A new Reboot Illinois/We Ask America taken just one day after the Labor Day (unofficial) start of the campaign season finds Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner with an 8-point lead over Gov. Pat Quinn, down from double-digit leads he had in Reboot Illinois polls in June and July.
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.
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 time, there was a Libertarian candidate, Chad Grimm, included in the polling, which may have influenced Rauner's shrinking lead. Respondents who wanted a third-party choice could have split opinions among previous Rauner supporters. Why did Grimm's addition to the ballot affect Rauner more?
Reboot Illinois/We Ask America also polled likely Illinois voters about their plans in voting for Illinois comptroller. The poll was also conducted Sept. 2, just as the statewide campaign season begins in earnest. Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka leads Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon by almost 20 points, a steady hold on her 19-point lead in July and a continued improvement from her 11-point June lead. A Libertarian candidate, Julie Fox, also has been added to the ballot for that race. How did her inclusion affect this poll?