Jim Ryan Losing Gov. Race to "Undecided"

Trails Undecided by five points

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jim Ryan for Governor

    Contrary to a slew of headlines based on the latest Tribune poll, Jim Ryan is not leading the field seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

    Ryan trails Undecided by five points.

    That's outside of the poll's four-point margin of error, which shows you just how undecided likely Republican voters are.

    Ryan leads the rest of the named candidates.

    According to the Tribune, Ryan has the support of 26 percent of those surveyed. The rest of the field is far behind: Andy McKenna clocked in at just 12 percent despite (or because of) the attention his hair ads have received, while state Sen. Bill Brady mustered 10 percent without hair ads.

    State Sen. Kirk Dillard is virtually tied with McKenna and Brady at 9 percent and three other candidates got 6 percent or less.

    Name recognition surely accounts for a chunk of Ryan's support so far, given his late entry into the race and his relative lack of aggressive campaigning so far. The poll results show, thought, that Ryan is officially the front-runner and will be formidable.

    Ryan has emerged as the relative moderate in a weird campaign featuring the former head of the Illinois Republican Party calling himself an outsider, a legislator who cut a campaign commercial for Barack Obama now calling the president a socialist, and a former spokesman for Cicero pledging reform.

    Then again, Ryan is also claiming outsidership despite serving two terms as state attorney general and running for governor as the Republican nominee in 2002.

    Still, Ryan will likely be attacked from the right, given his unwillingness to rule out a tax increase, his hedging on the death penalty, and his willingness to sign (narrowly proscribed) legislation banning assault weapons.

    All of which might make him the Republicans' best hope in the general election.

    But for now, Undecided holds all the marbles.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter,  a Chicago-centric news and culture review that isn't the least bit ambivalent.