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Reboot Illinois poll shows Quinn making gains in Chicago, Cook suburbs and among women
After trailing most of the summer, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has moved ahead of Republican challenger Bruce Rauner with just a month until Election Day in a new Reboot Illinois poll.
In addition finishing ahead of Rauner by 4 percentage points — 44 for Quinn, 40 for Rauner — Quinn also received good news from a second question in the survey that asked respondents about their confidence in their choice for governor. Asked, “How confident are you that you are voting for the best candidate,” only 9 percent responded “not very confident.” While 25 percent said they were “somewhat confident,” 55 percent said they were “very confident.”
The automated poll was conducted Oct. 6 by We Ask America among 1,097 likely voters in the Nov. 4 election with 31 percent of responses from cell phone contacts. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points, putting the contest within reach for both major contenders. The party identification of poll respondents was 25.5 percent Republican, 38 percent Democratic and 36.5 percent independent.
In previous Reboot Illinois/We Ask America polls — on June 11, July 28 and Sept. 2 — Quinn trailed Rauner by 10, 14 and 9 points, respectively. Since Labor Day, however, polling has shown the race tightening. The new poll is the latest of various surveys from different sources to find Quinn ahead of Rauner. Those poll results followed a long streak of polls that consistently found Rauner ahead, in some cases by double-digit margins. (Scroll down for a comprehensive chart comparing polls in the governor’s race after the March 18 primary.)
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“Pat Quinn has passed Bruce Rauner, but there is plenty of maneuvering space left for both candidates, especially in light of nearly 35 percent of voters not that confident they are choosing the right candidate,” said We Ask America Chief Operating Officer Gregg Durham. “There has been some real upheaval in the location-based crosstabs where Quinn is solidifying his Chicago and suburban Cook County base.”
Perhaps the biggest piece of good news for Quinn is the 62-14 lead he registered among respondents in the city of Chicago. That’s a 4-percentage-point bigger lead in Chicago than Quinn registered in the Sept. 2 Reboot Illinois poll. Among respondents in Chicago in the three earlier Reboot Illinois polls, Quinn led Rauner 65-18, 59-18 and 62-18.
In the Cook County suburbs, Quinn polled slightly ahead of Rauner — 44.5 percent to 43.9 percent — in the Sept. 2 survey. Quinn scored a huge increase in suburban Cook in the new poll, finishing ahead of Rauner by 27 percentage points, 58-31.
Those figures are especially important because common political wisdom in Illinois holds that a Republican gubernatorial candidate needs to win 20 percent of the heavily Democratic Chicago vote and post a strong suburban showing to win statewide.
In 2010, Republican candidate Bill Brady won only 17 percent of the Chicago city vote (120,110 of 690,646 votes cast) to Quinn’s 75 percent (520,413 votes). That poor showing sank Brady, who lost the election by 31,834 votes. Brady performed better in the Cook County suburbs, where he received 39 percent of the vote to Quinn’s 54 percent. Again, though, the suburban Cook vote differential of 100,250 helped nullify Brady’s victories in the collar counties and downstate. (Remove Cook County from the 2010 equation and Brady wins with 64 percent of the vote.)
The new poll also is the first for Reboot Illinois in which Quinn leads among women voters. After trailing Rauner by 4, 7 and 5 percentage points, respectively, in three previous Reboot Illinois polls, Quinn finished ahead among women this time, 44-36.
While Rauner continued to lead among downstate respondents, his 47-32 lead in this poll is considerably smaller than in any of the previous Reboot Illinois polls. There was comparatively little change in the collar counties, where Rauner led 54-36 in the new poll. In the previous poll, on Sept. 2, Rauner led in the collar counties by 25 percentage points, 57-32.
Here are the numbers from the new poll and a comparison of the four Reboot Illinois/We Ask America polls in the gubernatorial race. Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm was added to the September poll after the Libertarian candidates won a court challenge to secure a place on the Nov. 4 ballot.
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