Reboot Illinois poll: Bruce Rauner's lead grows in Illinois governor's race; voters warm to his tax plan

Matt DietrichReboot Illinois

Jul 29, 2014

Copyright 2014 Reboot Illinois

A Reboot Illinois poll in June showed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner with a 10-point lead over Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

A new Reboot Illinois poll, the first conducted since Rauner’s approach to state taxes was unveiled and thoroughly reported, shows the Republican adding to his lead by 4 percentage points while also winning over voters with his proposal to reduce the income tax and expand the state sales tax. The newest statewide poll was conducted July 28 by We Ask America.

The poll contained three questions asked in sequence to gauge respondents’ reactions to the tax plans forwarded by Quinn and Rauner. Respondents first were asked for whom they would vote if the election were today. They then heard specifics of the tax plans in a second question: “Pat Quinn wants to make permanent the 5 percent personal income tax rate. Bruce Rauner wants to take four years to reduce the income tax rate to 3 percent. Rauner would also expand the sales tax to cover 32 services; not just goods. We’d like to know which plan you think is more likely to balance the budget?”

After answering that question, respondents were asked, “Knowing this information about each candidate’s approach to taxes and budgeting, for whom would you vote if the election were held today?”

Support for Quinn fell slightly — from 33 to 31 points — after respondents heard about Quinn’s plan to keep the current 5 percent personal income tax rate rather than allowing it to fall as scheduled to 3.75 percent at year’s end. Though Rauner’s plan contains its own version of a tax increase even as it proposes to lower the income tax over four years, his poll numbers increased slightly after respondents learned of his plan.

Respondents said they believed Rauner’s tax plan was more likely to balance the state budget than Quinn’s by an 11-point margin.

“The results show an incremental increase for Rauner after the poll participants heard a short explanation of the two plans,” said Gregg Durham, chief operating officer of We Ask America. “If — as most of us suspect — this race tightens up dramatically, that type of slight edge could pay big dividends for Mr. Rauner as Election Day nears.”

While Rauner saw a slight decline in his overall numbers in the poll’s broadest category — which asked respondents for whom they’d vote if the election were today — his lead over Quinn grew from 10 to 14 points.

When broken down by location of respondents, Rauner’s numbers in the new poll varied only slightly from those in June, the biggest change being a drop of 2 points among downstate voters. Quinn continues to trail Rauner in all regions of the state except Chicago, where Quinn holds a 59-18 point advantage. In the June Reboot Illinois poll, Quinn’s advantage in Chicago was 65-18.

Voters are not becoming more decisive as the Nov. 4 election nears, the poll showed. While 15.7 percent of all respondents said they were undecided between Rauner and Quinn in June, 20.4 percent of the July respondents said they are undecided.

The interactive charts below break down this week’s poll data by party affiliation, gender and location of respondents. If the interactive graphics don’t display properly, or if you prefer a static view of the data, scroll to the bottom of this post to see results in table form. The poll is based on automated phone calls with a random sample of 1,087 likely Illinois voters statewide. 30 percent of calls were to cell phone contacts. The poll, conducted by We Ask America on July 28, 2014, has a margin of error of +/-2.97 percentage points.

For starters, here’s a look at the change in the broadest category of the June and July polls, asking participants for whom they would vote if the election were today. Place your cursor on each line to see specific numbers from June and July polls.

Here is a closer look at the main question along with breakdowns according to party affiliation of respondents.

Here are results broken down by gender.

Republican candidates generally operate on the belief that winning statewide office means winning at least 20 percent of the Chicago vote. With that in mind, here are the results by location of participants.

Here are the results in table form:




From the pollster:

We Ask America’s automated polls are conducted using our proprietary lists of Illinois voters. Each person responded to identical pre-recorded questions although in some cases the options are rotated to assure no preference of order is involved.  Cell phones users who have volunteered to answer our poll questions are included; others in that category may be contacted through a variety of proprietary methods.

Our sampling methodology ensures that We Ask America poll results are “projectable,” meaning that if every voter in a given geography participated, the results would not differ from the reported poll results by more than the stated margin of error (±3.06%) 95 percent of the time.

We Ask America adheres to the principles, ethics and guidelines of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

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