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Elections 2010

Illinois 2010 Democratic Primary: Poll Slashes Governor Pat Quinn’s Lead over Dan Hynes to 4 Points; Undecided Voters Likely to Defeat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

(Chicago, IL) — January 24, 2010. A new poll in the 2010 Illinois Democratic primary for governor has Governor Pat Quinn‘s lead over Comptroller Dan Hynes shaved to 4 points.


Quinn, who had been leading Hynes by 26 points in December, now leads only 44%-40% with 13% of primary voters undecided, according to a new poll by the Chicago Tribune.

If Chicago Tribune‘s poll has correctly pegged Quinn’s support at 44%–below the crucial 50% mark for an incumbent, which it likely has, then the Governor will likely lose the primary to Hynes.


Most or all undecided voters break to the challenger.

“… [O]ur analysis of 155 polls reveals that, in races that include an incumbent … [o]ver 80% of the time, most or all of the undecideds voted for the challenger,” writes Nick Panagakis, a member of the National Council on Public Polls, president of Market Shares Corporation, which conducts polls for the Chicago Tribune.

Panagakis provides an example:

“If a poll shows one candidate leading 50% to 40%, with 10% undecided …most of the 10 points in the undecided category are likely to go to the challenger, polls are a lot closer than they look – 50% to 40% is likely to become 52% to 48%, on election day.”

According to the Panagakis formula and using the Chicago Tribune poll numbers, Hynes would beat Quinn 53%-47%.

Another poll on the Quinn-Hynes race, attributed to US Senate candidate Alexi Giannnoulias, has Quinn at 46% and Hynes at 44% and 10% undecided.

The Panagakis model would also have Quinn losing 48% to 52% against Hynes.

Between Hynes and Republican governor hopeful Andy McKenna‘s relentless barrage of negative TV ads, they have beat Quinn’s image into a pulp, like a crushed grape.

Additionally, and more worrisome to Quinn, the Chicago Tribune poll was in the field before the Hynes unleashed its Mayor Harold Washington “doomsday ad” on Quinn in which the former Mayor berates Quinn’s performance as the City of Chicago’s Revenue Director in his administration.

It’s a devastating ad. Watch it here:

The Quinn campaign has fired back furiously with Democratic progressives, such as U.S. Reps Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Bobby Rush and former Washington aide Jacky Grimshaw, denouncing both Hynes and the Washington ad, claiming Washington’s comments were out of context.

Watch their remarks here:

As powerful as their words are, the image of Washington’s critique of Quinn is indelible and likely debilitating to the Quinn campaign–which explains the powerful push-back.

Quinn’s TV ad attack on Hynes regarding the Burr Oak Cemetery scandal represents another effort blunt Hynes’ onslaught, even though the Quinn Burr Oak ad had been planned before the Washington ad hit the fan.

Hynes’ Washington ad has generated 9,314 views on YouTube and the Quinn Burr Oak spot, 1,767. Those numbers provides a sense of drawing power of each. Both ads were released nearly simultaneously.

If Quinn aims to best Hynes, he will still need to unleash the worst.

And the Burr Oak ad ain’t it.

Unfortunately, for Quinn, the worst may be yet to come.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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