07/09/2010 01:09 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Illinois Governor: Quinn Catching Up To Brady In New Poll

Incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn has made major strides in the most recent poll of the Illinois governor's race, coming within three points of his Republican challenger.

Bill Brady, a state senator, had an eleven percentage-point lead in the last poll. On June 7, he was chosen by 47 percent of voters, with Quinn receiving only 36 percent.

In this most recent poll, conducted by Rasmussen on Wednesday, Brady led Quinn by a margin of 43-40. "Some Other Candidate" received 9 percent of the vote, and 8 percent were "not sure."

But Rasmussen cautions Democrats not to get too excited about the fluctuating results:

Eleven percent (11%) of Illinois voters now have a Very favorable opinion of Quinn, while 27% view him Very Unfavorably.

Brady is seen Very Favorably by 15% and Very Unfavorably by 16%.

These numbers are consistent with the earlier surveys. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

In other words, in the numbers that are most significant at this point in the election cycle, Quinn still faces a steep uphill battle.

Either way, though, the results should be encouraging to a Quinn campaign that has been looking at sizable deficits since barely surviving the primaries in February. Before this survey, the closest he had been was seven points behind.

Quinn is grappling with a state budget crisis of record-breaking proportions, and a difficult electoral environment for incumbents generally and for Democratic ones in particular. He is viewed as one of the more vulnerable incumbent governors in the country.

But his main opponent, Brady, is very conservative on social issues, a fact that may hinder him in a relatively moderate state.

Also running in the race is Green Party candidate Rich Whitney, who garnered 10 percent of the vote in the 2006 election. Independent, Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates may also make the ballot if their filings are approved by the State Board of Elections.