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Battleground Polling Getting a read on the field 2014-05-27T17:31:21Z http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?feed=atom WordPress admin <![CDATA[Lawmakers approaching end of session with no budget]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1908 2014-05-27T17:31:21Z 2014-05-27T17:31:21Z

The General Assembly will be back in session today on one of the last days of the spring session, with lawmakers still trying to agree on a state budget.

The Senate is set to reconvene at 10 a.m. and the House at 11:30 a.m.

House Speaker Michael Madigan said on Memorial Day that he wants to put together a satisfactory budget before Saturday’s scheduled adjournment that does not rely on the revenue from the state income tax rate remaining at 5 percent.

The personal rate is scheduled to drop from 5 percent to 3.75 percent Jan. 1. Gov. Pat Quinn has been pushing to keep it at its current level, but it isn’t clear he will be able to find the votes in the General Assembly to make that happen.

Sixty votes are needed in the House to extend the tax increase, and Madigan has said during the past few days that only 34 of the 71 House Democrats are prepared to vote for it.

House Democrats narrowly approved a roughly $38 billion budget two weeks ago that counted on the tax hike staying in place, but there hasn’t been enough support to extend the increase. On Friday, a budget that was about $3 billion less failed overwhelmingly.

Madigan meanwhile has advanced a bill to the full House that would make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a separate state agency. Madigan said he was responding to problems with the current set-up, which has the museum under the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Opponents worried the museum would become a patronage haven if it becomes its own entity, and the Quinn Administration estimated it would cost $2.4 million to make the switch at a time when other historic sites are considered for closing because of the state’s budget problems.

A House panel also passed a measure Monday that would speed up the start of “fracking” in southern and central Illinois — a process that extracts oil and natural gas by pressuring it out of the ground. The bill’s sponsor says it contains strong environmental protections, but a citizens group is seeking to block it so current checks and balances can play out.


admin <![CDATA[Schneider selected as new Chair of the Illinois Republican Party]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1896 2014-05-19T20:08:04Z 2014-05-19T20:08:04Z

May 17, 2014|By Rick Pearson | Tribune reporter

Tim Schneider at Cook County Board meeting. Schneider was elected state GOP chairman.

Tim Schneider at Cook County Board meeting. Schneider was elected state GOP chairman. (Tribune file photo)

Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider was elected today to a four-year term as chairman of the Illinois Republican Party in a move signaling governor candidate Bruce Rauner’s efforts to consolidate his power in the GOP.

Members of the state Republican central committee voted unanimously in Springfield for Schneider to succeed Jack Dorgan as party chair. Dorgan, a Rosemont village trustee, took over the party a year ago when Pat Brady resigned in the fallout over Brady’s support for same-sex marriage in opposition to the party platform.

Dorgan did not seek election to a full four-year term but remains on the state central committee. Rauner also named Dorgan a co-chair of his campaign’s finance committee.

Schneider, of Streamwood, is a longtime friend of Rauner, the wealthy equity investor from Winnetka who is seeking public office for the first time. Schneider is a former Hanover Township trustee and highway commissioner and has served on the County Board since 2007.





admin <![CDATA[Poll: Emanuel Trails Preckwinkle in 2015 Mayor’s Race]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1884 2014-03-28T16:27:46Z 2014-03-28T16:27:46Z Poll: Emanuel Trails Preckwinkle in 2015 Mayor’s Race

53% of Likely Voters Say Chicago Heading in the “Wrong Direction”


ABOVE THE FOLD… Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s pursuit of a second term could be complicated if not outright thwarted by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were she to decide to run, a new survey says.

In an exclusive poll commissioned by The Illinois Observer, Preckwinkle captures 40% of likely voters, while Emanuel snags 32%, leaving 28% of voters undecided in a head-to-head matchup.

The city wide survey of 724 likely voters (margin of error = 3.49%) from March 25 to March 26, 2014, conducted by La Grange-based Strive Strategies finds that 42% of African-American voters say they would support Preckwinkle, while only 28% say they would vote for the mayor.

Among women, 40% would support Toni Preckwinkle, while 32% remain undecided. Only 29% of women indicate that Emanuel would be likely to earn their vote in this hypothetical contest.

Overall, 53% of likely voters, those who have participated in the last two city elections,

believe that the City of Chicago is headed in the wrong direction. While just over half of Democrats believe that the city is headed in the right direction, two thirds of Republicans and Independents, respectively, believe the opposite.

Meanwhile, 55% of voters who believe Chicago is headed in the wrong direction would be likely to vote for Preckwinkle, while only 11% of voters who feel that way would vote for Emanuel.

Strive Strategies owner and pollster Dennis Cook says in his analysis memo, in perhaps in a bit of understatement, that Emanuel should be “concerned”.

“Should Toni Preckwinkle decide to run for Mayor of Chicago, she would be in a strong position to challenge incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as she leads Mr. Emanuel in almost every single demographic polled,” said Cook. “Emanuel should be concerned with the strength Toni Preckwinkle is showing at this early stage of the campaign.”

Cook harks back to former Mayor Richard M. Daley‘s successful 1989 run as potentially instructive to any Preckwinkle decision.

“This could perhaps set the stage for a run similar to Mayor Richard M. Daley who used his popularity as Cook County state’s Attorney to vault into the Chicago Mayor’s office in 1989,” said Cook. “This poll certainly indicates that, as the current Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle could be poised to do the same 25 years later.”

Cook notes that Emanuel’s campaign cash provides a solid advantage, but hints that the mayor’s troubled relationship with African-Americans, Democrats overall, and the clashes with the CTU over the school strike and school closures lie at the heart of the mayor’s political weakness.

“Certainly, Mr. Emanuel’s formidable campaign war chest would be a significant challenge for Mrs. Preckwinkle to overcome,” Cook stated.

“However, given her strength among African Americans and seven point lead over Mr. Emanuel even among Democrats should raise some eyebrows in Chicago political circles where even the Chicago Teachers Union, in the wake of an eight day strike only two years ago and plans announced last summer to close 50 Chicago schools, have called for an alternative in City Hall.”

admin <![CDATA[IL Political News Weekly]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1870 2014-03-15T00:23:11Z 2014-03-15T00:23:11Z polling 2012

Mon. March 10, 2014
ILLINOIS REVIEW: Chicago’s Pension Crisis is compared to Detroit.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Proposed Referendums on the ballot.

Tues. March 11, 2014

How much money does it take to win an election in Illinois? See here how much each Senate and Congressional Candidate has in their arsenal.

DAILY CALLER: Jolly wins election that tested Obamacare’s appeal.

CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS: Anti-Rauner group pulls plug on TV ad campaign. The Freedom PAC pulled their ads after spending 3.1 million dollars.

ILLINOIS REVIEW: GOP Treasurer Candidates Debate on Chicago Tonight.

Wed. March 12, 2014

With the Primaries just around the corner, who are the Republican frontrunners? What are some of the candidates’ stances on issues important to the voters of Illinois?

CHICAGO SUN TIMES: New Poll: Rauner maintains big lead in GOP gov’s race.

ILLINOIS REVIEW: GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Responses to the Question “What will you do as governor to protect our communities, defend the Second Amendment, and improve health care in Illinois?”

Thurs. March 13, 2014

CAPITOL FAX: Another endorsement for Kirk Dillard, this time from the Illinois State Rifle Association.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Doug Truax tries to turn Oberweis’ Florida trip into cash, asking potential donors to contribute to his campaign.

Fri. March 14,2014

DAILY HERALD: GOP hopefuls for Governor less fiery in debate.

CHICAGO SUN TIMES: Turnout could swing GOP race for Illinois Governor.

admin <![CDATA[Dillard gains on Rauner]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1862 2014-03-07T21:18:50Z 2014-03-07T21:18:50Z

Rick Pearson
Clout Street
1:46 p.m. CST, March 7, 2014

Wealthy first-time candidate Bruce Rauner remains in the lead heading into the final days of the Illinois Republican governor race, but state Sen. Kirk Dillard has surged to become the new alternative to the frontrunner, a Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows.

Rauner had 36 percent support — down 4 percentage points from a month ago amid a blitz of labor union-backed TV ads attacking his business dealings as a venture capitalist.
Dillard had 23 percent, doubling his support since last month, especially among Downstate voters. The veteran state lawmaker gained while state Sen. Bill Brady and Treasurer Dan Rutherford lost support in recent weeks. Brady was at 18 percent, down from 20 percent in early February. Rutherford, who was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former employee last month, was at 9 percent — a 4-percentage-point drop from the last poll.

While Dillard has made up some ground, he still faces a difficult path to try to overtake Rauner in the March 18 primary election. Rauner holds a significant advantage in campaign fundraising and may have the upper hand with his central campaign message, the poll showed.
Dillard has tried to appeal to social conservatives, but the survey showed Republican voters overwhelmingly place a premium on fiscal conservatism in picking a candidate. And getting state government’s finances in order is the message Rauner has been offering in expensive TV ads he’s been airing for months.

Rauner’s strength was perhaps best illustrated by a series of questions to gauge voters’ attitudes toward the candidates regardless of who they favor for governor. Compared to his rivals, more voters listed Rauner as the most electable, knowledgeable and prepared candidate as well as the one displaying the strongest leadership and best equipped to deal with Democratic leaders.
There’s still the potential for some shifting in the contest: 13 percent of those polled said they were undecided. The survey of 600 registered voters likely to cast a ballot in the Republican primary was conducted March 1-5 through live interviews by land line and cellphone. It has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The race had been expected to tighten somewhat as voters began to more carefully consider their choices closer to Election Day. Support for Winnetka’s Rauner in the city and suburbs remained above 40 percent, but Dillard, whose home base is GOP-rich DuPage County, jumped to 24 percent in the region.
Downstate, however, Rauner saw his support fall from 35 percent to 30 percent, while Dillard’s increased from 6 percent to 21 percent. Dillard now stands tied among Downstate voters with Brady, the unsuccessful 2010 nominee from Bloomington who won the primary four years ago off his showing in the 96 counties outside the city and suburbs.

Dillard ran for governor in 2010 emphasizing his ties to moderate former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar. After falling just short to Brady in that primary, Dillard has sought to broaden his appeal to socially conservative voters. He has attacked Rauner’s moderate views on social issues, including the frontrunner’s support for abortion rights. But that may not be enough.
Asked which they rate as a higher priority in picking a nominee for governor, 75 percent said fiscal conservatism while only 13 percent listed social conservatism. That could play well for Rauner. Though he’s offered few specifics about how he’d fix the state’s woeful finances, Rauner has promised to “shake up” Springfield’s status quo and go after “government union bosses.”

Since the last poll, a coalition of public employee unions have aired ads alleging Rauner was tied to Stuart Levine, who was sent to prison in the corruption investigation of ex-Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, as well as negligence in nursing homes which were funded through investments by Rauner’s former firm.
Levine was a paid consultant for a health care business which Rauner’s firm later invested in. Levine also sat on the Teachers Retirement System board when Rauner’s firm sought to increase their business of investing teacher pensions. Rauner has said he didn’t know Levine when his GTCR investment firm won additional state pension business.

As for the nursing homes, several big-dollar negligence and wrongful death judgments were entered against subsidiaries of a nursing home business which received funding from GTCR investments. Many of the judgments were later stayed or overturned and are part of federal bankruptcy proceedings. Rauner has said his GTCR firm lost $60 million it invested in the business.
The ads may have driven up unfavorable views of Rauner. While the percentage of voters who have a favorable view of Rauner remained largely the same at 47 percent, the percentage who hold an unfavorable view rose from 10 percent in early February to 21 percent in the new poll.

Nearly one in five in the latest survey identified themselves as living in union households. Rauner has lost ground among this group. In early February, Rauner scored 31 percent to 25 percent for Brady among voters who lived in union households. At that time, Dillard had only 8 percent support among that group.
But in the new poll, Dillard had 29 percent among Republican households with a union member compared to 26 percent for Rauner. Brady slipped to 19 percent and Rutherford fell from 19 percent to 10 percent.

Still, Rauner’s decision to run a sustained TV ad campaign to talk directly to voters appears to have helped shaped how they perceive him, the poll found. On a variety of issues aimed at testing voters’ attitudes toward the candidates, regardless of who they like for governor, Rauner had an advantage over his rivals.
Asked which GOP contender was most electable in the November general election, when Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to be the opponent, 37 percent listed Rauner compared to 19 percent for Brady, 17 percent for Dillard and 7 percent for Rutherford.

Rauner also was cited as showing the strongest leadership in the Republican field, scoring 31 percent, with Dillard and Brady at just under 20 percent.
The frontrunner has spent the campaign attacking Democrats in Springfield as the source of the state’s problems. Those surveyed picked Rauner as the best to deal with the Democratic leadership in Springfield, where Democrats are expected to retain control of the General Assembly, at 29 percent. Dillard and Brady each were just under 20 percent.

But the differential between Rauner and the other candidates tightened when voters were asked which candidate was the most knowledgeable. Rauner had 26 percent to 22 percent for Brady and 21 percent for Dillard.
The same narrowing of the field occurred when voters were asked which contender was best prepared to be governor. Although Rauner has never held office, 27 percent of voters listed him to 22 percent for Brady, 20 percent for Dillard and 8 percent for Rutherford. All three opponents have more than two decades of state government experience.

Rauner’s foes have tried to make his wealth an issue in the campaign, with some accusing him of trying to buy the primary election. But more voters still see Rauner as the candidate most able to identify with regular Illinoisans. A total of 27 percent cited Rauner, while about one in five listed Brady and Dillard. Call it the power of advertising: Rauner has aired spots talking about his $18 watch while wearing his working-class Carhartt sporting vest.
Rutherford had tried to position himself as the chief alternative to Rauner, pointing out he was the only candidate to win statewide and noting he’d raised more than Dillard and Brady. But last month, Edmund Michalowski, the former director of community affairs and marketing in the treasurer’s office, filed a federal lawsuit alleging Rutherford sexually harassed him and forced him to do political work on state time. Rutherford has strenuously denied the allegations but has withheld the results of a taxpayer-funded look into the claims.

The poll showed the controversy has taken its toll. One-third of Republican primary voters said the lawsuit has made them less likely to vote for Rutherford. Asked their impression of the candidates, 27 percent viewed Rutherford unfavorably compared to 24 percent who had a favorable opinion. In early February, shortly before the lawsuit was filed, Rutherford was viewed favorably by 30 percent of voters and only 13 percent had an unfavorable impression of him.
Dillard’s favorability increased from 27 percent among Republicans early last month to 38 percent. Those that viewed him unfavorably increased only slightly — from 12 percent to 15 percent. Brady’s ratio of favorable to unfavorable remained virtually unchanged over the month. A total of 38 percent of voters had a favorable view of him while 17 percent had an unfavorable opinion.

Although Republicans haven’t won an Illinois governor election since 1998, the survey showed a high level of optimism that the party would be able to retake the mansion this fall. Nearly seven in 10 GOP primary voters said they believe it’s likely that the Republican nominee would win in November, no matter which candidate they supported. Only 28 percent said they considered GOP chances for a win in the fall to be unlikely.

Twitter @rap30
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

admin <![CDATA[Focus on Rauner: Republican candidates for IL governor square off at debate]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1857 2014-02-28T05:29:50Z 2014-02-28T05:29:50Z


By Rick Pearson and Michelle ManchirClout Street10:28 p.m. CST, February 27, 2014

The four Republican candidates for governor intensified their attacks against each other during a Thursday night debate as they tried to convince primary voters of their electability come the fall with the primary election less than three weeks away.

The target of many of the barbs was front runner Bruce Rauner, a first-time candidate and venture capitalist from Winnetka. Rivals accused Rauner of practicing “pay to play” politics, of being naïve in how state government works and likened him to Democratic President Barack Obama for threatening to run Illinois by “dictating by executive order.”

But Rauner, whose personal wealth and voracious fundraising operation has allowed him to dominate TV airwaves with ads, did not address the specific criticisms levied by state Sens. Bill Brady of Bloomington and Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa — a trio he labeled “career politicians.”

“The attacks against me are coming fast and furious because we’re winning and because we have a message that scares the status quo in Springfield,” Rauner said. “With all due respect to Mr. Dillard as well as my other opponents, they have been part of the problem in Springfield for decades.”

Dillard, who lost the 2010 GOP nomination to Brady by 193 votes, set the tone in his opening statement. Dillard noted that Brady was making his third consecutive run for governor and opined that “the third time is not a charm.” Mocking the $18 watch Rauner has showcased in his TV ads, Dillard said, “like his watch, talk is cheap.” And Dillard discounted Rutherford’s prospects because of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee against the treasurer.

Rutherford brought up the lawsuit early during the hour-long forum, denying the allegations but acknowledged “how tough this has made my campaign.”

With Brady and Dillard largely discounting Rutherford as a factor, the two state senators focused their attention on each other and Rauner.

Brady twice invoked Obama, the home-state Democratic president and a former state Senate colleague, in criticizing Rauner and Dillard. Brady said Rauner’s tough talk about using the governor’s executive authority to challenge a Democratic-led General Assembly was “naïve” and threatened gridlock.

“He doesn’t know what it’s like to make the legislature work together,” Brady said. “Look at the catastrophe that’s created in Washington, D.C. with Barack Obama dictating by executive order. Mr. Rauner thinks he can do that in Springfield because he doesn’t have the experience.”

Brady also again questioned Dillard’s ability to “bring the Republican Party together” because of the Hinsdale lawmaker’s appearance in a 2008 presidential TV ad in Iowa attesting to Obama’s ability to work across the aisle.

“He’s not a reliable Republican,” Brady warned. He also charged that Dillard “sold out to special interests for politician interests” by voting against a new state public pension law opposed by public employee unions. Dillard has been endorsed by the Illinois Education Association, which represents teachers outside Chicago.

Dillard reserved his strongest comments to attack Rauner, contending the frontrunner “has a long history of pay to play activity in his personal, professional and political life” involving Stuart Levine, a corrupt appointee of disgraced and imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and donations made to the successful governor campaign of Democrat Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.

Rauner has said he did not know Levine was being paid by a firm in which GTCR had an ownership stake when Rauner appeared before the state Teachers Retirement System seeking additional investments for educators’ pensions. Levine also sat on the TRS board.

Rauner has defended the donation to Rendell as part of an effort to increase opportunities for charter schools and school choice, though GTCR also saw an increase in investments from the pension fund for Pennsylvania retirees.

As he has done for much of the campaign, Rauner largely stuck to script in vowing to take on Springfield and refusing to engage his opponents’ attacks.

“There’s no there, there,” Rauner said of the criticism. His opponents, Rauner said, are “part of the problem and we have to drive major transformation.”

The debate, taped for a 7 p.m. Friday broadcast by WLS Ch. 7, also was sponsored by Univision Chicago and the League of Women Voters of Illinois. It’s the last televised forum before early voting begins Monday, though there are three more TV debates before the March 18 primary.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, NBC5 and the University of Chicago will host a debate. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, WGN Ch. 9 and the Chicago Tribune editorial board will host a debate streamed live at chicagotribune.com. And the four candidates will hold their last televised debate at 7 p.m. March 13 on WTTW Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight” program.


Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC


admin <![CDATA[32% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1850 2014-02-27T06:46:20Z 2014-02-27T06:46:20Z

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thirty-two percent (32%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending February 23.

That’s up from 30% the previous week and isthe highest level of optimism since the first week of June 2013. Prior to this week, this finding had seesawed between 29% and 30% every week since mid-December. A year ago, 34% said the country was headed in the right direction.

Early last October during the federal government shutdown, confidence in the country’s course fell to 13%, the lowest finding in five years.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track. That’s down one point from the previous week. It is also the lowest finding since mid-September. Eighty percent (80%) felt the country was on the wrong track in early October, but 58% believed that at this time last year.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on February 17-23, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 66% of voters not affiliated with either major political party still think the country is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 54% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 36% think it’s on the wrong track.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of black voters feel the country is headed in the right direction. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites and 59% of other minority voters disagree.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of investors think the country is heading in the right direction, compared to 28% of non-investors.

Those who earn $100,000 or more a year are more positive about the direction of the country than those who earn less.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the Political Class feel the country is headed in the right direction, while 74% of Mainstream voters feel it is on the wrong track.

For the third week in a row, Democrats hold the lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Forty-four percent (44%) of all voters think the federal government should require every American to buy or obtain health insurance. Forty-six percent (46%) oppose this so-called individual mandate that is part of the new national health care law.

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans don’t trust the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates and inflation down.

Thirty-three percent (33%) have filed their income taxes already. Forty-five percent (45%) expect to get a tax refund this year.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) think it is harder for teachers now to maintain discipline compared to when they were in school.

Crosstabs and historical data are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

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The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on February 17-23, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll andcommentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.

Feb 17-23 32% 61%
Feb 10-16 30% 62%
Feb 3-9 29% 63%
Jan 27-Feb 2 29% 64%
Jan 20-26 30% 63%
Jan 13-19 30% 62%
Jan 6-12 29% 63%
Dec 30-Jan 6 29% 62%
Dec 23-29 30% 63%
Dec 16-22 29% 64%
Dec 9-15 26% 66%
Dec 2-8 28% 65%
Nov 25-26 & Dec. 1 25% 67%
Nov 18-24 26% 67%
Nov 11-17 25% 68%
Nov 4-10 24% 69%
Oct 28 – Nov 3 24% 69%
Oct 21-27 25% 68%
Oct 13-20 17% 75%
Oct 7-13 13% 80%
Sep 30-Oct 6 17% 76%
Sep 23-29 28% 63%
Sep 16-22 28% 65%
Sep 9-15 30% 61%
Sep 2-8 30% 61%
Aug 26-Sep 1 30% 62%
Aug 19-25 29% 64%
Aug 12-18 29% 63%
Aug 5-11 29% 64%
Jul 9 – Aug 
admin <![CDATA[Bert Miller debuts first TV spot in 11th Congressional District race]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1846 2014-02-26T05:45:57Z 2014-02-26T05:45:57Z

Miller debuts first TV spot in 11th Congressional District race

Hinsdale Republican Bert Miller has launched his first television commercial to help his bid to become the GOP nominee for the 11th Congressional District.

Miller’s campaign this week announced the 30-second ad will air on cable stations reaching homes throughout the district, which includes Naperville, Aurora, Woodridge, Lisle, Darien, Bolingbrook, North Aurora, Plainfield and Joliet. You can watch the ad here: http://bertmillerforcongress.com./

The commercial is “designed to better acquaint voters” with Miller’s background and policy initiatives, according to a statement from his spokesman.

Miller, who owns Phoenix Closures in Naperville, says in the commercial that he’s running for Congress to fight high deficits, high taxes and low expectations.

“I may not be a slick politician, but I know a thing or two about what it takes to put Americans back to work,” he said in the commercial.

Miller also posted an update this week on his website where he says his candidacy represents the GOP’s “best chance to beat (U.S. Rep.) Bill Foster in the general election.”

He said his campaign reported having $247,185 cash on hand at the end of 2013. The other Republicans vying for the seat — state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville, Chris Balkema of Channahon and Ian Bayne of Aurora — lagged far behind in fundraising. Senger had the second-largest campaign fund in the race with $64,095 cash on hand.

admin <![CDATA[Rauner not holding back]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1840 2014-02-25T04:11:34Z 2014-02-25T04:11:34Z Rauner puts in another $1.3 million toward governor bid


By Rick Pearson and Ray LongClout Street3:34 p.m. CST, February 24, 2014

Wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner added another $1.3 million of his own money to his bid for the Illinois Republican governor nomination, bringing his out of pocket total to $5 million, state disclosure reports filed Monday showed.

The latest contribution means Rauner is poised to easily eclipse the state record for spending personal funds in a primary race for governor. That mark was set by Chicago businessman Ronald Gidwitz who, with his wife, gave $5.3 million to his losing 2006 primary campaign.

Despite the money, Gidwitz finished fourth in a five-way contest for the nomination with less than 11 percent of the primary vote. This time out, Gidwitz is backing Rauner. In 2010, Gidwitz supported state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who is running again in the March 18 primary election.

Rauner has raised more than $12.7 million since entering the race almost a year ago. Potentially the wealthiest candidate ever to run for office in Illinois, Rauner’s personal funds are helping combat a late slate of attack ads against him funded by a coalition of public employee unions and the Democratic Governors Association.

On Monday, Republican opponent Bill Brady contended Rauner’s support as a front runner was weakening.

“Well, clearly Bruce Rauner is trying to buy this election,” said Brady, a state senator from Bloomington who narrowly lost to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November 2010. “But at the end of the day (Rauner) is wrong for the Republican primary voters on the issues, and his support for Democrats and a close allegiance to (Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel will not work in his favor.”

A recent Tribune/WGN-TV poll showed Rauner, the only candidate in the contest to run a sustained and expensive TV ad campaign, at 40 percent and Brady at 20 percent. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, buffeted by a federal lawsuit from a former employee, had 13 percent, and Dillard had 11 percent in the poll. None of Rauner’s rivals have been able to come close to the frontrunner’s fundraising capability.

Rauner has countered charges from his GOP opponents that he is trying to buy the election by saying his personal wealth makes him impervious to special interests. For his part Brady said he is taking advantage of the base he built in his previous statewide run for governor.

“He can continue to fund money into this election, but we’ve got this base of support that’s with us on the issues and the carryover from the last election,” Brady said of Rauner.

“Regardless of what he’s spent, we still have the effect of the last election spending to help us build that base of support. We’ve been consistent on that. And frankly his lack of transparency and availability is giving great questions to voters in this state about his candidacy,” Brady said.



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admin <![CDATA[ROBLING: AND THEN THERE WERE THREE…]]> http://www.battlegroundpolling.com/?p=1835 2014-02-14T16:53:36Z 2014-02-14T16:53:14Z By Chris Robling – as reported by Illinois Review: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/02/and-then-there-were-three.html

From the start of this race for the Gubernatorial nomination, my statement has been, “I support all four candidates.”

No more. Why? There are only three.

It is time for Dan Rutherford to internalize the fact that he will never be the Republican nominee for governor, let alone governor.

It cannot be easy for him to do so, in fact, it is probably painful. For his many supporters, it must be a flattening disappointment.

Such is politics, and Rutherford’s own choices.

Were I a downstate Gopper county chairman, I would have bailed on Dan when I learned that he hired a traitorous Chicago Democrat payroller hack – and given him a position of trust on behalf of the people of Illinois.

Somewhere between “Jesse White” and “Karen Yarborough,” I would have called Dan and told him to “Pick up the yard signs, I am going with…”

Long before the “bunking down” story hit the headlines, Dan had to sleep in the bed of hiring a Wolf of the County Building.

I believe none of the charges brought against Dan. Since none of the claims were pursued inside the Treasurer’s office, it is clear they were nursed along for use in the primary.

Dan Rutherford is the victim of a set-up that began with his hiring someone who is not one of us. “To reach out,” I am sure he said at the time, “and to show I can work with anyone, even a Chicago democrat who lost for judge.”

Well, it was the wrong horse. But Dan made it worse by never figuring out what was going on. So, it festered until exploding on Friday, January 31.

By then, Republicans from Galena to Golconda were sizing Dan up as the only viable alternative to newcomer Bruce Rauner. Neither Kirk Dillard nor Bill Brady had the funds to go on TV. Dan at least had $1.5 million, he had won statewide, he knew everyone for 25 years, he was the most assiduous campaigner by a country mile, and establishment-supporting Republicans afraid of Rauner’s “burn the house down” rhetoric were coming around.

But then, he was wounded. Probably mortally, but the coup de grace was administered when the hotel room story, which has been pitched against Dan for at least 18 months, finally made it into print – on the morning of a 700-person northwest suburban GOP debate.

Campaign practice says his supporters will split as the race was split — for every five voters, two to Rauner, one each to Brady and Dillard and the other becomes undecided and may stay home.

Again, one need not see anything wrong with what Dan did to question his judgment, and thus his readiness for the toughest job in the toughest time that any of us have ever seen.

He was finished.

It is time for a news conference. Dan announces his endorsement of another – probably his fellow downstater Brady — his decision to transfer or expend his resources on that candidate’s behalf, and their joint decision to sit down with the third candidate to ask him to enter their “Anyone but Rauner” coalition.

Bruce Rauner, for his part, appears inevitable. Like Richard Riordan, George Voinovich, John Lindsay or Michael Bloomberg, he is very diligently taking all steps necessary to secure the G.O.P. nomination without being too… Republican.

This comes as a surprise to many of the rank-and-file. It shouldn’t. Bruce Rauner is not one of us politically, socially, intellectually or culturally. But, given the straits Illinois is in, that should in no way disqualify Rauner from G.O.P. consideration.

Bruce Rauner, without in fact being a Republican (for instance, when 700 of us gathered on Monday, February 10, his lectern was empty) may be our strongest choice to go to Springfield on to cut taxes, stop spending, increase school choice, address pensions and confronting public employee unions.

That is Rauner’s agenda, and it is a Republican agenda, even if he is only an occasional Republican, who, as a big anti-Rauner mailing says, sends hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrat candidates.

Which gets us back to Rutherford, Brady and Dillard. One of them is already gone. If the other two remain, then the three of them are selecting Bruce Rauner to carry our standard against Pat Quinn. Maybe they are O.K. with that. Maybe they lack the courage to sacrifice their nursed ambition for the sake of Republican primary voters.

I support all three, Brady, Dillard and Rauner, because one of them must defeat Governor Quinn. The question now is, will 750,000 of us decide who that one is – or will three of us.