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Poll: Pritzker up by 19, Quinn leads by 8

Monday, Mar 12, 2018

* I told subscribers about the new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll on Friday evening. Here it is, with results ranging from best to worst

* If the Democratic Primary Election for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote?

    JB Pritzker 35%
    Chris Kennedy 16%
    Daniel Biss 15%
    Bob Daiber 1%
    Tio Hardiman <1%
    Robert Marshall <1%

    Undecided 31%

* If the Democratic Primary Election for Attorney General were held today, for whom would you vote?

    Pat Quinn 23%
    Kwame Raoul 15%
    Nancy Rotering 6%
    Sharon Fairly 3.5%
    Renato Mariotti 3%
    Jesse Ruiz 3%
    Scott Drury 2.5%
    Aaron Goldstein 2%

    Undecided 43%

Numbers have been rounded by me. I did a long analysis for subscribers the other day, but notice how Kennedy’s recent “surge” has been reversed, presumably by Pritzker’s U of I TV ad. Tapping the brakes apparently worked for now.

Also it’s impossible not to notice that the “undecided” category is in second place in the governor’s race despite $60 million in spending by JB Pritzker. The category has a huge “lead” in the AG’s race, where the frontrunner is not beloved and the others are not very well known. Lots and lots of unknowns are still out there.

The poll of 1,029 likely voters was conducted March 7-9. 512 of the responses came from mobile phone users and the margin of error was ±3.06 percent.

* The crosstabs are here. Before we go on, let’s take a quick look at a Tribune story about the Downstate vote

Christopher Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, said there is a risk factor for candidates who fail to devote time and resources Downstate in favor of the more heavily populated city and suburbs. […]

By the numbers, the ballots cast in the 96 counties outside Chicago and the suburban collar counties make up a small percentage of the Democratic primary vote. Only 23 percent of the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary came from Downstate.

Numbers alone can be misleading, however, particularly in a six-candidate contest where the winner only needs the most votes, not a majority. […]

Pritzker has had the money to air TV ads statewide for months, and his deep pockets already have assisted local county organizations with contributions. That organizational starting point “is maybe a secret weapon,” Mooney said.

* The Downstate numbers

Democratic Choice for Governor

    JB Pritzker 38%
    Chris Kennedy 14%
    Daniel Biss 12%
    Bob Daiber 1%
    Tio Hardiman <1%
    Robert Marshall <1%

    Undecided 33%

Democratic Choice for Attorney General

    Pat Quinn 27%
    Nancy Rotering 7%
    Kwame Raoul 5%
    Sharon Fairly 2%
    Renato Mariotti 3%
    Jesse Ruiz 2%
    Aaron Goldstein 2%
    Scott Drury 1%

    Undecided 52%

* And here are the results for African-American women…

* Democratic Choice for Governor

    Daniel Biss 7%
    Bob Daiber 2%
    Tio Hardiman 1.5%
    Chris Kennedy 10%
    Robert Marshall <1%
    JB Pritzker 44%
    Undecided 35%

* Democratic Choice for Attorney General

    Raoul 27%
    Quinn 20%
    Drury 2%
    Fairly 2%
    Mariotti 2%
    Rotering 2%
    Goldstein 1.5%
    Ruiz 1.5%

    Undecided 41%

- Posted by Rich Miller        

47 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:03 am:

    –Only 23 percent of the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary came from Downstate.–

    But 23% is not a small number.


  2. - Veil of Ignorance - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:06 am:

    Pritzker better hope that 33% undecided splits evenly (I’m assuming these are non-JB voters) or he’ll be in a squeaker…turnout game being deciding factor. All that TV, endorsements, and staff hasn’t sealed this yet. Even if he wins his Dem backers should be very concerned. Uninspiring.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:10 am:

    I voted for Kennedy because he now supports legal marijuana. He’s a union-shop employer and has not been afraid to go after the Democratic establishment. I want a new day with the party. Kennedy doesn’t have the Blago baggage and can’t be easily tied to Madigan.

    Pritzker was my other choice up until the last minute. I think he’s a great candidate and am very glad he’s doing so well.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:10 am:

    If you’re down double-digits, and the Crew you’re chasing has a ground game that you don’t…

    Pritzker keeps hovering around that magic number of 39%, the investment of those field offices keep that number solidly in the sweet spot.


  5. - lake county democrat - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:31 am:

    Those African-American women voter numbers are brutal for Kennedy. Ultimately though, the story of the primary is the split opposition. Pritzker’s numbers, given near-complete party and union support and mind-boggling spending, are terrible. As Mencken said, “good and hard.”


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:37 am:

    –Pritzker’s numbers, given near-complete party and union support and mind-boggling spending, are terrible.–

    Yes, a “terrible” 19-point lead in a zero-sum contest.


  7. - Retired Educator - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:37 am:

    Pritzker’s election to win. He has what looks like a comfortable lead, but the big undecided is the fly in the milk. If he tries to sit on the lead he will struggle at the end. He has attacked until now. I see no reason not to continue.


  8. - CatAttack - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:42 am:

    I find it deeply concerning that after $63 million, after something like 43,000 TV ads, Pritzker is basically exactly where he was when he first announced. His support seems…grudging? If I were a downticket Dem needing a big turnout to beat a Republican in the general, I’d be very, very nervous with him as the nominee.


  9. - Lunchbox - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:47 am:

    Any support for a runoff election, like in some other states? If no candidate gets 50%, have the top two in each party advance?


  10. - Seats - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    CatAttack - I woukdn’t worry about JB hurting general voter turnout. This is the Trump era, voter turnout won’t be an issue with an candidate imo.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:53 am:

    ===Pritzker is basically exactly where he was when he first announced.===

    That’s not true.

    Pritzker was not as well known, Pritzker wasn’t under water, Pritzker had a lead, then it shrunk.

    If anything, the $34+ million spent in ads showed how fluid the Pritzker support is/was/continues to be.

    They need ~39%. They are in that window with a solid double-digit lead.

    Why they let themselves be so underwater is a head scratcher, I’ll grant you that.


  12. - Anonish - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:53 am:

    @Lunchbox, why do you hate the people of Illinois? They have been through enough


  13. - Can - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:57 am:

    Dear Democratic Primary Voters,

    Please everyone get behind Kwame Raoul for Attorney General. Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Everyone in Illinois

    P.S. We’re not sure how much more of PQ we can take. He was so bad, we voted for Rauner for Governor instead of him.


  14. - Nick Name - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:57 am:

    Quinn leading the polls for AG? Are my eyes fooling me?


  15. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:10 am:

    ==Pritzker better hope that 33% undecided splits evenly==

    Kinda feel like the guys 20 points back and losing votes need to do a lot more hoping.


  16. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:20 am:

    Feels like one of two things are going to happen in the Dems gov race:
    1) JB wins with relative ease but in an uninspiring fashion setting up what will be a long and ugly general election where people start losing their minds about the TV ads by Labor Day.

    2) Voters decide to get behind one of Kennedy or Biss (guess is Kennedy) over the next week and it starts to look like it will take 42% to win… and we have a nail biter on our hands.

    #1 is more likely to happen. And while #2 would be a disaster for JB, it’s not like #1 is all that inspiring either.


  17. - TKMH - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:20 am:

    ==If I were a downticket Dem needing a big turnout to beat a Republican in the general, I’d be very, very nervous with him as the nominee.==

    People will not be going to the polls in November to send a message to Rauner. They’ll vote to send a message to Trump; downticket Dems, coupled with their individual ground game, need not worry.


  18. - Natty_B - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    Let’s not over analyze this. This is a good poll for JB.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:29 am:

    What sticks out for me is that Pat Quinn is close in the African-American community. Does it look like downstate it is “Kwame Raoul who?” Yes. Kwame Raoul’s once bright future is dimming quickly. He may have waited too long.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this poll, for Pritzker’s sake. He has what looks like a commanding lead at this point, to me, after all the Rauner attacks. I want to have faith in voters, that enough can see through the attacks and focus on Rauner’s record and what candidates are offering.


  21. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    The Tribune headline drove me nuts. It conflated downstate with rural. Most of downstate is urban and I suspect the Democratic primary vote downstate is.


  22. - DarkHorse - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    Rich - did you poll the GOP AG race? Curious because that Simon poll had it pretty close, which surprised me.


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    ===did you poll the GOP AG race?===

    No.


  24. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    Dear Dem voter, Please, please, please retire Quinn for good (or at least until next primary).


  25. - BC - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    To the Trib story: I think the comparison to the 2002 Dem primary is spot on, even though there are now fewer Dem primary votes downstate.

    I’m guessing that on election night, if the six-county Chicago area vote is counted first, the governor’s race will look too close to call. Then the downstate vote will come in for JB, just like it did for Blago 16 years ago.


  26. - California Guy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    How is it even possible for Quinn to be at those numbers?


  27. - ILDemVoter - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:03 am:

    I was undecided for AG…until I got to the poll and voted for PQ. Why doesn’t anyone think the SAME attacks that the Pritzer campaign used against Biss won’t be used against Kwame in the general, since Kwame was the Senate author/sponsor, amongst other really bad legislation he passed that negatively affected african americans. Erika Harold could have a field and eviserate whatever lead he thinks he would have with black voters….Would have LOVED Nancy or Sharon, but unfortunately, their campaigns faltered in the field arena.


  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    ===eviserate whatever lead he thinks he would have with black voters===

    Eviscerate? In a Democratic wave year?


  29. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    ==Why doesn’t anyone think the SAME attacks that the Pritzer campaign used against Biss won’t be used against Kwame in the general, since Kwame was the Senate author/sponsor==

    Play that tape to the end. Who signed the pension bill?


  30. - Nacho - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Best news for Pritzker in this poll is his lead. Second best news is Biss and Kennedy being practically tied.


  31. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    With Quinn its name rec.not affection look at the undecided number and he had huge name ID and the others are near zero.


  32. - Thomas Zane Stepp - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    Something about these poll numbers seem a little off, we have to keep in mind that the methodology is only open to subscribers and subs were the only one polled.


  33. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    –How is it even possible for Quinn to be at those numbers?–

    Please, the dude has won elections, he’s lost elections.

    He got 1.7 million votes in the last governor’s race. His lead in a crowded Dem primary is not a surprise at all.


  34. - Anon324 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    While somewhat pedantic, this somewhat sums up her problems: her name is Fairley, not Fairly. She’s probably the best person for the job on the Dem side from a “checks the boxes” standpoint, and comes with none of the baggage of Quinn or Raoul, yet not many know who she is. Hard to win if the first time most voters see your name is on election day.


  35. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    To put it into perspective Pritzker’s lead of 19% is more than any of his competitors are polling per the CapFax poll.

    Pritzker isn’t really being challenged at the moment, he just needs to keep running his campaign. It won’t be the same in the general.


  36. - this. - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Downstate is low-hanging fruit for Kennedy. Surprised he didn’t wrap up that support a year ago. In off-years, downstate percentage of statewide vote goes up to 25 percent.


  37. - Anon0091 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    Each time Biss surges or Kennedy surges, Pritzker gives em a little love tap and down they go. The fact that they are essentially tied in the teens is not a good sign for election day.

    One last thing. People shouldn’t expect 100% of the undecided vote will go to Biss/Kennedy. Pritzker will get a share which should put him somewhere in the 40s, which is where he is in other polls I’ve heard about from other statewide candidates.

    These are solid numbers for JB.


  38. - Ghost of Lincoln - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    The Quinn numbers seem too good to be true. We’ll see what happens with the reappearance of the Washington ad.


  39. - Taco - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    JB better pray turnout is under a million votes or he is trouble.


  40. - Stagman - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    Already early voted for PQ and I know many others who have as well. Looks like he’s going to pull this off.


  41. - Nacho - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==JB better pray turnout is under a million votes or he is trouble.==

    With a 19 point lead and the superior ground game?


  42. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    If Quinn wins the primary. Buyers remorse from the last gubernatorial election will set in. Quinn will beat the GOP challenger by a greater margin than Rauner loses(BDD predicts 9% rauner loss).


  43. - anon2 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 1:47 pm:

    I look forward to the Quinn-Harold debates before the general.


  44. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    “(BDD predicts 9% rauner loss)”

    Is Rauner damaged with social conservatives enough to lose, or will many who are furious over HB 40 hold their noses and vote for him?


  45. - Ron - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    What is Raoul’s baggage?


  46. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    Quinn is leading on name recognition, and will probably win on name recognition. The Governor’s race is a little tougher choice, the Blago. connection is no big deal in real life, but the Madigan connection is a problem. I think everyone is getting tired of Mike, Bruce has done a great job of making Madigan the evil one, unfortunately I think he has a good point. I am a dyed in the wool D, but not a fan of Mike. With all that being said, I am still going to vote JB.


  47. - Posingasanimmoralist - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 9:03 pm:

    Let’s vote for a billionaire, yeah….Pritzker, he understands the working man or let’s elect a millionaire part of a political dynasty King Kennedy just a regular royal joe.

    Not Biss, no no no, he talks about progressive policy, that sounds scary. I’d rather have 2% change, incrementalism, that’s the good ol’ loser dems i grew up with. Like good ol’ Pat Quinn and Jesse White, hell we should keep ‘em in there forevermore. Career politicans are the best.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes second bill to address gender wage gap
* Munger moves to DCEO
* Preckwinkle mayoral announcement roundup
* Follow the money
* Empty threat? Or does somebody know something we don't?
* A couple of quick debate clips
* Supremes side with hospitals on property taxes
* Report: IEPA stonewalls AG until HGOP leader steps in
* A TIF primer
* Raoul's new ad blasts Harold over abortion rights
* Debate coverage roundup
* Question of the day
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