Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker has been embroiled in controversy this week, and his poll numbers are beginning to show signs of slipping as the election approaches.
According to a new poll conducted by Victory Research, Pritzker’s lead over Democratic rival Daniel Biss is down to 3.3 percent, as the frontrunner now has just 27 percent of the vote in the poll of 1209 registered Democrats.
Candidate Chris Kennedy is currently running in third place in that poll at 17.3 percent, with 34.4 percent of respondents who had chosen a candidate saying that they could still change their minds before the March 20 primary.
Pritzker's campaign dismissed the polling data as the work of a "fradulent, Republican pollster."
"This 'poll' was conducted by a convicted felon who perjured himself, violated election code, was prosecuted for election fraud, and has repeatedly managed to conjure up numbers to the benefit of whoever was paying him or whatever agenda he was advancing at the time," communications director Galia Slayen said in a statement.
Victory Research responded to the Pritzker campaign's criticism, standing by their methodology and findings.
"Attacking the pollster is never a good look," the statement read. "Nobody paid me to do the poll on the governor's race, and there arent' any ulterior motives. I'm right about Pritzker's drop, and I'm guessing they know it."
On Thursday, Pritzker visited with more than a dozen African-American ministers after controversy erupted this week over comments the candidate made about Secretary of State Jesse White.
In a taped conversation with former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Pritzker said that White was the “least offensive” candidate eligible to fill the Senate seat of former President Barack Obama.
One of the men that Pritzker called “crass” in the recorded call was also at the restaurant, as former Senate President Emil Jones was in the building, but did not speak to the candidate.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been airing ads featuring Pritzker’s conversations with Blagojevich, and will not comment on whether there are more in production.
Correction: The poll conducted by Victory Resaerch was originally credited to the Chicago Tribune. We have changed the attribution for the polling data and regret the error.