Pritzker sees minimal growth, and Kennedy’s vote share is flat.
* The second graph…
Looks like Pritzker’s bio isn’t all that compelling, at least, not the way it’s portrayed in this poll. And Kennedy’s one-point drop is well within the margin of error. That name is golden.
Summers particularly resonates with important segments of the electorate – Chicago voters, liberals, African Americans, and younger voters. After positive information, Summers is essentially tied with Kennedy in Chicago (35 to 37 percent) and among African Americans (38 to 36 percent), and he leads Kennedy with voters under 50 (42 to 30 percent).
Summers has a unique background with both financial experience and roots in the community, appeal with key voting blocs, and overall the potential to shake up this race. With the primary just a year away, it’s anyone’s race to win.
The memo reflects some key findings from a statewide survey of 500 likely 2018 Democratic primary voters conducted March 2-6, 2017. It carries a margin of error of 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
*** UPDATE *** Chris Kennedy is now using the poll in a fundraising e-mail…
Since we announced our campaign for governor six weeks ago, your support has given us the momentum we need to beat Bruce Rauner and put Illinois on a better path. We are building a movement to change Illinois and restore the American Dream in our state in a single generation.
There are already early signs that we are making progress in our campaign. A new poll out today shows Chris leading the Democratic primary for Illinois governor with 44% of the vote - a 4:1 lead over our closest potential primary opponent.
While it is still early in the race, we need your continued support to keep our momentum strong.