Copyright 2014, Reboot Illinois

A new Reboot Illinois poll  shows a tightening in the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner as a Libertarian candidate for the first time offers respondents frustrated with the major party candidates a third-party option.

Rauner, who had  a 14-point lead over Quinn in the Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll in late July after registering a 10-point lead in June, led Quinn by 8.5 points in polling conducted Sept. 2 for Reboot Illinois by We Ask America. The new poll included 1,064 likely voters and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Cell phone contacts made up 29 percent of the responses and among participants, 35 percent said they were Democrats, 27 percent said they were Republicans and 38 percent self-identified as independents.

Despite his overall lead among all respondents, Rauner was the choice for only 17.7 percent of Chicago voters — short of the 20 percent that is considered the benchmark for any Republican to win statewide office in Illinois. Quinn had a stronger showing among Chicago voters in the poll — 62.5 percent compared to 59.4 percent in late July.


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Perhaps the most remarkable result of the new poll was Quinn’s strong showing in suburban Cook County, where he finished half a point ahead of Rauner. In the previous two Reboot Illinois polls, Rauner had led Quinn — by 8 points in June and 2 in July.

This was the first Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll to include Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm as a choice. The Libertarian party last month won a place on the Nov. 4 ballot from the Illinois Board of Elections. The Libertarian presence may account for some of the reduction in Rauner’s lead, as conservative voters opt for a third-party choice. (The Green Party, which did not earn a ballot spot for its ticket, would likely have done the same for liberal voters looking for an alternative to Quinn.)

“As I’ve seen in other polls recently, the race for governor is tightening up,” said We Ask America Chief Operating Officer Gregg Durham. “Undoubtedly, the presence of a Libertarian candidate gives voters who aren’t happy with their choices an outlet for their frustration, and it appears to be hurting Rauner more than Quinn. Nearly 12 percent of the self-described independents chose Grimm; a situation that probably won’t last…but where will they end up?”

Here’s a look at all the results by demographics and location of respondents. Scroll down for charts comparing polling over time in the governor’s race.

The inclusion of Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm.  may have contributed to Rauner’s lead declining from 14 points in our July poll to 8.5 points here.

Here’s a comparison of the three Reboot Illinois/We Ask America polls so far.

 

The chart below represents polls from March 22 through the Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll detailed in this post. Other than a consistent decline in undecided responses (the yellow line) beginning with the Aug. 5 Gravis Marketing poll, there are no apparent trends to be gleaned from this overview. While Rauner has led in all the polling so far, his margins have varied greatly from poll to poll.

This interactive chart displays results by gender and party affiliation of respondents.

 

Click the tabs on the chart below to see results based on location of respondents. In 2010, Quinn won a narrow re-election victory by winning 75 percent of the Chicago city vote. The last Republican to win a gubernatorial election in Illinois — George Ryan in 1998 — won 31 percent of the Chicago vote.

MORE REBOOT ILLINOIS POLLS:

    1. Who’s more trustworthy: Pat Quinn or Bruce Rauner?
    2. U.S. Senate poll: Oberweis narrows gap with Durbin
    3. Illinois treasurer’s race: Tom Cross still leads but Mike Frerichs poised for ad blitz
    4. Secretary of state race: Jesse White in control as he seeks fifth term
    5. Illinois comptroller poll: Topinka maintains strong lead
    6. Attorney general poll: Lisa Madigan going strong against Paul Schimpf