Darren Bailey polls show gubernatorial candidate trailing as he gets critical campaign funding boost

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ByCraig Wall via WLS logo
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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Darren Bailey's campaign got a critical fundraising boost this week from the Republican mega-donor who almost single-handedly funded his primary campaign

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Darren Bailey's campaign got a critical fundraising boost this week from the Republican mega-donor who almost single-handedly funded his primary campaign.

But questions remain about how Bailey will fare in the coming months.

Bailey was already fighting an uphill battle against Governor JB Pritzker, a billionaire with basically no limit on what he can spend.

Bailey knew from the moment he won the Republican Primary that he would face an uphill battle against Pritzker. Now, a new poll commissioned by Republican strategist Patrick Pfingsten shows Bailey trailing by 20 points.

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The poll, conducted by Victory Geek August 25 to 28, shows Pritzker leading 57-37% with 6% undecided.

"It's pretty obvious that Darren Bailey is losing right now, and losing significantly, and I don't know how he's going to change that narrative unless he's bringing in some real money really, really fast," said Pfingsten, Republican strategist and author of The Illinoize newsletter.

During the primary, Bailey got $9 million from republican Richard Uihlein, but nothing more until this week when Bailey reported getting another million from Uihlein.

One veteran political fundraiser, who spoke only on background, said that when Bailey won the primary, many republican donors slammed their checkbooks closed because they did not see a path to victory for Bailey.

"This is a polarized electorate that is not thrilled, you know, to their toes by JB Pritzker. The question then becomes, can you become a credible alternative? And Bailey has yet to prove that it can be," Pfingsten said.

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Bailey, who is attending two downstate fundraisers Wednesday according to his campaign, was unavailable.

He faces an incumbent billionaire governor who dropped $90 million of his own money into his campaign earlier this year. Bailey desperately needs to raise money fast.

"The question is, can he put together $10 to $20 million for the last couple of months that can get him on TV, try and build a little bit of positive name ID, tear Pritzker's name ID down a little," Pfingsten asked.

READ MORE: Gubernatorial Race

After the primary, the Bailey and Uihlein camps reportedly had a falling out over control of the campaign. It's not clear what changed.

Uihlein has also donated more than $28 million to a super PAC run by Dan Proft that is helping Bailey.