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Poll: Pritzker leads Rauner by nine points

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

According to a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, Democrat J.B. Pritzker leads Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by nine points, 36-27, with 26 percent choosing an unnamed third-party candidate and 11 percent undecided. In other words, slightly more people said they preferred third party and/or were undecided than supported the frontrunner, Pritzker.

The partisan breakdown of respondents was 41 percent Democratic, 34 percent Republican and 25 percent saying they were independent. So, the two candidates have a ways to go to even convince members of their own parties to stand with them.

A full 36 percent of Republicans were still either undecided (9 percent) or chose a third-party candidate (27 percent), while 27 percent of Democrats were either undecided (6) or say they are backing a third-party candidate (21).

It’s seems unlikely that a quarter of voters will wind up going third party on Election Day, but, hey, one never knows. Respondents who say they’re with an unnamed third-party candidate might be just temporarily parking themselves there before “coming home” in November. But these results also show deep dissatisfaction with both candidates, and that can’t be great news for the frontrunner Pritzker. Then again, I’d take his results over Rauner’s any day.

If you take a look at the attorney general candidates, you’ll see the exact same nine-point spread between the two. Sen. Kwame Raoul leads Republican Erika Harold 44-35. Pollster Gregg Durham said he considers these to be a generic ballot test. We didn’t poll a third-party candidate in that race.

According to the poll of 600 likely voters, 56 percent have an unfavorable opinion of President Donald Trump while 39 percent have a favorable view. That’s the exact same 56-39 split from the 2016 presidential results here.

So, why do these top of the ballot races have single-digit margins in a “wave” year like this? Do Rauner and Harold have a shot?

Pritzker has spent an absolute fortune, but it’s only June and he’s been hit with a lot of negatives since January. And keep in mind that a hobbled, unpopular Gov. Rod Blagojevich won by about 10 points during the last off-year “blue wave” in 2006 – which is right about where these races are.

One important Illinois-centric variable could be House Speaker Michael Madigan, who, it turns out, is just as or even more unpopular in Illinois as Trump. A very high 60 percent of likely Illinois voters have an unfavorable view of Madigan, while 39 percent have a favorable view.

A whopping 63 percent of independents or third-party voters have an unfavorable view of Madigan, which is higher than the 59 percent who had the same view of Trump. 56 percent of women and 62 percent of men have an unfavorable view of the House Speaker (Trump’s split was 60/51).

Back to the governor’s race, where 37 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Gov. Rauner, while a solid majority of 55 percent had an unfavorable view.

The poll taken June 9-11 with a margin of error of +/-3.99 percent found that 43 percent had a favorable opinion of J.B. Pritzker while 39 percent had an unfavorable view.

64 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Rauner, but 29 percent still have an unfavorable opinion of him and 8 percent were undecided, so the governor still has a ways to go after barely winning the March GOP primary.

The poll found that 67 percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Pritzker, while 17 percent had an unfavorable view. Pritzker has a bit of catching up to do on his side.

Rauner is underwater with just about every demographic. 57 percent of collar county voters and 59 percent of suburban Cook County voters have an unfavorable opinion of the governor. It’s closer Downstate, where he’s underwater by two points, 44 to 46.

Pritzker leads Rauner everywhere except Downstate. Pritzker’s ahead 53-13 in Chicago (that’s actually not a horrible number for Rauner), he has about a 10-point lead in suburban Cook, and he’s up 33-28 in the collars. Rauner has just a three-point 33-30 lead Downstate, which is not great for him.

Rauner leads Pritzker by 2 points among the 65+ crowd, but Pritzker leads in all other age groups. Whites are with Pritzker 33-31 and men lean Pritzker 34-28, which is surprisingly good news for the Democrat.

Again, I’d much rather have Pritzker’s numbers than Rauner’s, but the governor is not totally out of it yet. Democrats have been spiking the ball ever since the primary. They need to get to work.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    I agree with this poll.
    Pritzker can make it closer if he keeps appealing to Chicago Democrats at the expense of every other kind of voter, but no one believes Rauner has earned reelection.


  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===I agree with this poll.===

    Nobody asked you.


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    Rauner and his money are not going to overcome Pritzker and his money. Republicans better start thinking about life in Illinois without Rauner’s millions. Can you say irrelevance?


  4. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    It’s JB’s to lose, and boy does he seem capable of doing it.


  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    It is goinging to be Madigan Madigan Madigan taxes taxes taxes Rauner could pull it out the Democrats better hope their base really is motivated and shows up. Fortunately for JB Rauner doesn’t enthuse anyone


  6. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    In spite of the decades long march to fiscal destruction the Democrats have led this state on it appears that the voters want more of the same. Rauner blew his chance at relevancy so we’ll probably not have any Republicans in state wide office. Get ready for higher taxes, more state government in your life and further movement to the left. Sounds like a winning formula for IL. Ha Ha.


  7. - Ole General - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    Poor poll for both, honestly. Rauner is within striking distance with a measly 37% approval. If he can move from 37 to 42% in the next 4 months, it’s going to come down to turnout.

    Negatives will be awful by November 1st for both candidates.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Thanks for sharing the results, Rich.

    To the Post,

    My takeaway comes from these two paragraphs…

    ===Rauner is underwater with just about every demographic. 57 percent of collar county voters and 59 percent of suburban Cook County voters have an unfavorable opinion of the governor. It’s closer Downstate, where he’s underwater by two points, 44 to 46.

    Pritzker leads Rauner everywhere except Downstate. Pritzker’s ahead 53-13 in Chicago (that’s actually not a horrible number for Rauner), he has about a 10-point lead in suburban Cook, and he’s up 33-28 in the collars. Rauner has just a three-point 33-30 lead Downstate, which is not great for him.===

    Rauner is unlikable.

    Even here…

    “Rauner has just a three-point 33-30 lead Downstate, which is not great for him.”

    Rauner’s Crew might as well be behind 30 points instead of 9 points if Rauner’s Crew continues this refusal to make Rauner more likable

    A three point lead downstate… unlikable.

    Underwater “everywhere”… unlikable.

    Madigan is only going to make Rauner palatable by some much, especially when the lead is 3 downstate… Madigan or not, downstate doesn’t like Rauner either.

    The disconnect with Raunerites and understanding where the “failed, worst Republican governor in America” spiel is that Rauner is an incumbent. That’s real. People know Rauner now. Raunerites need to make Rauner likable.

    It’s like that text/email Rich shared with us all, so telling;

    Rauner is solely blamed by only 16% of people polled, they crowed.

    K…

    Then if that’s true, and no reason to believe that polling number isn’t true… how can the incumbent governor have so little personal blame upon him, and be so underwater, by nearly every measure, everywhere?

    Rauner is unlikable.

    That should scare the caucuses, as Trump seemingly is more likable than Rauner, but Trump is still underwater too, sanexas he was in polling going into 2016.

    If the Rauner Crew is surrendering Rauner’s poor likability abd the lack of a constituency continues to dogged Bruce Rauner, what voters are going to like Bruce enough to help those voting “lesser of two evils”?

    Rauner is down 9… and unlikable to boot.


  9. - Anon0091 - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    With respect, I think it was a mistake to provide an option for a generic third candidate. People often think the mythical “other” choice would be some mysterious awesome human. But it’s not. It’s a specific person and very flawed candidate. A poll that had Sam McCann, Pritzker and Rauner would have produced a more accurate result.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    It’s about what I’d expect. The double digit lead just seemed too high.

    In the last two election cycles, polling had some issues, so maybe the value of polls has become a little overrated.

    Keys would be constituency and enthusiasm. Rauner has nothing to run on and a fractured base, so he’s trying like mad to drag Pritzker down. Pritzker is going around the state, trying to build a constituency. Who will turn out to vote?

    I am upset with Madigan and disapprove of him, probably for a different reason than many. He lets Rauner pummel him. Rauner is someone who got rich off of the very corrupt system people he wants to bust apart—a total hypocrite. Really, what is worse than a hypocritical bully?

    Speaker, please, have some pride and attack back. I can imagine Da Mare, the late Daley, pummeling a hypocrite. There is something visceral and encouraging when people fight back.


  11. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    “Do Rauner and Harold have a shot? *** I’d much rather have Pritzker’s numbers than Rauner’s, but the governor is not totally out of it yet. Democrats have been spiking the ball ever since the primary. They need to get to work.”

    Exactly so.

    – MrJM


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    To the Pritzker side of the equation,

    “What the … are you waiting for?”

    Sincerely, what is with the waiting?

    Skyhook was about Rauner giving no aid, no quarter, all day, every day, “hammer, hammer, hammer”

    Why are you not capitalizing on the Rauner failures with ads in real time? Is it a money thing?

    This idea that it’s too early… yeah, I keep seeing Blago ads, now billboards, vans, mock plumbing company…

    … Rauner is a failure.

    Considered the worst Republican governor in America, a base still confused, Rauner still refusing to say the word “Trump”…

    Having a fine vacation over there in Pritzker-Land?

    It’s a head scratcher.

    Then the video today… yikes.

    You’re up 9, only 9 points against a governor underwater “everywhere”, you’re only 3 points down downstate… and the less than active way you’re going about your business… why not take the fight to Rauner, and cement the unlikable Rauner as Labor Day, arguably, be the biggest day to rally your own base against the anti-labor Rauner, arrives and Rauner won’t be able to avoid himself, let alone the president in his midterm.

    You’re not spiking the ball right now, but you’re sitting on a clock that could be used to tick took the failures of Bruce Rauner at a pace where Rauner might start to play defense.

    We’ll see.


  13. - LOL - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    Anon0091 - ask Bill Brady about how smart it is to not poll third parties.


  14. - Chris Widger - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==I agree with this poll.==

    Too bad this poll doesn’t cause children to be held captive in internment camp cages, or you could really get behind it.


  15. - SSL - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    Last time Rauner had an inept incumbent to run against, but this time he’s running on his record, and he didn’t deliver. Given that, and the demographics of our treat state, it is all but over.

    The only reason it isn’t completely over is JB is a flawed candidate, who has exercised extremely poor judgment in the past. Seriously, the Blago tapes are awful. The least offensive comment is just plain terrible. The petitioning for an appointment was poor. Toiletgate is the gift that keeps on giving. One more stumble and it could get close.

    So many undecideds, so much time.


  16. - BlueDogDem - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    Did somebody say 9%?


  17. - Real - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    Pritzker might still have a 16 point lead in polling that does not include a 3rd party candidate.


  18. - Anoniphone - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    I agree with poll, too. Nobody asked me either — but I’m alone right now so there would be no one to ask me anyway.


  19. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==Too bad this poll doesn’t cause children to be held captive in internment camp cages, or you could really get behind it.==

    Hahahaha. Widger wins


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    9 points huh? Not good for JB. Rauner is going to pound away on about the Blago tapes, the offshore accounts, the Gold Coast property and more.

    Early indications show Rauner’s ad crew looking like Major Leaguers, JB’s crew at the low A level.


  21. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    I did not think it would be this close.


  22. - Real - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:22 pm:

    9 points huh? Not good for JB. Rauner is going to pound away on about the Blago tapes, the offshore accounts, the Gold Coast property and more.

    Early indications show Rauner’s ad crew looking like Major Leaguers, JB’s crew at the low A level.

    -Yeah yeah yeah. In another poll without a 3rd party candidate Pritzker is in a 15 point lead.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/qconline.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/rauner-trails-pritzker-in-latest-poll/article_56b6e274-50c5-50bb-913f-c2b8b775c864.amp.html


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    - Real -

    That poll was in May.

    This poll is “fresher”


  24. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Again it should be noted that regardless of what any poll says, this is still a state where dems outnumber republicans 2 to 1. If we had a jungle style primary like some other states, Rauner would have come in third and not been on the ballot at all this November. Illinois isn’t like Ohio or Iowa, more like California or NY. Let’s not get too worked up here


  25. - Real - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    OW.

    That poll does not include a 3rd party either. Keep up


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    ===either===

    … and yet, the poll above, which is fresher, asked those polled about a 3rd party candidate…

    lol


  27. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    JB… Hammer down. Now. Stop the back slapping (like the Hillary campaign) of being up against someone who has almost no chance of winning. Hammer the debt. Hammer the downgrades. Hammer higher education. Hammer Quincy. Get to work.


  28. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 6:07 pm:

    OW, reminds me of a recent chat.

    Speaking of third party, any McCann sightings out there?


  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    ===McCann sightings out there?===

    Possibly the quietest gathering of 50,000 signatures in the history of petitions, lol


  30. - DarkHorse - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 6:35 pm:

    Agree with the view that if an actual 3rd party candidate was named, that Rauner might trail by 16. In this case, intriguing that Harold - down by 9 - may be outperforming Rauner by 7 or so. She outpolled him by 8 in the primary. This poll will help Harold raise money - she’s not out of it. A very possible outcome is Rauner closes the gap to 10, Harold continues to outperform him, and the AG race is a horse race.


  31. - Make Illinois Decent Again - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 6:47 pm:

    I may have just missed this, so pardon me, but is there a way to see the support percentages of third party candidates (such as McCann and Kash)


  32. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 7:12 pm:

    Way to go Democrats the “reasonable and moderate” eader of your party is more unpopular than Donald Trump in Deep blue Illinois and JB is his hand picked candidate for Governor.

    They are completely incapable of change.


  33. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 8:25 pm:

    Pritzker has the issues and ran a great campaign in the primary. Work those issues, like marijuana legalization, progressive taxation, education funding, growing jobs through investment, social services, people’s rights—issues that are popular among many in Illinois. Canada just legalized marijuana. Get people excited to vote. Pritzker has the money to help move these issues along.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 9:43 pm:

    “Lucky Pierre”…

    ===Democrat J.B. Pritzker leads Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by nine points===

    That’s the ball game.


  35. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 10:25 pm:

    OW, even the upgraded Luckybot8000 can’t do math.


  36. - SouthernILAnalyst - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 3:38 am:

    I think Rauner still has a shot. Why? Madigan. Yes, voters don’t like Rauner. But, they like Madigan even less. The Independents and conservative Democrats and conservative Republicans who are undecided right now are very much likely to vote for Rauner by November. Pritzker is not going to improve at all. He will only get more unpopular as the Election progresses. Another point is, this may not at all be a major Democratic year. Polling is showing Republican enthusiasm is now almost or is the same as Democrats. 2006 was a totally different environment. 2018 is going to be less Republican than 2014/but more Republican than 2006. I think Rauner will convince enough voters that Pritzker is a worse choice because of all the baggage Pritzker has. Rauner will close the gap as it gets closer, and I predict Rauner wins 46-45 with 9% going for a 3rd party.


  37. - Lancer - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 6:50 am:

    Rauner is the worst Governor in Illinois history. I think it’s hilarious that all he has on J.B. are those conversations with Blago. Right now, Blago looks pretty good if you compare his accomplishments with Rauner’s. Aside from what put him in prison, Blago accomplished a great deal more than Rauner has. Seriously? What exactly has Rauner accomplished?


  38. - 44th - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 7:36 am:

    get ready for a “progressive” tax increase….


  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 7:45 am:

    ===Pritzker is not going to improve at all.===

    Hmm. A campaign peaking in June… a campaign with tens of millions ready to spend.

    “Pritzker is not going to improve at all.”

    I dunno if you can grasp this idea that Pritzker can keep up with Rauner and then some. You can’t ignore that Pritzker and Rauner, arguably, will have the same monetary “advantage” as the other.

    “Pritzker is not going to improve at all”… that makes no sense.


  40. - Ike - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    44th - and voodoo economics has been better?


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