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Mendoza’s July poll showed she had a 22-point lead

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018

* Politico

Labor has been good to Susana Mendoza, who’s expected to file nearly $260,000 into her comptroller’s campaign account today. The bulk of that—about $178,000—is from unions. The latest infusion of funding comes from A-1 donations and will bring her cash on hand to $1.6 million for the comptroller’s race.

Mendoza’s also as a possible candidate for mayor, though she’s declined to say whether she’s running. Mendoza filed the comptroller campaign donations while on an extended trip to Washington, D.C., to engage donors and policy makers.

Mendoza has the luxury to poke around at the idea of a mayoral run as she has a commanding lead over her Republican challenger for comptroller—Mendoza sits at 52 percent to Darlene Senger’s 34 percent, according to a poll conducted by Global Strategy Group. Most of Mendoza’s support (71 percent) is from Chicago.

Well, that was certainly a flattering piece. Way to go, Mendoza camp.

* I asked for a polling memo and it turns out the numbers in the above story only reflect a two-way contest, not the actual three-way matchup. And, more importantly, despite their portrayal, these are not current numbers in any way. The survey was conducted way back in July

Key findings from Global Strategy Group’s July survey of 600 likely general election voters in Illinois are as follows:

    • Susana Mendoza holds a strong lead in the race for Illinois Comptroller. Mendoza currently leads a multi-candidate ballot by double-digits (47% Mendoza, 25% Senger, 9% Ball, and 19% undecided) as well as the two-way ballot with Darlene Senger where Mendoza breaks the 50% threshold (52% Mendoza vs. 34% Senger). Democrats (84%), particularly liberal Democrats (89%), voters in the city of Chicago (71%), African-American voters (65%), and voters under the age of 45 (60%) are driving Mendoza’s lead on the two-way ballot.

    • Mendoza is better known and more well-regarded than Senger. Those who are familiar with Mendoza feel warmly toward her (43% familiar; 29% favorable vs. 14% unfavorable). That gives Mendoza a 30-point name ID advantage over Darlene Senger (13% familiar; 9% favorable vs. 4% unfavorable). Mendoza’s favorability is driven largely by her popularity in Chicago where almost six in ten voters are familiar (57% familiar) and those who know her like her (41% favorable vs. 16% unfavorable). The same is true for Democrats (54% familiar; 46% favorable vs. 8% unfavorable), liberal Democrats (62% familiar; 51% favorable vs. 11% unfavorable), and African- American voters (51% familiar; 35% favorable vs. 15% unfavorable).

ABOUT THIS POLL: Global Strategy Group conducted a live telephone survey of 600 Illinois general election voters from July 23- July 26, 2018. The results of this survey have a margin of error of +/-4.0%. Care has been taken to ensure that the survey is weighted to reflect the expected makeup of the 2018 general electorate.

A few quick takeaways. But keep in mind that this is just one poll taken for the comptroller and it was conducted in late July and all we have to go on is this cherry-picked memo. Also, this is a three-way race so she doesn’t need 50 percent plus one to win.

1) The poll may be old, but the memo was apparently crafted on September 9th, so the language is deliberately skewed to highlight a potential Chicago mayor’s race. But, if the numbers are close to accurate, she’s pretty well-liked in the city and by liberals and African-Americans. That’s a powerful combo. Notice, however, they didn’t include Latinx voters. But, again, while old, those are not discouraging numbers at all. And since Rauner is so wildly unpopular in the city, she can definitely use her constant fights with him to her advantage if she runs for mayor.

2) The Libertarian candidate seemed to be hurting Senger more than Mendoza, which might not be good news for the rest of the statewides, either. Mendoza’s one-on-one margin was 18 and her three-way margin over Senger was 22. Um, twenty-two? And that was in July, before national trends shifted even further away from Republicans. Hey, they can also shift back. I’m just sayin: 22. (And if she was up by 22 in July, just imagine what Jesse White’s lead might’ve been over the guy who whined again this week about how he can’t get any traction because the Chicago media doesn’t take him seriously.)

3) Senger had 13 percent statewide familiarity with just 9 percent favorability in July. Yikes. Even for July, that’s a yikes. She’s reported a mere $11,200 in contributions this quarter (plus an in-kind of $1,634 for an event room rental and food), compared to $340,100 for Mendoza, who was sitting on $1.4 million at the end of June, compared to just $32K for Senger. In other words, she’s definitely gonna need some Rauner bucks, but there might not be enough Rauner bucks in the world to win that one. Plus, he’s so far given no indication that big cash is forthcoming. He’s funding himself and the House Republicans and throwing some money at the attorney general’s race. But he’s also been clearly saying that others need to “chip in” to his effort.

4) While Mendoza had a big lead in July and currently has a decent pile of cash, there could be a temptation to sit on her advantage and hoard her dough for next year. One election at a time. The Republicans have tried to make a tiny bit of hay out of her possible mayoral bid, but that could intensify. Aside from “Because… Madigan!” it’s all they really seem to have. Will she serve out her full term if elected in November? Nobody has yet asked her that question.

Anything else you noticed or thought?

- Posted by Rich Miller   51 Comments      

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