Quinn vs. Rauner: Governor Gallops Past His Rival 44-40 in New Poll | NBC Chicago
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Quinn vs. Rauner: Governor Gallops Past His Rival 44-40 in New Poll

The Illinois gubernatorial race tightens as Election Day looms ever closer.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, gaining momentum closer to Election Day, leads Republican rival Bruce Rauner 44-40 in a new poll from Reboot Illinois/We Ask America.

    A 55 percent majority of Illinoisians surveyed say they are "very confident" that they are voting for the right candidate—which is "good news" for Quinn, according to the political site Reboot Illinois. Overall, poll-takers identified as 38 percent Democrat, 25.5 percent Republican 36.5 percent independent.

    In what could be a negative omen for Rauner, who's angling to undermine Quinn's tight grip on Democratic Chicago, the incumbent wins the support of a whopping 61.91 percent of likely Windy City voters. Meanwhile, Rauner scores 14.21 percent of the vote here while the Libertarian Party's Chad Grimm attracts 6.63 percent, perhaps yanking away votes that might have gone to Rauner. Another 17.25 percent say they're undecided.

    Quinn has another comfortable lead in the Cook County suburbs, overtaking Rauner 57.96-31.44 percent. (Grimm's support outside the city decreases to 3.18 percent along with 7.41 percent of undecideds.)

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    Rauner tracks much better in the traditionally Republican collar counties surrounding Cook County, besting Quinn 53.95-35.82 percent. (Grimm snags just 4 percent of the vote.) The wealthy Winnetka investor surpasses Quinn 47.34-31.66 in GOP-leaning Downstate Illinois.

    "Pat Quinn has passed Bruce Rauner, but there is plenty of maneuvering space left for both candidates, especially in light of nearly 35 percent of voters not that confident they are choosing the right candidate," says Gregg Durham, COO at the polling service We Ask America. "There has been some real upheaval in the location-based crosstabs where Quinn is solidifying his Chicago and suburban Cook County base.”

    These results are reflective of recent polling that show Quinn galloping past Rauner in a late-stage surge after months of pollster predictions favoring his opponent.

    Rauner, who recently poured another $1.5 million of his own money into his election war chest, has raised some $43 million to unseat Quinn. The governor, for his part, has collected about $17 million in donor contributions. Part of Rauner's grassroots strategy is to lay the groundwork in Democrat-controlled Illinois for a stronger GOP, and that includes padding the party's own bank account with extra dollars. Last month, Rauner wrote state's Republican Party a check for $750,000, bringing his total donations to $3.6 million.

    But Quinn has fought back with relentless attacks portraying the multi-millionaire and political neophyte—who once supported the idea of wiping out the minimum wage entirely—as too out of touch to lead the state and relate to the average Illinoisian. Rauner has smeared Quinn as too corrupt and incompetent to rescue Illinois from financial doom. Both men have recruited famous allies of late: Stumping for Quinn are President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Martin Sheen; endorsing Rauner is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Bears legend Mike Ditka.