"Dan Hynes beats the Republicans, Pat Quinn doesn't," the Hynes campaign told reporters on Wednesday.
Hynes officials cited recent polls showing incumbent governor Pat Quinn would struggle against Republicans in November, claiming that "the trendline is very clear."
Jeff Pollock, the campaign's chief pollster, cited the new Public Policy Polling figures released Wednesday. These figures give Quinn only a 25% approval rating, with 55% of voters disapproving of him. The campaign's comments echoed PPP's own assessment of the poll; on the PPP blog, pollster Tom Jensen writes that "those sorts of numbers make [Quinn] virtually unelectable in the general election."
Worse yet, "he doesn't even get close to a 50% job approval rating among Democrats," Pollock said. Without support from within his party, Pollock intimated that Quinn's seat could go the way of some other recent Democratic disasters. "Quinn is in a far worse situation than Jon Corzine" was, he said, referring to the incumbent New Jersey governor who lost to Republican Chris Christie in 2009.
Pollock also described some internal polling done by the Hynes campaign on the approval question. When asked if they would judge the governor's performance as excellent, good, only fair, or poor, a mere 36% of Democrats said excellent or good, while 60% went with fair or poor.
Meanwhile, the new PPP survey also polled Hynes and Quinn against two Republican front-runners, Jim Ryan and Andy McKenna. Hynes polled ahead of each of them, while Quinn was six and seven points down, respectively.
It's unclear how either of them would fare against Republican Kirk Dillard, a moderate who's in close contention for the GOP bid and who might steal some independent votes. PPP didn't poll the question, and the Hynes campaign repeatedly insisted that it had done no polling about the general election.
But with a new Rasmussen poll giving Hynes a six-point lead over Quinn, campaign manager Mike Rendina says that Hynes "is building some serious momentum."
With the primary coming unusually early this year--Election Day is next Tuesday, February 2--Quinn is seeking to regain the momentum with a heartfelt new ad criticizing Hynes's negativity. "On Tuesday my opponent is counting on false, negative ads to win," Quinn says. "Me? I'm counting on you."
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