* I’ve already given my brief take to subscribers, but here’s the full polling memo from Normington Petts on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association…
• Incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner remains extremely vulnerable with every measure of his political support below 40%.
• Rauner’s veto of the budget has worsened his standing with voters.
o His favorable rating has declined since January, dropping from an already meager 33%-44% to 33%-48%.
o His job rating as governor is also lower, falling from 36%-58% to 34%-63%.
o Against a generic Democrat, Rauner trails 37% to 49%, a wider margin than the 35%-45% deficit we measured in January.
• Rauner’s job rating on “the state budget” is a devastating 29%-65%, with a majority (50%) saying Rauner has done a “poor” job on that issue.
Not only do the common measures of political strength show weakness, but under the surface there are signs of significant trouble for Rauner’s re-election chances. Since January, the percentage of voters who rate the job he is doing as governor as “not so good” or “poor” has increased from 58% to 63% (+5) across the Prairie State. In what should be alarming for Rauner supporters, Rauner’s negative job rating stands at 61% and has increased 10 points among white voters age 60 and older since January (61% negative, +10). Rauner has seen negative increases in other key demographic and geographic groups including in the Chicago media market (68% negative, +8), among Independents (65% negative, +8) and in the Collars (54% negative, +4).
Rauner is not just losing ground with those critical constituencies, but there are signs that Rauner’s low standing among his own partisans combined with the intensity of dislike from Democrats could create a disproportionate turnout scenario that further damages his re-election chances. Democrats rate the job Rauner is doing as governor at 8%-89%, with 66% saying he is doing a “poor” job. That level of intensity among Democrats is met with tepid support from Republicans who give him a job rating of 68%-29%, with just 17% saying he is doing an “excellent” job. That is a nearly 4 to 1 ratio of hate to love. These kinds of ratings create a plausible scenario of unenthused Republicans staying home and angry Democrats coming out in larger than expected numbers, which results in a wave across Illinois that will affect every candidate in 2018. Rauner is on track to be an albatross around the neck of GOP candidates up and down the ballot.
(L)ive interview telephone survey conducted among 600 likely voters in Illinois on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association. Respondents were reached on both landlines and mobile phones. Interviews were conducted July 18-20, 2017. The sampling error for this survey is ±4%. There are references to a poll conducted January 3-5, 2017 with the same sample size and methodology.
* Pritzker campaign response…
Today, the Pritzker campaign released the following statement in response to a new poll showing Bruce Rauner’s poll numbers underwater after failing to do his job, vetoing the state budget, and causing lasting damage across our state.
“Bruce Rauner is the most vulnerable governor in the country and it’s clear that Illinois voters are ready for a real leader like JB,” said Pritzker campaign manager Anne Caprara. “While Rauner continues to blame everyone but himself for his failures, Illinois families know the truth. Rauner created a 736-day budget crisis, drove the bond rating to the edge of junk status, and is now holding funding for schoolchildren hostage to force his reckless, special interest agenda. Our campaign is committed to holding Rauner accountable for his callous disregard for the people of this state. This should be a wake-up call for anyone who thinks it’s politically wise to follow the governor’s polling numbers off a cliff.”