Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner and billionaire JB Pritzker appear to be headed for a head-to-head in the November elections - with Rauner trailing two of his potential Democratic challengers.
A new poll from Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows Rauner leading GOP challenger Rep. Jeanne Ives 51 percent to 31 percent in the upcoming March 20 primary election. In the Democratic primary, Pritzker leads state Sen. Daniel Biss 31 percent to 21 percent. Businessman Chris Kennedy is in third, with 17 percent of poll respondents casting their support for him.
In hypothetical general election matchups, Rauner trails Pritzker 50 to 35 percent, and Biss by 48 to 34 percent.
“It’s interesting that Pritzker’s and Biss’s margins over Rauner are essentially the same in The Simon Poll,” said Charlie Leonard, an Institute visiting professor in a press release. “One explanation may be that in the minds of voters—who may know little about either Biss or Pritzker—the decision may come down to ‘Rauner versus not-Rauner.’ If the election were held today, I’d rather be ‘not-Rauner.’”
Both Pritzker and Biss lead Rauner in the city of Chicago and the city's suburbs, while Rauner is leading both Democrats downstate.
In the primaries for Illinois Attorney General, Republican attorney Erika Harold is leading DuPage County board member Gary Grasso 18 percent to 14 percent, with 65 percent of GOP primary voters still undecided.
State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) is leading the crowded Democratic primary to replace outgoing Attorney General Lisa Madigan with the support of 21 percent of the voters. Former Gov. Pat Quinn is in second place, with 18 percent. None of the other six Democrats running registered double-digit support.
The poll was conducted among 1,001 voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.