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More on that WGN poll

Thursday, May 12, 2022

* Background is here if you need it. Greg Hinz

If the latest poll is to be believed, the race for GOP rights to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is far too close to be called, though two contenders clearly are leading the pack.

According to the survey by WGN and Emerson College, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin leads but, despite all his millions in paid TV ads courtesy of Chicago hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin, only has 24.1% of the vote. That’s really just a hair ahead of downstate conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey, with 19.8%. […]

Bailey not surprisingly is all smiles over the results, and says he’s just beginning to rev up in the Chicago market. Team Irvin says their polls are better, but concedes the mayor may have been hurt by millions of dollars targeting from the Democratic Governor’s Association in a clear effort by Pritzker to select his general election foe.

Bailey’s gonna “rev up” in Chicago with what money? It’s like a million dollars a week to go on the teevee in that city. Maybe he shouldn’t have been giving so much money away to his pals last year.

Also, Bailey has been telling his supporters for months that he’s ahead in the polls without offering up any evidence. And now he’s all smiles?

* Anyway, speaking of the Democratic Governors Association…

“This new polling makes one thing crystal clear: voters are getting tired of Irvin’s refusal to take a stand. His numbers have slipped, and the race is closer than ever,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Over the next two months, voters will watch as Richard Irvin — a pawn for GOP megadonor Ken Griffin — and far-right extremist Darren Bailey battle for the nomination. No matter which candidate clinches it, voters know the truth: Gov. JB Pritzker is the only proven leader for the state of Illinois.”

Irvin’s numbers have slipped from what poll?

* Somebody apparently forgot about the DGA and Dan Proft’s PAC money when this was written

Irvin has spent $12.2 million on TV ads, while Bailey has spent about $1 million. In Chicago, Irvin has spent more than 40 times as much on TV as Bailey, according to a source familiar with the numbers.

Irvin campaign’s curious response: “JB Pritzker and his allies are funding Darren Bailey’s campaign because they know that Richard Irvin is Pritzker’s greatest threat in November.”

That ain’t “curious.” It’s true.

* Center Square

The other four candidates trail with less than 10% each: businessman Gary Rabine (7.8%), entrepreneur Jesse Sullivan (7.3%), attorney Max Solomon (2.3%) and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, (1.9%) […]

The economy is the top issue for 54.2% of those polled. Crime came in second (15.2%) with immigration (6.5%), COVID-19 (4.3%), education (3.6%), health care (4.7%) and the war in Ukraine (2%) rounding out the concerns.

It’s amazing to me that Jesse Sullivan could spend millions of dollars and is still trailing Gary Rabine, who’s barely spent a thin dime. And I do feel a bit sorry for Schimpf. He’s a good guy. But he’s running a bad campaign.

Subcribers know more about the issue section of the poll.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    I didn’t know Schimpf was running. That is a bad campaign.


  2. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    Seems like if Bailey had a bit more money and maybe even an endorsement he would be leading.


  3. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:30 am:

    ==Seems like if Bailey had a bit more money and maybe even an endorsement he would be leading. ==

    I think this is right, and not even, like, a ton of more money.


  4. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    So is there a Republican donor with a million a week to give to Bailey to bring it home? Will the DGA pony up that kinda cash?


  5. - Lakefront - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    == Somebody apparently forgot about the DGA and Dan Proft’s PAC money when this was written… ==

    Thank God for saying it. We already know Bailey is gonna go around touting this article and the fact that he’s outspent “40-1.” Yeah, no. Between Proft and DGA - Bailey is hardly a financial underdog anymore - he has two real, well-funded political organizations doing his bidding. Yet he’ll cry poor farmer.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:37 am:

    -Irvin’s numbers have slipped from what poll?-

    Probably referring to the Cor Strategies numbers from a week or two ago that had Irvin at 33.


  7. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:39 am:

    I assume Bailey means he’s ahead in the polls with the Illinoisians who count, i.e., those who live near him, and not we who live near the Den Of Iniquity On The Lake.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    Had Griffin backed Schimpf, let Schimpf *be* Schimpf, and let Z and company run that race with a “strong but thoughtful conservative”… who knows what could’ve been.

    Schimpf has run a truly terrible campaign, only better than Valencia’s…

    …while Rabine is the most visible candidate that has been invisible to anything resembling campaigning, if that poll says anything to Rabine…

    Performance Art ain’t a campaign, Sullivan is the “No, No, Nanette” race Red Sox fans can grasp; a real great possibility lost to spending money on a play.

    I’ve been saying since the beginning, I like Mayor Irvin. I do. I like his record in Aurora, I like how Aurora is far different than before he was mayor, Irvin has smartly governed to revitalize Aurora. That is not Candidate Irvin. Then throw in bad press, really tough ads against him, a fixation on crime that hasn’t materialized into public polling success, it’s almost like what I see in Bourne… wasted talent… talent… just not fully realizing all it can and should do.

    Bailey? The Apostle Darren Bailey is who he says he is, even if his record, voting record(s), and you can pick one to go after, says Bailey is someone different. It’s the “outside She-Caw-Go” folks, the “E”-Van-Gel-Eye-Cals, the Trumpian angry folks, they found a hero with Bailey? We’ll see.

    Overall? Yep, I was reminded quite quickly, with harsh reality too… this isn’t the Edgar-Thompson-Topinka party…

    … even though everywhere I’ve looked… it coulda been… but choices are choices… and polling is polling too.


  9. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    2 thoughts on Bailey and money. First, I think there is a good chance he’d misspend it if he had more cash. Second, I think the more he advertised on television, the less voters would like him. He is not made for TV, which is one reason he won’t get trump’s endorsement.

    Bailey is the type of candidate that could make up some ground with targeted mail, social media and some cable TV, preferably featuring other people talking about him.

    Money isn’t everything. You still have to spend it wisely. But clearly, based on this poll, there is room for him to grow vs Irvin.


  10. - Homebody - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    == JB Pritzker and his allies are funding Darren Bailey’s campaign ==

    Are they funding pro-Bailey ads, or just anti-Irvin ads? Those may have similar results, but they are not the same thing.


  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    Bailey obviously doesn’t have a pile of money to burn through, but his ground game in the Chicago suburbs at least is blowing Irvin out of the water. The guy is showing up as a guest speaker at all sorts of fringe events associated mostly with that ‘Woodshed’ lady. Irvin, a mayor of a large nearby city for most chicagoland suburbanites, absolutely should have better name recognition than a farmer from southern Illinois - but he doesn’t.

    Bailey pretty much also has the Devore crowd locked up, without having to spend a dime. Devore has been giving him plenty of free exposure the past few months, and it seems to have paid off - at least with the crowd he is aiming for.


  12. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    Well candidate Irvin is a man whom sold his soul. I don’t find that likable in any type of way. A man like that should not be leading anything besides his own household.


  13. - AC - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    ==Had Griffin backed Schimpf, let Schimpf *be* Schimpf, and let Z and company run that race with a “strong but thoughtful conservative”… who knows what could’ve been.==

    That woud’ve been great, except Schimpf had a history of going against Rauner on AFSCME issues, he criticized the supreme court on the Janus vs. AFSCME decision and not that long ago he sponsored legislation to prohibit local “Right to Work” laws.


  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    “He is not made for TV”

    I think you are correct on this.

    He has a face for radio, and a voice for books.


  15. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    We seem to recall Rabine having a media presence with his biz interests….but that might have been siding or gutter pitch person


  16. - Needs Deleted - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    Schimpf has run the worst campaign in Illinois history for any office.


  17. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Lori Lightfoot doesn’t have a face for TV but she is there.


  18. - Roman - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    Let’s see what happens when Bailey starts getting punched on TV in the Chicago market.

    I suspect that will start soon. This poll indicates Irvin’s mail-based attacks on Bailey haven’t done enough damage.

    Can Irvin’s internal polling be showing something completely different? Because the only attack ads they’ve run so far in Chicago have hit Sullivan. Then again, Grif is providing enough cash to hit everyone and not to take chances with potentially flawed polling.


  19. - Suburbs - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    I wish WGN had separated the economic issues so we could see how each of those were doing individually. Inflation, taxes and jobs are important in their own right. And how close would they have individually been to the 15% crime category? Obviously this is a pocket book election but there is a serious public safety undertone to it also. It’s good to finally have some public polling available.


  20. - John 3ID - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    Is Irvin going to clarify if he actually served in combat or is he going to feel the effects of the Sullivan ads that seem to be coming from the Dems?


  21. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:09 am:

    -I didn’t know Schimpf was running. That is a bad campaign.-

    The first and worst decision was to get in at all. Based on what money and what plan?


  22. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    ==Also, Bailey has been telling his supporters for months that he’s ahead in the polls without offering up any evidence. And now he’s all smiles? ==

    I suspect that Bailey *was* leading in the primary until just a few weeks ago, when Irvin’s ads finally raised his name rec high enough. But I’m not basing that on much.


  23. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    Despite never pulling a GOP in this century, I’ve received text solicitations from both Jesse Sullivan & Gary Rabine, so congratulations to whatever flimflam man sold their campaigns that stinker of a list.

    – MrJM


  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:25 am:

    ===That woud’ve been great, except…===

    I never said it was perfect.

    Plus, if the constitutional amendment passes, what exactly are we arguing about?

    Janus is already decided.

    It’s not like Z and Company haven’t manufactured flip-flops before.

    If, buts… candy, nuts…


  25. - Left of what - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    That the Bailey camp is smiling makes sense. I know they are reporting a 3% MoE. But for a governor’s primary, 5% would not be an unexpected miss.


  26. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    “Lori Lightfoot”

    Is not running for governor, or any other statewide office.


  27. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    - So is there a Republican donor with a million a week to give to Bailey to bring it home? -

    Proft is currently prostrating himself on a floor in Lake Forrest begging for this very thing to happen.


  28. - Oceans - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:49 am:

    “A man like that should not be leading”

    Irwin’s rise from public housing to being the first black mayor of Aurora is impressive on it’s face. His background in the military and as a prosecutor will be a nice dichotomy to Pritzker’s resume.


  29. - AC - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    OW, there’s no argument, in this fantasy football type scenario, Schimpf with a competent and well resourced campaign would’ve likely done very well. Just an observation that labor issues seem extremely important to Griffin and it is highly unlikely he would’ve ever supported a pro labor Republican. Given his history on the issue, labor seems central to Schimpf as well, and I couldn’t see him as being pliable on labor, even if it meant having the resources he needed.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===I couldn’t see him as being pliable on labor, even if it meant having the resources he needed.===

    *Richard Irvin enters the chat*

    Good stuff. Be well.


  31. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    Is not running for governor, or any other statewide office.
    -

    And like the mayor of most major cities like NYC she is a national political figure and on TV.


  32. - New Englander - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    Maybe Bailey doesn’t need to spend a lot to knock Irvin, since Sullivan is already doing that. Sullivan and Irvin tear up each other, leaving Bailey to go up? Meanwhile, this dem is thinking about pulling a GOP ballot to vote for Bailey … because Pritzker Will clobber him.


  33. - Back to the Future - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    To me these polls indicate that very few people are paying attention to this primary race.
    The Irvin Ads have gotten his name out, but his campaign material has often been (IMHO) misleading.
    Also surprised that Rabine would be ahead of Sullivan at this point.
    Perhaps a few debates will help pick up the interest in one of the candidates. I really think it is anybody’s race to win.
    Agree that Paul Schimpf has a lot going for him.


  34. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    =I like how Aurora is far different than before he was mayor=

    With respect, the crime and gang issue has not changed much in the older sections of Aurora.


  35. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:46 pm:

    Meanwhile, this dem is thinking about pulling a GOP ballot to vote for Bailey … because Pritzker Will clobber him.
    -

    Same. Just so that the Griffin/Rauner/Bourne crew will realize the gig is up even with their own party.


  36. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    “she is a national political figure and on TV.”

    That’s odd. I must have missed her campaign ads in downstate Illinois TV markets.

    I get the point you are *trying* to make, but you are missing the forest for the trees on this one.


  37. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    Is it necessary to comment on the looks of a woman who holds high office? It’s downright creepy.


  38. - Real - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    That’s odd. I must have missed her campaign ads in downstate Illinois TV markets.

    Doesn’t matter. I can guarantee that more people that don’t live in Illinois will know who Lori Lightfoot is vs Bruce Rauner or JB Pritzker. That was the point.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    ===the crime and gang issue has not changed much===

    In a multi-candidate race for re-election, voters chose Irvin to continue to serve and address issues like crime.

    As the state’s second largest city, I feel very comfortable dining, going for drinks, shopping in the business district which I may not have felt before his first term.


  40. - English Teacher - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 1:09 pm:

    “As the state’s second largest city, I feel….”

    I hope your not suggesting that you are the state’s 2nd largest city. /s/


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===that you are===

    The context was crime in Aurora.

    Shorthand in blog comments, especially by me, need unspoken context to the chain, otherwise actual grammar is the enemy of the brevity.

    :)

    My apologies.


  42. - Ice Scream - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    It seems the Cor Strategies survey (believe they are working for Schimpf) was pretty far off base. Is there any reality where Richard Irvin would be ahead of Darren Bailey downstate? It didn’t make sense then and the WGN/Emerson poll confirms it. Cor had Irvin up 4 points downstate over Bailey.

    Another takeaway here is that Jesse Sullivan is losing to Gary Rabine, even with his massive TV spends. Wow, didn’t expect that.


  43. - Jibba - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===Pritzker’s resume===

    JB’s resume now includes 4 reasonably successful years doing the actual job that Irvin is auditioning for. Given Irvin’s combative personality, I see no evidence that he will be able to be as successful.


  44. - Downstate Illinois - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    I would love to learn more about Irvin, but all I receive are attack mailers, spam texts and the occasional push poll. My vote goes to the most conservative Republican who can win in November. Of the candidates I’ve only met the two from Southern Illinois. I like them both but the biggest issue again is who can win. I don’t need perfection. I don’t have to agree with everything they’ve ever said, they just have to be better than the pompous property tax thief we’ve got now.


  45. - New Day - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    I’ve said from the beginning of the Richard Irvin boomlet that Bailey is going to win the primary. While the money disparity (in terms of pro-candidate ads) is massive, I still think that’s as likely as nominating Mayor LetMeFinish. And if Uhlein sees a real chance in the last month (which is coming soon), he may just open that checkbook wide enough to help Bailey as opposed to hurting Irvin.


  46. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 3:32 pm:

    ==pompous property tax thief==

    You want to explain that a little more there? I’m not certain why you think the current Governor is a “property tax thief.” I suspect your just doing a troll drive by here.


  47. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    “pompous property tax thief”
    Oooh, *this close* [thumb and forefinger a quarter inch apart] to a reasoned comment.


  48. - Bear3 - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 5:10 pm:

    IRVIN MAY BE A MAYOR AND TAKE CARE OF CONTRACTS AND POLITICIANS IN AURORS BUT HE IS ONLY ANOTHER FORMER GOV WHO DID NOT CARE FOR THE PEOPLE OF IL AND IS IMPRESSED BY BILLIONAIRE SUPPORT. THIS IS AN OLD RECORD OF BUYING IN AND NOT KKOWING WHAT TO DO AND ONLY TAKING CARE OF PAYING DONORS. ARE WE GOING TO CONCLUDE THIS TYPE OF GOVERNMENT?


  49. - New Day - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 5:33 pm:

    Bear3, please don’t yell. Also, I have no idea what you’re saying.


  50. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 5:59 pm:

    Someone thinks it’s Capital Fax.


  51. - fs - Thursday, May 12, 22 @ 6:16 pm:

    ==Bear3==

    …5:10 pm…

    Must be a good Happy Hour. Bear, please don’t drive home.


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