Poll: Quinn closing gap in gov. race against Brady

September 4, 2010 (CHICAGO) A new survey of state voters shows Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn closing a once-double digit gap with Republican challenger Bill Brady.

The Chicago Tribune poll shows more people dissatisfied with Quinn but unsure about Brady.

The 'wild cards' still in play are the independent, green party and libertarian party candidates and how their campaigns might influence the outcome of the election.

There are fewer than 60 days until the election November 2, and candidates are wasting no time getting their messages out.

The results of this most recent poll coincide with the final push or what some call the kick-off of the state's fall general election campaign season. According to the survey, Sen. Bill Brady still has a lead, although slight, over Gov. Pat Quinn.

But with the general unhappiness most voters feel toward politicians, political experts say it appears to still be anyone's race.

"We have to stop this culture of corruption," Brady said to a crowd gathered recently.

According to a the poll, Brady, a downstate senator, garnered 37 percent of support to 32 percent support for Quinn, with another 19 percent of those polled saying they were undecided.

Brady holds the slim lead although voters don't seem to know much about him but appear to dislike Quinn's policies anyway.

The Tribune poll shows half of the 600 likely registered voters surveyed disapprove of Quinn's job performance in the 19 months since he replaced impeached governor Rod Blagojevich, and only 26 percent have a favorable impression of the sitting governor.

Meanwhile, 4 in 10 voters surveyed held no opinion of Brady, and just 19 percent had an unfavorable view of him.

"As voters learn more about Bill Brady -- they already know about Governor Quinn -- they are going to take a closer look at myself," said Green Party nominee Rich Whitney.

Like Whitney, Libertarian Party contender Lex Green has 2 percent of polled voters' support.

The standard telephone poll also shows former Democratic lieutenant governor nominee turned independent gubernatorial candidate Scott Lee Cohen has 4 percent.

Cohen says he's not a spoiler, but the only candidate with a real plan to create jobs in Illinois.

"Governor Quinn and Senator Brady are spending millions of dollars attacking each other. While they're doing that, I'm spending my own money to get real people real jobs," Cohen said.

"I don't need a lecture from anyone, especially Mr. Cohen. He's has a lot of explaining to do about with his particular business of pawn shops," Quinn said.

An August 7th Rasmussen poll showed Senator Brady held a double-digit margin lead over Pat Quinn by painting him as an incompetent leader and part of the status quo. Political experts say Governor Quinn is now gaining momentum by attacking Brady's social conservatism and his positions on an assault weapons ban and abortion.

"Quinn has to convince voters Brady's ideas are extreme. We're caught in a media warfare. Meanwhile, Brady has to portray Quinn as an incompetent leader who can't get the state's finances under control or both," political consultant Don Rose said.

The Brady campaign issued a statement Saturday night indicating it is happy with the poll numbers and that Brady has had the lead since March. The statement says the numbers show a lack of leadership by Governor Quinn.

Political experts say the governor's race will be close, with one of the most important factors being if Democrats will return to the fold.

The poll was conducted over five days beginning August 28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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