Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Tammy Duckworth have opened up big leads in Illinois, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The poll, which was conducted by Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Policy Institute, showed Clinton leading Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump 53 percent to 28 percent among likely Illinois voters. Additionally, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson garnered 5 percent of support, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 2 percent. Nine percent of likely voters remained undecided.
“This is Clinton’s home state and it is a state that has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988,” John Jackson, one of the poll’s designers and a visiting professor at the institute, said in a statement. “This poll shows that Clinton is certainly living up to the conventional expectations for a Democratic candidate in the kind of big and diverse Midwestern state she must win to be elected."
In the race for Republican Sen. Mark Kirk’s seat, the poll showed Duckworth leading Kirk by 14 points -- 48 percent to 34 percent among likely voters. In addition, Libertarian candidate Kent McMillen received 3 percent of support, while Green Party candidate Scott Summers received 2 percent. Ten percent of voters remained undecided.
The poll also showed Democratic state comptroller nominee and Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza leading Comptroller Leslie Munger by a margin of 40 percent to 32 percent among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Claire Ball and Green Party candidate Tim Curtin both received 2 percent of the vote. Additionally, 2 percent of respondents said they would vote for someone else, while 22 percent remained undecided.
The Paul Simon Institute poll also gauged approval and disapproval ratings for some of the state’s highest ranking officials. Forty percent of likely voters polled approved or strongly approved of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s job performance, while 55 percent somewhat disapproved or strongly disapproved.
According to the poll, 63 percent of respondents somewhat disapproved or strongly disapproved of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s job performance, while 26 percent somewhat approved or strongly approved. In addition, 41 percent of likely voters polled disapproved or strongly disapproved of Senate President John Cullerton’s job performance, while 26 percent approved and 29 percent weren’t sure.
The survey’s sample included 1,000 registered voters, 865 of whom said they were likely voters. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percent, while the likely voter sample has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points. The poll was conducted using live landline and cell phone interviews between Sept. 27-Oct. 2. According to the poll, Democrats received stronger support in Chicago and the outlying suburbs, while Republicans found more support downstate.