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UPDATED: Rauner Ahead in the Polls

Updated: Friday, June 13 2014, 04:31 PM CDT
ILLINOIS -- The election is still five months away, but new numbers show an early frontrunner in the race for Illinois Governor.

In a new poll by We Ask America, 47-percent of the 1,075 voters polled said they would vote for republican Bruce Rauner if the election was held today. Thirty-seven-percent supported democrat Pat Quinn; and 16-percent said they're undecided.

"10 points is really not a lot this early in the game," said Ron Michaelson, an assistant political science professor at UIS, says the average person isn't paying much attention to the race yet.

Governor Quinn's campaign didn't respond to request for comment; and Steve Brown, with Illinois Democrats, was unavailable for an on-camera interview but told us by phone "the company that did the poll had Rauner up by 20 during the primary. So the fact that he's up by 10 now, really means Quinn probably has the lead."

Both candidates have disadvantages to overcome, according to Michaelson. Rauner hasn't been specific on plans and will have to win over downstate conservatives. Quinn has low approval ratings and has been scrutinized after recent investigations.

"You can never underestimate Pat Quinn because he's a good campaigner," Michaelson said. "Even though Rauner is independently wealthy, Quinn will have plenty of money."

Thursday, Rauner outlined 10 proposals to cut what he calls wasteful spending. They include selling most of the state's planes, moving lawmakers from pensions into 401(k) plans, restricting legislative leaders from having outside jobs, among others ideas.

"This is us on the surface beginning the process," Rauner said. "We are going to outline spending reforms, pro-business and pro-job creation reforms, tax structure reforms, education reforms. We need to go in a dramatically different direction and have our government run for the benefit of families again; rather than for special interest and Pat \Aquinn is maintaining the status quo."

Quinn's campaign promptly wrote a press release saying "what Bruce Rauner released today is a giant prank on the public meant to hide the absence of any real plan to deal with the massive structural challenges facing Illinois."

That's just the start of the mudslinging, according to Michaelson. He predicts, "This is going to be a very negative race. There's going to be record amounts of money spent on this race. It's not going to be pretty. It's going to attract national attention and it'll be fascinating to watch for sure."

Michaelson adds we'll see the campaigns pick up steam around Labor Day; and he expects the margin to close as the election nears.

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Original report posted June 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

In the first poll of the general election.....Republican Bruce Rauner holds a comfortable lead over Pat Quinn in the race for governor.

This is a according to a new poll by "We Ask America" and "Reboot Illinois." The poll, conducted earlier this week surveyed over one thousand registered voters.

They were asked who they would vote for if the election was today. But even though Rauner holds a lead. Analysts say it's still too early in the election cycle to make any bold predictions.

"An early lead I guess its nicer to have an early lead then to be behind early. But there's a lot of game left to be played and no one should read too much into an early lead." said Ron Michaelson, Political Professor at University of Illinois Springfield.

Political analysts say that Rauner's failure to take a stance on big state issues could hurt him in the race. They also say this race could get ugly and may attract national attention.Which could lead to record breaking campaign spending.
UPDATED: Rauner Ahead in the Polls


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