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SurveyUSA: 45-34-17-5

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SurveyUSA has the same point spread as Rasmussen.

In an election for Governor of Illinois today, 7/25/06, incumbent Democratic Rod Blagojevich defeats Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSDK-TV St. Louis. Blagojevich gets 45% today. Topinka gets 34%. 17% would vote for some other candidate. 5% are undecided. Since an identical SurveyUSA KSDK-TV poll 9 weeks ago, Blagojevich has gained 2 points and Topinka has lost 3 points. Blagojevich had led by 6, now leads by 11. Among male voters, Blagojevich had been down 4, now up 8, a 12-point swing in his favor.

Topinka is tied with Blagojevich among white voters. But Topinka trails Blagojevich among black voters 6:1. Blagojevich leads by 57 points among Democrats. Topinka, who is Illinois State Treasurer, leads by 50 points among Republicans. Independents are split. Blagojevich wins 5:1 in the city of Chicago. The two are effectively tied in Suburban Cook County and in the Chicago Collar Counties. Topinka is up by 4 points Downstate. The election is on 11/7/06.

Crosstabs are here.

Notice the high percentage for “other.” That breaks down to 18% Republicans; 14% Democrats; 22% independents.

For other poll results, go here.

UPDATE: I should also point out that SurveyUSA, Rasmussen and Topinka all have Blagojevich at 45 or 44, while the governor’s poll had him closer to 50 percent, at 47. Any time an incumbent is below 50, even if he or she is ahead, that’s bad news. Yes, he has a strong lead, which gives him legitimate reason for optimism. But he hasn’t proved yet that he can close the deal and the persistent thunder from the US Attorney’s office ain’t helping.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 1:14 pm


  1. Good thing for JBT it’s only July, but clearly she doesn’t seem to be moving any numbers yet. The interesting point for me here is that “Vote for someone else” is half of Judy’s vote.

    Comment by Common Sense in Illinois Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 1:35 pm

  2. it’s early plus she is finally starting to follow up on the negitive press reports.Like this 17.5 billion dollar hole he dug.Now they have finally figured out that putting off pension payments was a bad idea.I think next pole you will see it going the other way.

    Comment by DOWNSTATE Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 1:49 pm

  3. When will pollsters start including Rich Whitney?

    I suspect he takes a good chunk of the “other” voters.

    Comment by The real question is... Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 1:51 pm

  4. rich, you’re absolutely right that anytime an incumbent is under 50% that’s bad. nor would i expect that the guv will pick up much of the undecided vote. half would be lucky. if judy has the money to compete, this is very problematic. i just don’t get the impression that she does. i’d be shocked if blagojevich got more than 52% — i’d even be surprised if he got 51%. but it does seem like he’ll finish on top of this one. it just doesn’t feel close (yet)…

    as for whitney, i doubt he’s got the name recognition to be polled. probably never will.

    Comment by bored now Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:08 pm

  5. this race definitely reminds me of the 2004 Presidential election. Lots of stuff to run on against the incumbant, people tired of him, but a lack of spark and organization on the part of the opponent will have most undecideds voting for the incumant, albeit without any enthusiasm.

    Comment by Minion Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:08 pm

  6. I’ll stick with my prediction: If Whitney stays in this race, Green Party or not, neither Blagojevich nor Topinka will get more than 50% of the vote, and Whitney is likely to squeeze out enough votes to make the Greens a permanent party in Illinois.

    That’s just how bad Rod Blagojevich is.

    Comment by Yellow Dog Democrat Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:12 pm

  7. Question is he was to finish a couple of points ahead of JBT with a disapproval rating still high will that hurt him as a governor.Second question some of this borrowing and robbing special funds is starting to show so how many Democrats will help him do it in the future.

    Comment by DOWNSTATE Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:12 pm

  8. The question asked by S-USA invited “other” as an answer, “If the election for Governor were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for? Rod Blagojevich? Judy Baar Topinka? Or some other candidate?” It seems likely that it measures people currently dissatisfied with either choice, rather than any desire to vote for a specific “other” candidate.

    The crosstabs also show that the choice of “other” is a bigger factor in the collars and downstate. This is worth watching to see how these voters move in the fall.

    Comment by muon Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:21 pm

  9. This constant analysis of polling #’s at this time is meaningless. The JBT campaign has not even gone into 1st gear and the incumbant is spending millions trashing her. The only people who care what the polls say today are the political junkies. They are wastes of time and money. Here is a scoop-When the final votes are counted it will be very close. 2 or 3% either way unless there are indictments.

    Comment by Garp Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:23 pm

  10. Another day, another poll & GRod is still ahead.
    Once again the haters and handwringers start the spin cycle, but let’s face the voters arenot buying it.
    They know that with all his faults GRod is better than Judy Bore and Brickhead the Execution. Anyone make it to Brick’s fundraiser at the waterslide in Utica last night? Pretty funny that a campaign on a downhill ride has an event at a slide. At least they are getting a sense of humor. l

    Comment by Reddbyrd Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:24 pm

  11. Blago has hit JBT extremely hard, undefended for several weeks and millions of dollars. I would think he should have at least a 30-35 point lead. There is still much time.

    The media will challenge the lies and deception coming from Blago’s camp. Denial and lies don’t fly with the press.

    Once Topinka starts spending late in the campaign, things can change in a hurry.

    Ashur Odishoo
    State Representative 11th District

    Comment by Ashur Odishoo Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:32 pm

  12. All you need to read is Rich Miller’s newest posting on a new group being formed by Democrats to realize that these polls mean nothing now.

    Comment by DOWNSTATE Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:32 pm

  13. The Republican and Democrat candidates are tied in Suburban Cook and the collar counties. Pretty much say all that needs saying for the inevitable demise of JBT. If you can’t carry the Republican heartland you’re not going to be a Republican governor.

    Comment by blue Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:38 pm

  14. I like Judy’s numbers. She has spent no money and still Blago can’t get above 45%. I have never been wrong. Judy will pull this off. I suspect Blago is not happy with what he’s seeing considering all he’s spent. He has always thought money will buy this election and he will be proven wrong. When Judy’s campaign comes out after Labor Day you’ll see these numbers change fast. All you guys can stop wringing your hands this has not even begun.

    Comment by Dejavu Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:38 pm

  15. Two points re: JBT

    1. She simply cannot win the state if she loses 5:1 in Chicago - the plurality coming out of the city will just be too big to overcome elsewhere. The numbers are a damning indictment of Clark Pellett’s tenure as head of the Chicago Republican Party, and evidence of why a number of Committeemen have revolted to replace him.

    2. She must swallow her pride and court endorsements from conservative leaders to get that GOP “Other” and the “Independents” that are to the right of the GOP in her column. Oberweis sponsored an event for her just a few days ago (which alone was enough to start rumors that Crazy Jack “I’m Obsessed with Topinka” Roeser wants his money back from Oberweis) but she needs more than that, like widely publicized endorsements.

    Comment by Bubs Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:49 pm

  16. “I have never been wrong.”

    I don’t know you. Although you post under a pseudonym (like most of us), I’m sure I haven’t met you. And yet somehow, I have grave doubts about the veracity of that statement.

    Comment by BuckTurgidson Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:51 pm

  17. Do we know if anyone other than Blago and JBT made it onto the ballot? It would be stupid to ask if they would vote for some other candidate if nobody else qualified.

    Comment by Lovie's Leather Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:54 pm

  18. Topinka can win if there are some good indictments before the election, although she certainly is not the perfect candidate, sort of an empty suit without vision and terrible staff.

    Hoever, Blago has lied so much and got caught lying and looks so pathological and sociopathic he turns so many people off including his former supporters.

    1. INDICTMENTS=Topinka win
    2. It depends on African American/Black voter turnout and issues

    Comment by Jessup Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:55 pm

  19. Agreed, Buck. I’m not sure if people realize how comments like that make them appear insane and completely undercut their arguments.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 2:56 pm

  20. Both candidates are in the 60s with their own parties. That is pathetic (still, I do not think for one hot second that any third party candidate will get more than a couple of percentage points).

    The problem for JBT with underperforming her partisanship is that Blagojevich’s best messages also play well with his base, so he doesn’t really have to scurry left then scurry center.

    If JBT goes too far right in a play for her base, she’ll probably alienate much of the rest of the electorate (and the extreme right of her base doesn’t exactly trust her anyway). If her base stays home, she’s got to carve out some votes left of the middle - and those ads that have helped keep her numbers down aren’t exactly going to help her in that capacity.

    Further, her free press strategy is a pebble in a very big pond — the ripple is there, and then it isn’t. She needs a bigger stone.

    None of this accounts for anything the feds do, of course.

    Comment by BuckTurgidson Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 3:04 pm

  21. I have my doubts that Blago’s 45% is solid in any way. That number could go south in a hurry. The “Dems for JBT” group that is emerging will give disgusted Dems the feeling it is okay to vote against Blago. How many, who knows??? Enough to swing things (especially if the a lot of the Chicago machine sits the election out because of the Toddster)…possibly. By the way, I somehow don’t see a GOP for Blago group coming about.

    Comment by Bluefish Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 3:42 pm

  22. Buck, I disagree. Political machines are starting to give way to movements like DailyKos, conservative college groups, bloggers, etc. The era of someone not running against an incumbent because it’s “bad for the party” is over. Of course, someone like Dick Lugar, Dick Durbin, Kit Bond, etc. may never have anyone run against them in the primary, but in instances when an unpopular incumbent (ne’ Blago) or an unpopular challenger (ne’ JBT), all logic and reliance on party-line support goes out the window. In 2004, I was FLOORED when no one ran against Dubya, if anything because I figured some New England moderate or Western maverick (other than John McCain) would challenge him out of spite.

    Comment by Team Sleep Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 3:44 pm

  23. What does that say about this election when 17% want to vote for “someone else?”

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 4:42 pm

  24. This is great for Topinka; this is exactly where she planned on being at the end of July. She is doing exactly what she needs to be doing. She’s brilliant. Everything is going to backfire on Rod, just wait. Being behind by 11, 14, and in one poll 16, is great. I mean really, she has 90 days left. Once she gets Roeser to sign on and raises the 9-million that she needs, everything will be good.

    Hell, she’s got Mrs. Franks stumping for her now. How can she lose?

    But seriously, the Topinka express might be picking up steam, but the SS Topinka is listing, and taking on a little moisture.

    Comment by B Hicks Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 4:54 pm

  25. TS,

    I get where you’re coming from, I think - though the primaries are over. Someone did run against Blagojevich and JBT - they lost.

    But I’m referring specifically to self-identified D or R voters, and where they ultimately break by election day. I am not being sarcastic when I say that those of us who frequent blogs like these easily forget that those movements you refer to generally operate in a vacuum - particularly with respect to General Elections, when they will ultimately move to their respective parties (a handful of bitter Oberweis and Cegelis insurgents notwithstanding).

    Blagojevich and JBT will rely on party support because typically, self-identified members of a party will break toward their candidate. It’s the independent/undecided crowd that they ultimately need to reach. But when they’re weak with their base, they need to get them first - a somewhat tougher and riskier task for JBT at this point.

    And folks - don’t put too much (or any) stock into any “Democrats for JBT” movement (or lack thereof).

    First, no such group exists - it was hyperbole. Second, such “groups” are 98% pr stunt. I mean, come on. I’ve seen “Democrats for Bush” bumper stickers. But according to exit polling, Kerry and Bush each got about 90 percent of their party’s vote, which is where JBT and Blagojevich should be.

    Comment by BuckTurgidson Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 5:40 pm

  26. Millions of dollars spent by Rod. 2-3 points in movement. And Topinka has not even started yet.

    Maybe Tusk was pointing the way to his next job. I forget, is it California or New York?

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 5:54 pm

  27. In April, Rich reported on a Glengariff poll showing JBT up by three points, 43-40. By my math, that’s a lot more than 2-3 points.

    Ads work.

    Comment by BuckTurgidson Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 6:06 pm

  28. I think we’re about done with the current rope-a-dope strategy of Topinka, biding her time, and pretty soon now we’re going to see her go into a more aggressive and active phase.

    The debates should start undoing some of the progress Blago made with his negative campaign commercials, particularly if she nails him to the wall in a visually arresting manner the public can grasp. Some catchy quote will do it, and become a rally point like Howard Dean’s yell. With all the ammo Rod’s given her, frankly, if she can’t score major wins on most of the debates she doesn’t deserve the job.

    The dems should worry about the undecided/third party block being as large as it is. My take is the undecideds are the most likely to be swayed by a single issue mentality. Topinka needs that issue to fall her way. If indictments for Blago happen, that becomes the issue and they swing away from Blago with a “throw the bums out” theme and towards Topinka, with the younger, less indoctrinated/entrenched ones maybe going green party as a way to make a personal statement.

    You add the third party/none of the above group to Topinka’s numbers, you don’t necessarily get a win, but you do get a considerable weakening of Blago’s lead to the point it’s anybody’s race. And with the millions he’s thrown at this and the free earned media he’s getting from his ALLEVERYBODYEVERTHING programs, by rights he should be light-years ahead. The fact he’s not means this is hard to handicap, but he’s fallen down on the job more times than horses at Arlington this year.

    They just don’t resolve the governor issue the same way as the horses.

    Comment by Gregor Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 6:26 pm

  29. This would have been the perfect year for a Jesse Ventura type in IL. A former sports or entertainment personality to lead a populist campaign that pulled in disaffected voters and traditional non-voters. But he/she didn’t show up.

    Whatever the outcome, I think it will be one of the stranger gubernatorial races in state history, even considering Adlai Stevenson’s “Solidarity” debacle.

    Comment by Six Degrees of Separation Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 7:18 pm

  30. The Illinois GOP “heartland” is no longer the collar counties. The national party traded it away to run up the margins in places like Crawford County. Made sense the way Congress and the Electoral College are tilted. Long term giving the Dems play in the burbs might be problematic.

    Comment by HappyToaster Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 9:38 pm

  31. What persistent thunder from the U.S. Attorney? Even if someone in his Administration is indicted, so what? Reagan, Clinton, George W, Mayor Daley, all have had senior people indicted from their administrations. No one ever suggested they were done for that reason.

    So dream on.

    Topinka’s got much more to worry about from all the political hiring in her office anyway. She’s closer to it than Rod.

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Jul 26, 06 @ 11:12 pm

  32. Oberweis sponsored an event for her just a few days ago (which alone was enough to start rumors that Crazy Jack “I’m Obsessed with Topinka” Roeser wants his money back from Oberweis) but she needs more than that, like widely publicized endorsements.

    Oberweis is a better person than people give him credit for.

    Comment by T.J. Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 12:31 am

  33. 11:12 anon, come, come for a ride with me. We have a lot to get you caught up on. You clearly haven’t been around Illinois for a few years..

    Comment by Eliot Ness Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 12:33 am

  34. “I think we’re about done with the current rope-a-dope strategy of Topinka, biding her time…”

    Come on. If you think this is a strategy, you are surely mistaken. If it IS a strategy, it is a bad one. Rope-a-dope makes a nice sounding excuse for bad politics — but in the end, its still bad politics.

    …if she nails him to the wall in a visually arresting manner…”

    Thinking she might stomp across the stage and grab him by his locks, slam his head on the lectern a couple of times?

    “…like Howard Dean’s yell…”

    How’d that go for him?

    “The dems should worry about the undecided/third party block being as large as it is…”

    That is a fair point. Normally an incumbent should fear undecideds - because they already know the incumbent and have had time to assess him. But the same can be said for JBT.

    “My take is the undecideds are the most likely to be swayed by a single issue mentality.”

    I’m curious (and not being at all sarcastic); what makes you think that? Is there an issue you’re thinking specifically of?

    “…if indictments for Blago happen, that becomes the issue…”

    That’s not really single-issue voting - it’s scanda fatigue. JBT better have a better strategy than that - ask nominee Eisendrath.

    “…the younger, less indoctrinated/entrenched ones maybe going green party as a way to make a personal statement…”

    But younger voters are the least likely voters. And I still contend a third party candidate will be in single digits.

    I could be wrong. Nationally, Ross Perot caught lightening in a bottle. But he was running as an economic populist in a recession era. There’s no single issue or single issue candidate emerging outside the traditional party structure. And with 90 days left, it’s tough to imagine such a movement evolving.

    There’s a meme here by JBT supporters that Blagojevich should be way ahead because of the ads and the power of incumbency. But that is little more than spin. Fact is, there has been a steady drumbeat of bad press against him for months. JBT has failed to take advantage of this - and it has not swung the kind of votes her way she has needed it to.

    There’s still a long way to go, and of course it should be close, but right now she just isn’t exciting voters. And that is born out in the numbers.

    Comment by T$ Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 7:30 am

  35. Very amusing Rich. You’ll find out my predictions are always right. Also you’re taking this stuff much too seriously. Chill out.

    Comment by Dejavu Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 7:33 am

  36. “You’ll find out my predictions are always right…”

    I can’t shake the feeling I’ve read something goofy like that before.

    It’s like…oh never mind.

    Comment by BuckTurgidson Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 9:40 am

  37. Rich Whitney clearly deserves more media coverage and inclusion in future polls. A protest vote is still a vote.

    Comment by SangoDem Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 11:42 am

  38. “When will pollsters start including Rich Whitney?”

    Good question…the validity of this poll is highly questionable. After all, “other” is not an option we can reasonably expect to see on the ballot, so this poll is really a hypothetical of a hypothetical.

    Comment by M.V. Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 12:00 pm

  39. Dejavu, my comment wasn’t meant to be amusing.

    Comment by Rich Miller Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 5:05 pm

  40. And, Dejavu, how can you say “very amusing, Rich” and then tell me I’m taking things too seriously?

    Please, enlighten us, oh great one, about your infallible predictions.

    Comment by Rich Miller Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 5:07 pm

  41. The cross tabs show Blagojevich getting 71 % of the Hispanic vote, which is appropriate given his stance on a number of issues we care about. If the marches turn to voting energy, then Hastert and Oberweis will have done Ms. Topinka a GREAT disservice!

    Comment by Today we march, Tomorrow we vote! Thursday, Jul 27, 06 @ 10:49 pm

  42. Rich I meant to say you’re amusing me. You really do need to chill. A little to intense. Also I’m not going to divulge anything I know on this blog with Blogo’s paranoid goons watching every word.

    Comment by Dejavu Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 10:58 am

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