Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Brady Pulling Away From Quinn

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Apparently, Bill Brady can attend as many tea parties, pay as few taxes, threaten to cut as many minimum-wage salaries and stop as many gay wedding as he wants.

    Everybody who said Brady was too right-wing for Illinois didn’t count on the fact that, in 2010, Juan Peron or Francisco Franco could beat Pat Quinn.

    In the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, out Thursday, Brady is beating Quinn 48% to 35%, his biggest lead yet, and a pathetic showing for an incumbent governor, even one who wasn’t actually elected to the office. As a result, Rasmussen has now moved the race from “Toss Up” to “Leans Republican.”

    It’s not surprising that, as the scion of the party out of power, Brady is getting 83 percent of the Republican vote. It is surprising that Quinn is winning only 57 percent of Democrats. What’s more, voters are more likely to view him as an extremist than they are Brady: 

    Sixty-four percent (64%) view Brady as conservative, while only 16% see him as being moderate.

    Forty-seven percent (47%) say Quinn is politically liberal, but 31% see him as moderate.

    Despite these ideological differences, Illinois voters have similar perceptions of the two candidates’ views. Forty-two percent (42%) see Brady’s views as being in the mainstream, and 41% say the same of Quinn's. But 38% of voters see Quinn’s views as extreme, while 32% feel that way about Brady's. However, over 20% of voters have no opinion of either man’s views.

    Brady is viewed Very Favorably by 16% of the state’s voters and Very Unfavorably by 19%.

    Quinn earns Very Favorable marks from 10% and Very Unfavorable reviews from 33%. 

    Quinn has been hitting Brady hard on social issues. He ran an ad accusing Brady of trying to take away women’s rights. In accepting the endorsement of Equality Illinois, a gay rights group, he signaled that he would sign a gay marriage bill, a switch from his position in the primary. But when voters are broke, and the state is broke, they care less about women’s rights and gay marriage than they do about getting a good job and balancing the budget. Brady won’t be able to force his social agenda through the Democratic legislature, but he will be able to force the Democrats to make budget cuts.

    This may, in fact, be the only year a guy as conservative Bill Brady could be elected governor of Illinois. Somewhere in Hinsdale, state Sen. Kirk Dillard is reading these poll numbers and stabbing himself in the face with a plastic spork, wailing, “If that teabagger Bill Brady can beat Pat Quinn, imagine what I could have done. That governorship should have been mine! Mine!”