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Biss poll: Biss outperforms Pritzker over badly tanking Rauner

Thursday, Feb 8, 2018

* I told subscribers about this poll earlier today, but had a brain freeze and wrote something which I then had to correct. Been one of those mornings…

Daniel Biss today released a new poll of a general election audience, showing that Biss withstands JB Pritzker’s hypocritical attacks and is polling stronger than any other candidate in the race against Bruce Rauner, despite Pritzker’s historic spending, so far at more than $20 million. In head-to-head matchups, Biss leads Rauner by 17 points (47% Biss / 30% Rauner / 23% not sure), while the race is narrower between the two billionaires (48% Pritzker / 35% Rauner / 17% not sure).

Meanwhile, billionaire politicians are remarkably unpopular in the state, with Pritzker nine points underwater at 33% favorable / 42% unfavorable, Donald Trump down 21 points (37% favorable / 58% unfavorable) and Bruce Rauner down a whopping 37 points, with 26% favorable / 63% unfavorable.

“This confirms what we’ve known all along: voters prefer a middle-class governor in Daniel Biss rather than having to choose between billionaires Pritzker and Rauner,” said Biss campaign manager Abby Witt. “Despite Pritzker outspending Daniel 20-to-1 on TV ads, Daniel continues to build momentum and is the strongest candidate to beat Bruce Rauner.”

The poll, conducted February 5 - 6, 2018, samples a general election audience and comes on the heels of a public poll and JB Pritzker’s own polling showing Biss surging into second place.

See the PPP summary memo here, and the full poll results here.

* The numbers

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump?

    Favorable 37%
    Unfavorable 58%
    Not sure 5%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Bruce Rauner?

    Favorable 26%
    Unfavorable 63%
    Not sure 12%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of JB Pritzker?

    Favorable 33%
    Unfavorable 42%
    Not sure 25%

If the candidates for Governor this fall were Democrat Daniel Biss and Republican Bruce Rauner, who would you vote for?

    Daniel Biss 47%
    Bruce Rauner 30%
    Not sure 23%

If the candidates for Governor this fall were Democrat JB Pritzker and Republican Bruce Rauner, who would you vote for?

    JB Pritzker 48%
    Bruce Rauner 35%
    Not sure 17%

Aside from the fact that Pritzker is having so much trouble with traction, those Rauner numbers are spectacularly awful.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    Who’d have ever thought anyone could have worse unfavorables than President Trump?

    Way to go, Governor - you’ve shaken up Illinois alright.


  2. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    26% approval? Maybe even Tio could pull this one off.

    Comparing the Biss/Rauner and JB/Rauner H2Hs is interesting; Biss and JB get the same share of the vote, but Rauner gets 5 more points (from 30 to 35%, so not really all that incredible) against JB. I suspect that that’s a result of Rauner training his fire on JB and bringing a few more Republican partisans “home”. Which is to say he could probably duplicate that result on Biss if he wanted to…

    …again, to the tune of 5 whole points and still trailing by double digits.


  3. - PJ - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    ==Who’d have ever thought anyone could have worse unfavorables than President Trump?==

    Weirdly, it actually makes a lot of sense. All Democrats hate both. Hard-core MAGA folks have little reason to like Rauner, who won’t even say Trump’s name in public. And social conservatives hate him for HB40 and the TRUST act.

    He’s managed a spectacular political feat in uniting those three groups, a large majority of Illinois voters, against him.


  4. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    Rauner’s numbers are so bad, Ives could beat him too. We just don’t know yet if she could by March and in the GOP primary.

    If the primary was today, probably not.
    But she and Biss are trending up against the rich guys, is my hunch.


  5. - CubsFan16 - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    To be entirely fair this poll was done by the Biss campaign and was meant to give him talking points over Pritzker. Let’s wait until summer polling after the primary before we jump to any major conclusions.


  6. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    ==He’s managed a spectacular political feat in uniting those three groups, a large majority of Illinois voters, against him.==

    I think that’s right, and it also shows how soft these numbers probably are in the General Election. Will the MAGA types and the social conservatives actually fail to vote for a Republican once a “Chicago Democrat” is in their face?


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Maybe Rauner should embrace Trump more to get his numbers up. /s/


  8. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    I notice it did not have the primary or his own favorable. I suspect he is polling more like generic dem whereas jb has been beaten up more and is now more well known.I agree with the comments above on Rauner.


  9. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    ====But she and Biss are trending up against the rich guys, is my hunch.

    I have to say a Biss - Ives race would be amusing and give the voters a very clear choice.


  10. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    ==To be entirely fair this poll was done by the Biss campaign and was meant to give him talking points over Pritzker.==

    Yes, and for all that, it doesn’t say all that much. Nate Silver has voiced a rule of thumb before that if you can move the margins of a poll 5 points in any direction and change the “narrative” of it, it’s not really tell you much. You can do that here with the H2H numbers.

    But…you can’t do that with Rauner’s approval/vote share. 26, 30, 35? add five points to any of those and it’s still lousy.


  11. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    —ill the MAGA types and the social conservatives actually fail to vote for a Republican once a

    I think the bigger question isn’t who they’ll vote for, but whether they vote at all. With those kind of approval numbers for the incumbent party’s President and Governor, the enthusiasm is going to be in the tank.


  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    ==I have to say a Biss - Ives race would be amusing and give the voters a very clear choice.==

    That would be so refreshing.
    I’m burned out on rich guys buying political office.


  13. - PJ - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    ==Will the MAGA types and the social conservatives actually fail to vote for a Republican once a “Chicago Democrat” is in their face?==

    Fair question. I think the ones who go to the polls no matter what (older folks) will suck it up and vote R. But there’s a fairly significant number of those MAGA folks who aren’t necessarily regular voters. Nothing about 2018 gets them out to the polls, I’d think.


  14. - Hysteria - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    I was just typing that I’d like to see a Biss - Ives race. No rich billionaires trying to buy a political office.


  15. - WizzardOfOzzie - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Thank you Speaker Madigan for deciding that a guy who finished a distant 3rd in a Congressional race should be annointed our nominee when the future of Illinois is on the line.

    JB was, and is, an awful candidate. No matter how much labor and electeds bent over backwards to convince themselves he’s “a surprisingly normal guy”. Did we learn anything from 2016? Mike Madigan is running the Hillary Clinton playbook all over again.


  16. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    ==I notice it did not have the primary or his own favorable.==

    Good catch. I suspect his internals look a lot more like JBs- clear surge and a real chance, but not yet “there”.


  17. - Hysteria - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    And with Rauner’s embarrassingly low approval rating and the fact that there are people who will just vote against him because they hate him, maybe Ives has a shot.


  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    == suspect he is polling more like generic dem whereas jb has been beaten up more and is now more well known.==

    Agree with NotaBillionaire, these are generic dem numbers but still good for Biss. Those numbers will drop once the inevitable spotlight shines on Biss oppo research (whether that be from Pritzker or Rauner), but until the anti-Biss ads start running everywhere he is in position to make a major fundraising improvement. If JB doesn’t stop the floundering of the past two weeks, he might be in for a heck of a race.


  19. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    ==maybe Ives has a shot==

    I’m still dubious, but with a 26% approval rating…

    He’s probably in line for at least a Quinn/Hardimann “embarrassing” primary.


  20. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    That was my guess Arsenal. I think we do need to look at the votes in our red and blue states next door. MN had record low goo caucus turnout. IA WI and now MO have had huge swings in special elections. There is a new Iowa poll that has some unknown dems in a few points of Kim Reynolds in a Trump plus 9 state. So I m not at all surprised by Rauners numbers.


  21. - Demoralized - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    With those sorts of approval ratings the Governor is doing the only thing he can which is to attempt to bury JB with negative ads. He’s got to make JB just as unpalatable as he is if he has any chance of winning.


  22. - Buford - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    Was there a question regarding Biss’ approval?


  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    Rauner IS spectacularly awful.


  24. - Retired Educator - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    I mentioned several times that Ives was doing major damage to Rauner. She may not win the primary, but the damage being done will be long lasting. I believe her next attack is already in the can, and will be coming out with about 30 days to go. The problem for the Governor is he is perceived by a large portion of the voters as a terrible liar. Anything he attacks with is suspect, and thought to be untrue.


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Now the question is whether this scores Biss any more money to maintain on the TV box.


  26. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    ==I think the bigger question isn’t who they’ll vote for, but whether they vote at all.==

    Right, I tried to get at that by saying “fail to vote for a Republican” rather than “vote for a Dem”. Republicans staying home isn’t *as good* as Republicans voting for a Dem, but it’s still pretty good.

    I’m dubious that they’ll stay home, too. Even Trump still got a lot of Republicans out. But, OTOH, Rauner is in a state well to the left of the nation, so he has less margin for error.


  27. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    A couple of thoughts: First, this is a poll of Illinois voters, not primary voters, so it is less surprising that Pritzker’s fav/unfav looks bad. Still, he defeats Rauner by 13%.

    Second, I think Biss commissioned this to attach Pritzker’s top argument, that only Pritzker can defeat Rauner. Had they included other candidates, I think Kennedy and maybe even Daiber would be leading Rauner at this point among general election voters.

    Biss is running a fine campaign but Rauner is just waiting to tattoo him and drive his negatives sky high if he emerges from the primary. We’ve seen this movie before, an underfunded candidate who is tarred and feathered on TV before summer even rolls around and cannot respond because there is no money left in the bank.

    Given what Rod did to Topinka, I hope Democrats understand that JB beating Rauner by 13% means Rauner is just as much defeated as if he lost by 17%. I suspect I’ll be in the minority here, but if Biss hoped to convince Democrats that JB isn’t the strongest candidate to take on Rauner, I am not persuaded.

    Bruce Rauner wants Daniel Biss to be the nominee. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling herself (or himself).


  28. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    ==JB was, and is, an awful candidate.==

    And yet, he’s still leading the primary and the General, the latter by double-digits…


  29. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    ==I hope Democrats understand that JB beating Rauner by 13% means Rauner is just as much defeated as if he lost by 17%==

    I’d also argue that a 5 point difference when only one of the candidates has faced negative attacks from Rauner is nothin’.


  30. - Hysteria - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    And the Dems want Ives to be the nominee. Why else would they and the media be giving her so much press, and why would planned parenthood make a statement against her? That just makes Ives more attractive to the base. So with any luck it’ll all backfire, and we’ll get Biss and Ives.


  31. - Lamont - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    I predict that after the primary, Rauner goes full MAGA- openly embracing Trump. It’s his only chance is to energize the Republican base. No way he’s fooling middle class union members again.


  32. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    Hysteria, Ives has said her nasty, juvenile spot was created specifically to get free media. Sorry, you can’t play victim when you get what you want.


  33. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    **I’d also argue that a 5 point difference when only one of the candidates has faced negative attacks from Rauner is nothin’.**

    JB has had something like a 7 or 8 to 1 positive (by him) to negative (by others) ratio. Biss has probably had roughly the same ratio. JB is running negative 15 second ads against Biss constantly.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    ===Rauner goes full MAGA- openly embracing Trump. It’s his only chance is to energize the Republican base.===

    Ives lone goal is to burn every bridge possible for Rauner to get the conservative “MAGA” voters back by highlighting the uber-left, costal limousine liberal Democratic social agenda Rauner governs on.

    Ives wins, she’s happy.

    Ives first goal is to “Mark Kirk” the governor. She’s said it more than once now.


  35. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    –I predict that after the primary, Rauner goes full MAGA- openly embracing Trump.–

    LOL, maybe the Patriots should have tried more passes to Tom Brady. Trump lost Illinois by a million votes.


  36. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    –I predict that after the primary, Rauner goes full MAGA- openly embracing Trump.–

    Nope.

    If it’s Biss, Rauner will attack Madigan and scarcely acknowledge that Biss exists.

    And he will remind people that he signed HB40 and they don’t need to worry that he’s anything like Jeanne Ives.


  37. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    ==JB is running negative 15 second ads against Biss constantly.==

    Such is why I put the “by Rauner” in there. Rauner is attacking JB, which activates Republican partisans. He’d do the same to Biss.

    Don’t get it twisted, that apparently only gives him 5 more points, but that just shows how small the difference is.


  38. - Nacho - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    The problem for Rauner is that even if he does get all the Republicans to come home that’s still not enough in a blue state. He needs to convince enough Dems to stay home or cross over, hence the extremely negative campaign. But it’s going to be tough to pull off when he’s so widely loathed and Dems are energized due to Trump.

    ==I predict that after the primary, Rauner goes full MAGA- openly embracing Trump. It’s his only chance is to energize the Republican base. No way he’s fooling middle class union members again.==

    If he does that he’ll energize voters in Cook and the collars- against him. Gillespie tried the same gambit in Virginia back in November and it backfired spectacularly.


  39. - ZC - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    >> And [Rauner] will remind people that he signed HB40 and they don’t need to worry that he’s anything like Jeanne Ives.

    I would be utterly shocked if Rauner did this.

    If he loses his pro-life base, he loses. And these voters -will- stay home out of principle, or skip over Rauner’s name. Some would rather see the GOP burn down on principle. It would be like expecting Democrats in liberal burbs of Chicago to turn out and vote for a governor who wants a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    Abysmal numbers for Rauner, but deserved. I hope these numbers are close to reality, and hope my fellow Illinoisans truly understand what a failure Rauner has been.

    No matter how Democratic candidates attack each other, they should always also attack Rauner, who has not only an inescapably bad record but is terrible in addressing it, with the feeble victimhood and irresponsibility (blaming Madigan and not in charge).


  41. - TKMH - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ==It would be like expecting Democrats in liberal burbs of Chicago to turn out and vote for a governor who wants a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.==

    To be fair, a good amount of them turn out every 2 years to re-elect Lipinski. But point taken.


  42. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    As an actual “uber-left, coastal limousine liberal Democratic” person, Rauner isn’t. We like public schools. We think state employees should be paid. We prefer not killing veterans. Do I have to go on?


  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    - Cheryl44 -

    As I’ve explained a time or two before…

    That social agenda flies directly in the face of Rauner refusing to pay social services, a want to close higher education institutions, and the goal of dismantling labor.

    It’s a warped way to be, but Raunerism doesn’t claim it’s not warped.

    Diana gets the social agenda that skews uber-left, costal limousine liberal… Bruce then gets to crush social services, crumble higher ed, and continue his crusade against labor.


  44. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===As an actual “uber-left, coastal limousine liberal Democratic” person, Rauner isn’t.===

    I don’t think OW equates him with you. It’s more what he perceives as the viewpoint of a moderate-to-conservative person who otherwise might be inclined to vote for Rauner.


  45. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    OW, you explained it more eloquently than me.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    You explained it just fine, honestly, - Six Degrees of Separation -

    OW


  47. - Hysteria - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    So when you think about it, with Rauner’s agenda and Diana’s social agenda, neither party wins.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===So when you think about it, with Rauner’s agenda and Diana’s social agenda, neither party wins.===

    Raunerism is an ideology, but based, not on party, on the interests of the funders of Raunerism, even when buying a brand, in this case, the ILGOP.

    We’ll see how Republicans in the GA vote with the Rauners still funding the brand this election season.


  49. - Angel's Sword - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    Why did they release this? I find it hard to believe anyone doubted Biss would be doing better in head-to-heads right now and showing Pritzker with a 13 point lead just makes it seem like Pritzker is still a safe choice.


  50. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    ==Why did they release this?==

    Better question is why didn’t they include primary numbers? I’m sure they polled it.


  51. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:20 pm:

    Donald Trump has a higher favorable rating in deep blue Illinois than the Mike Madigan rubber stamp JB Pritzker.

    Trump 37% favorable JB 33%, after spending 20 million dollars!

    Cook County Democrats could mis manage a one car funeral


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 10:30 pm:

    ===Donald Trump has a higher favorable rating in deep blue Illinois than…===

    … Bruce Rauner.

    Rauner won’t be running with Trump.

    Trump won’t save Rauner, Trump will sink Rauner.

    Otherwise Rauner would already be going full Trump.

    Keep up.

    Oh… sorry… Rauner’s favorables are less than Pritzker’s.

    “Aw. You’re welcome”


  53. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 9, 18 @ 8:59 am:

    ==Donald Trump has a higher favorable rating in deep blue Illinois than the Mike Madigan rubber stamp JB Pritzker.==

    Yeah, because that’s relevant.

    You really need to reprogram yourself at some point because you’re stuck in some infinite loop that spits out garbage.


  54. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 9, 18 @ 9:01 am:

    Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Bruce Rauner?

    Favorable 26%
    Unfavorable 63%
    Not sure 12%

    How about you address that fact LP. Just once. You always conveniently ignore that because you’re always too focused on pointing out some irrelevant nonsense. You aren’t a serious commenter.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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