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*** UPDATED x1 *** Poll: Bost leads Bailey 43-37

Wednesday, Jul 12, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

*** UPDATE *** Some limited crosstabs are here.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Cor Strategies has polled the GOP primary race between US Rep. Mike Bost and former legislator Darren Bailey

More in a bit.

…Adding… Bailey’s name recognition is actually a bit higher than Bost’s…

* They also polled by region. Bailey is doing well in areas he represented in the General Assembly…

* Trump is polling at 53 percent in the district, with DeSantis at 16 and Pence at 9

* If Trump were to endorse one way or another, would that impact your decision?…

I think people tend to be reticent about questions like that, but here’s the breakdown of how a Trump endorsement would help each candidate…



  1. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:43 am:

    Not a result that should comfort Bost, or really anyone who wants to accomplish something in that district.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:44 am:

    Will Bost be “Davis-ed”… this poll is good for Bost, but not being at 50% is good for Bailey.

  3. - Local Person - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    This is actually brutal for Bost. Significantly under 50, almost within the margin, and it’ll be hard for him to convince voters he’s more conservative than Bailey, who’s boxed out the Trump loyalist space pretty completely.

  4. - Politix - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    Interesting. It’s going to be fun watching these two beat each other up.

  5. - allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    Oh no. Oh no. Bailey is back. I can’t believe we live in the same state as people who would cast a vote for him.

  6. - maximus - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:52 am:

    That picture of the various candidates with Trump at the top is really small. Is there a way to get a bigger version of the picture? I’d like to see how the other candidates are looking and what tier they are at.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    Couple things with the update…

    * The regionalism is quite a thing, no misunderstanding the “where and what” with these two in this district.

    * Bost is under 50% in this snapshot, could that be the thing Bailey saw in the vaunted Bost Base that can’t get him early to 50%?

    * This poll, take it as the snapshot it is, but let’s be clear, I want to see this poll versus a poll after (if it happens) Trump endorses either guy. How much movement can that endorsement mean *here*, with these two options. I saw a similar movie with Mary Miller.. but Miller was seated, Bailey isn’t seated anywhere.

    This is one race to watch oh so carefully, especially after Davis’ loss. Miller chose the best option for her, now Bailey is using his best opportunity, but best never means certain victory.

  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    Bailey need to amp up the hate and spend more time at Trump properties IMHO.

  9. - ;) - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:01 pm:

    I only have one question: how many debates? I need to be sure I have enough popcorn on deck.

  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:08 pm:

    Is there a cross tab for most annoying candidate? If they drill down to specific traits like voice, command of the English language, and looks…I bet Bailey is already in the 90’s. /s

  11. - fs - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    Not ideal for Bost, but I also wouldn’t consider it terrible considering the resources going forward that both are expected to have. Bost seems to be doing well where most of the votes are, Bailey has higher unfavorables overall, and Bost will (presumably) have a lot more resources to drive those up more.

  12. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    “or really anyone who wants to accomplish something in that district”

    Good news then. Neither one of them wants to accomplish anything, other than being elected.

  13. - Moly Holy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    Bost has big leads where the votes are. There is only so many votes in corn country.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===Bost has big leads where the votes are. There is only so many votes in corn country.===

    Do you think a Trump endorsement of Bailey would matter?

  15. - James - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    Bailey wants to talk about being a fighter, but he’s only fought to climb the political ladder and enrich himself and his friends with his promotion of DeVore’s multiple failed lawsuits. He yells at Government, but then takes millions in federal subsidies. As the voters become educated on this faux conservative credentials it will keep this political brass ring out of his reach.

  16. - Moly Holy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    A trump endorsement of Bost would end the election. A trump endorsement of Bailey would give Bailey an advantage, but would not guarantee him a win. that is my take.

  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:32 pm:

    === that is my take===

    And mine.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    === === that is my take===

    And mine.===

    Fully concur.

    The Bost Base, back in the 90s was always the “phony worry”… as Bost was one who understood his districts better than anyone, and understood/understands how to win with them over and over again… primary, general, no matter.


  19. - Watchful eye. - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:38 pm:

    Ask Mayor Vallas what he thinks about COR polls.

  20. - Hahaha - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:42 pm:

    Bailey is more well known, has a smaller net fav, and is down 6 pts. In addition, Bailey is more well known district-wide and yet the regionalism is very stark with a clear Bost regional base. Conversely, I don’t think Bost is that well known in Bailey country because that’s all new territory for him. All that makes me think Bost has more room to grow in general.

    But it really all comes down to Trump and Club for Growth involvement one way or the other. One distinction in Davis/Race is that Davis had way more new territory than Bost does.

    I think it’s not a great poll for Bailey.

  21. - Hahaha - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:46 pm:


  22. - John Lopez - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    Poll confirms smart money on Bost.

    Short of a credible 3rd candidate entering the race to split someone’s vote, poll is a benchmark.

    Bost has over $1 million to spend, and the entire summer and fall to build name ID.

    Bailey has to raise cash first, and while the poll helps him convince donors with metrics race is competitive, it’ll take time to raise money.

    Trump won’t endorse in this race not with these poll numbers.

  23. - Our Joe - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    Yes, Bost is running well where the votes are. And obviously he is well known in Egypt. But he shouldn’t take much comfort in this. He’s a McCarthy guy and not known for doing anything big for his district. Egypt voters are susceptible to the Freedom Caucus message and the Bailey shtick. Fully agree on the take for each in regard to a Trump endorsement.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===Trump won’t endorse in this race not with these poll numbers.===

    You base this on nothing.

  25. - John Lopez - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    === You base this on nothing ===

    Wrong again.

    What does taking sides in a race like this do for Trump? Collin Corbett admitted it in his video.

    Outside of the astroturfers at Illinois Review getting Bailey to Bedminster and other Trump events, Trump only endorses where it counts (Mary Miller on 1/1/2022) or a sure thing (Bailey 2022, 3 days before primary).

    Neither is true in IL-12 with this poll.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    First, (sigh), this…

    ===Outside of the astroturfers===

    Friend, you support and promote conspiracy theorists and insurrection apologists. So stop. “You” are actually a reason the GOP is such a minority in Illinois and in policy that the GOP has to win races with, so please stop.

    ===Trump only endorses where it counts (Mary Miller on 1/1/2022) or a sure thing (Bailey 2022, 3 days before primary).

    Neither is true in IL-12 with this poll.===

    As you cite this fellow’s *opinion*…. Here are some facts to you really not knowing, nor does he…

    NBC News.

    ===While Trump’s win record may appear overwhelming, his record becomes much more mixed with the context that most Trump-backed candidates were not in competitive races, in part because many were incumbents in deeply Republican areas.

    Looking just at contests deemed competitive by the NBC News political unit, based on political dynamics of those races and ad spending, 46 of Trump’s candidates won, and 33 lost. Of the 33 who lost, 32 of them echoed Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.===

    That’s 76 races, of 264 House races endorsed.

    It’s an opinion *how* Trump decides to get involved… it’s not based on the total rationale of winners.

    See: Bailey, Darren, Illinois Governor’s Race 2022

  27. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    The buffoon Bailey has a formidable opponent in Bost.

    During his candidacy for governor, Bailey laid a number of eggs…comparing abortion to the Holocaust, said “Let’s move on” after the Highland Park tragedy, and labeling Chicago a hellhole.

    Bailey’s seat is on the combine and definitely not in Congress.

  28. - DougChicago - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    Would be nice to see bost with a bigger lead. But at least this shows there is a chance to get rid of that pestilence Bailey.

  29. - Frida's boss - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    It’ll be interesting to see where the local pols go.
    Will the Miller family (not related to Rich) get involved and for who? Where does the Illinois Freedom Caucus fall on this race? Will they put their local weight into anyone in these races? Host events, town hall opportunities, VFW coffee’s etc etc?

    This could be where Bost excels in the acquisition of hyper local pols; mayors, trustees, township, park district, school boards etc. People he’s had long term connections and hopefully brought resources back for.

  30. - Dotnonymous x - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    My Grandma’s given name was Ella…I’m reminded when I hear Bailey pronounce the name of his State…as he attempts to avoid losing the minor spotlight and the inevitable sink into oblivion…desperately.

  31. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    So, if Bailey wins more counties than Bost, does Bailey then win the election?? /s

  32. - CornfieldCowboy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rough math on those averages and population strengths across the 12th

    Metro East Bost +30 236,000
    Little Egypt Bost +26 280,000
    Wabash Valley Bailey +32 170,000
    Central IL - Bailey +18 75,000

    Darren’s strength comes divided from four TV markets, Terre Haute IN, Champaign,Springfield,Decatur / Evansville IN, and some STL Market

    Bost has much more viewership in the STL Metro and then obviously the Carbondale,Cape,Paducah.

    Darren will have a much higher ad burn rate than what Mike will. Granted that’s only one advertising facet, but after looking at this population analysis - it would add some comfort for Team Bost, but you can not take Bailey for granted. He truly has a base which has totally eroded the group of 90s and say up to 2010 Republicans. In Bailey Country you are either with Darren or against him, his cult-following will cut to the core and some high quality individuals that would maybe back Bost will sit on the sidelines for fear of retribution from Team Bailey.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===So, if Bailey wins more counties than Bost, does Bailey then win the election?? /s===

    Aw, now you’re just showing off.

    Well played.

  34. - fs - Wednesday, Jul 12, 23 @ 4:45 pm:

    == 2 poorly educated hayseeds of no particular accomplishment==

    Say what you will about some of Rep Bost’s antics and beliefs, but can’t agree with associating the above statement with someone who served in the Marine corps.

  35. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 6:14 am:

    The race is Bost’s to lose. He is not going to win it by listening to the usual cadre of Washington, DC consultants that have never set foot inside a bar in Murphysboro.

    Bost needs to do four things to win, and I don’t see any of them listed here.

    Thinking they were in a traditional “he who has the most money for tv wins” battle is why the mayor of Aurora is still the mayor of Aurora.

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