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Poll: Irvin, Bailey emerge as front runners in GOP primary

CHICAGO — The Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary on June 28 is shaping up to be a two-man race between Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and state senator Darren Bailey of Xenia state. But with more than a third of voters still undecided, the contest is far from over.

A new WGN-TV/The Hill/Emerson College poll of likely GOP primary voters shows Irvin leading the field with 24.1% support, followed by Bailey with 19.8%. Suburban businessman Gary Rabine is in third place with 7.8%, closely followed by venture capitalist Jessie Sullivan with 7.3%. Attorney Max Solomon and former state Senator Paul Schimpf are far behind at 2.3% and 1.9%, respectively.

With early voting set to begin May 19 across Illinois, there is still a large group of voters left to vote. Approximately 36.9% of respondents say they are unsure of the ticket price.

In the election campaign and in television spots, the candidates contrast crime, taxes and corruption. But the economy is by far the primary concern of Republican voters who took part in this poll. When asked about the most important issue facing Illinois, voters overwhelmingly choose the economy — jobs, inflation and taxes. Crime comes a distant second (15.2%), while immigration (6.5%), COVID (4.3%), education (3.6), health care (4.7%) and the war in the Ukraine (2.0%) are further down the list.

Bailey and Irvin still lead the field when respondents were asked which candidate would best lead the state’s economy – both at about 21%. Jesse Sullivan and Gary Rabine share the second largest group of respondents at around 9% each.

Irvin has suffered a month-long promotional blitz backed by $45 million from Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin. The campaign has highlighted Irvin’s crime-fighting credentials as a former prosecutor and appears to be influencing voters.

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Thirty percent of likely voters in the GOP primary say Richard Irvin is best placed to tackle crime, followed by Bailey at 20 percent. Again, many respondents say they have not made a decision yet – 33% of respondents were undecided.

Another major storyline in the race is the division of support among voters in urban and rural Illinois. Richard Irvin has a large lead over Bailey in urban areas, 32% to 10%.

Bailey has defined his campaign as grassroots action, reaching out to supporters in their communities and through social media. This plan was successful with likely voters in rural areas, where Bailey beats Irvin by 30% to 16%.

Voters who self-identify as suburban are more evenly split – Irvin has a slight advantage at 25% while Bailey is just behind at 20%.

The governor’s elementary school also shows an education gap: Irvin ranks Bailey at 30% to 17% among respondents with college or postgraduate degrees. Bailey ranks Irvin among those without a college degree at 23% to 18%.

Ex-President Donald Trump remains a joker. He has provided support in the United States GOP primary but has yet to enter the Republican race for Illinois governor. About 57% of likely GOP primary voters say they are more likely to support a candidate if they are supported by Trump.

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Hoping to secure his seal of approval, Darren Bailey recently visited the former President’s Mar-A-Lago estate.

Irvin has danced around questions about whether he wants Trump’s support or even voted for the former president at all. Still, Irvin leads with voters 26% less likely to support a Trump-backed candidate. He also gets 33% support from voters who say endorsing the former president wouldn’t make a difference.

Abortion rights made headlines after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overthrowing Roe v. Wade was leaked. Though Illinois law will keep abortion legal statewide despite a court ruling, GOP primary voters are likely to be divided on their views on the issue.

40 percent of Republican primary voters say abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is in danger. Eighteen percent say it should be illegal in all cases and 15 percent say it should be legal for up to 20 weeks. Another 15% say it is legal in all cases and 13% say it is legal up to the sixth week of pregnancy.

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There is no front-runner in the low-key competition for the US Senate GOP nomination. The winner will face incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth. Every Republican hopeful is below 10% and nearly 3 in 4 Republicans (72.4%) say they are undecided.

Peggy Hubbard leads with 7%, followed by Bobby Piton with 6%, Kathy Salvi with 5%, Anthony Williams has 1.2% support and Jimmy Lee Tillman II rounds out the field with less than 1%.

METHODOLOGY
The Emerson College Polling Illinois poll of Republican primary voters was conducted May 6-8, 2022. The Republican primary sample consisted of moderately and very likely voters, n=1,000, with a confidence interval (CI) similar to a survey’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. Datasets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2022 voter turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subgroups based on gender, age, ethnicity, and region introduce higher margins of error as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cell phone sample of SMS-to-Web, a landline Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, and an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk.

https://fox2now.com/news/politics/poll-irvin-bailey-emerge-as-frontrunners-in-gop-primary/ Poll: Irvin, Bailey emerge as front runners in GOP primary

Nate Jones

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