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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Illinois Polls

The latest polls are out in both the Illinois Governor's race and the race for Cook County Board President. It appears in the Governor's race at least there is no sweeping winds of change. Governor Quinn holds a big lead for the Democrats and Jim Ryan, long time Republican stalwart, holds a big lead for the Republicans.

Among the 600 likely Democratic primary voters surveyed by telephone Dec. 2-8, Quinn had the support of 49 percent to 23 percent for Hynes, the three-term comptroller. Among other candidates, activist William "Dock" Walls had 3 percent, and attorney Ed Scanlan had 2 percent. An additional 21 percent were undecided; 2 were for others. The poll has an error margin of 4 percentage points.


On the Republican side, the poll of 600 likely GOP voters found Ryan with the support of 26 percent, to 12 percent for Andy McKenna, the former state party chairman.

At 10 percent was state Sen. Bill Brady, of Bloomington, an unsuccessful 2006 Republican governor candidate, while state Sen. Kirk Dillard, of Hinsdale, had 9 percent. Three other candidates had the support of 6 percent or less of GOP voters.

On the Republican side, both Ryan and McKenna, the former Illinois Republican Party chairman, are the consummate insiders. Ryan's own record on corruption is mixed. A couple weeks back, Chicago anti corruption crusader John Kass had a largely positive column about Ryan following a long interview.

"The infrastructure of the Illinois Republican Party has never really been for me," Ryan said over breakfast the other day as we talked about that 2002 campaign and his current run in the crowded GOP primary for governor. "I'm not a deal-maker. And senior Republicans knew my reputation. They knew I wouldn't be flexible."

Seven years ago, Ryan, then Illinois attorney general, had the misfortune of having the same last name as George Ryan, the crooked Republican governor who later was indicted and sent to prison in the license-for-bribes scandal. They're not related, but George Ryan's disgrace splashed over the GOP

Within days, the Chicago Sun Times (Kass works for the Tribune) scooped Kass with a long piece detailing Ryan's ties to some of Illinois' most disgraced power brokers.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jim Ryan, already dogged by questions about his ties to convicted money-launderer Stuart Levine, could have another Levine-related problem.Embarking on his second run for the state's top office, the former attorney general has acknowledged that, yes, he was close to Levine, who was his law school study partner and, later, his top political fund-raiser.

And yes, Ryan knows that some will hold that friendship against him, even though he has said he had no idea Levine was a longtime white-collar crook whose "secret life" included frequent all-night drug parties with male companions -- revelations that didn't emerge until after federal prosecutors indicted Levine in 2005.

Levine pleaded guilty to federal fraud and money-laundering charges in 2006 and became a star witness last year in the successful corruption prosecution of Tony Rezko, the former top adviser to ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

It's important to note that Ryan has never had any ethics charges against him. There are no charges that he himself was ever involved in corruption directly. That said Stuart Levine is not now merely a convicted felon but he has long standing ties to some of Illinois' most notorious power brokers including Tony Rezko and William Cellini and Ryan's ties to Levine go back decades.

Meanwhile, Andy McKenna was head of the Republican party here in Illinois during its darkest period in the last four years. That includes an embarrassing loss against Governor Blagojevich in 2006.

On the Democratic side, not only is Governor Quinn in charge of a commanding lead but Democratic voters have given a collective shrug to the stain of former Governor Blagojevich. Quinn's list of "accomplishments" include raising the income tax by 50% and presiding over a farcical ethics and campaign reform bill.

On the Cook County Board President front, there may be some relatively good news. Current Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is running a distant third among Democrats.

The Chicago Tribune's poll of Cook County voters' attitudes to the Democratic primary candidates has Dorothy Brown with a lead over three other candidates. The incumbent, Todd Stroger, is in third place, but with the highest unfavorable rating of any of the candidates by far.

The breakdown of support is Brown-Preckwinkle-Stroger-O'Brien, at 29%-20%-14%-11%, with "Other" at 2% and 24% undecided.

Buried in the numbers is one other interesting point. Preckwinkle's name recognition stands at only 62% whereas Brown is at 91% and Stroger at 98%. So, Preckwinkle certainly has a serious opportunity if her name recognition goes up. The Republicans have no one of consequence and a poll hasn't been done.

I also received this email from the campaign of Tom Tresser, the Green Party candidate.

The Chicago Tribune ran a story today on the Democratic candidates for Cook County Board President (it doesn't look good for the incumbent).

At the conclusion of the story the reporters make this statement:"Two Republicans, Roger Keats and John Garrido, are running for the chance to challenge the Democratic primary winner for a seat that Democrats have held for more than 40 years."

What's missing?

The Green Party candidate.

That's true. Tresser wasn't even mentioned in the story. In fact, I'm surprised the Republicans were mentioned. They didn't bother to run a poll on them. When the 5th District held its special election to replace Rahm Emanuel, both newspapers pretended as though the only ones running were Democrats.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone vote for Jim Ryan? He can't win with Levine tied around his neck. I am supporting Kirk Dillard because he is the only GOP candidate win.

Johny Bananas said...

If the GOP wants to win - they should nominate Dillard!