Rauner Takes Commanding Lead in Latest Governor Poll

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Quinn as lieutenant governor in 2006

The race for Illinois Governor is gearing for the summer swing of parades and festivals, but the latest poll out shows the work may be in vain for Gov. Pat Quinn.

In a poll released by the Illinois Mirror and conducted by Where America Stands on Thursday, Quinn (D-Chicago) trails challenger Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) by 18 points. Rauner has been spending a considerable amount of his own money in the race, airing ads emphasizing his wife’s Democratic credentials. Quinn, meanwhile, wasted little time in attacking Rauner, running ads questioning the businessman’s remarks and credentials before Rauner had secured the primary election on March 18.

Rauner currently enjoys 48.9 percent support among those polled with Quinn behind at just 31.3 percent. Other candidates polled at just under 4 percent, combined, with almost 16 percent undecided. The automated poll asked 1,168 likely voters and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

The Illinois Mirror/WAS poll, conducted May 12, stands in stark contrast from an earlier poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, labelled a conservative polling firm by some,  in April that showed Rauner with just a three-point lead over the incumbent. We Ask America, affiliated with the Illinois Manufacturers Association, has Rauner up on Quinn by 19 points, 52-33, in their last publicly-released poll on May 4.

Respondents to the poll self-identified as Democrat 43 percent of the time with 37 percent labelled themselves as Republican and 20 percent Independent. The remaining were split between Libertarian and the Green Party.

In the same poll, respondents held a slightly negative view of Quinn’s plan to keep the income tax rate at 5 percent. 51 percent of those polled opposed making the temporary tax rate permanent while 41 percent supported keeping the higher rate. The state income tax rate is set to drop back to 3.75 percent on January 1. Twenty-two percent strongly support keeping the higher rate, opposite of 39 percent that strongly oppose making the tax rate permanent.

Click here for more information on the poll, as well as access to the crosstabs.

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Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]

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