(The Center Square) – Recent polling highlights where potential voters stand when looking ahead to the gubernatorial election and whether or not voters would support a J.B. Pritzker presidential campaign.
The poll consisted of over 1,200 registered voters in Illinois and was done by Victory Research. The polling shows Pritzker with a 10-point lead over state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, with the incumbent Democratic governor garnering 48.9% of the vote. Bailey got 39%. The Libertarian candidate got 2%.
Rod McCulloch, the owner of Victory Research, told The Center Square that while Pritzker is in the lead currently, past elections could tell a different story.
“Illinois has a well-deserved reputation of being a blue state, but it does not always act that way in off-year elections,” McCulloch said. “In the last two off-year elections in which a Democrat was in the White House, 2014 and 2010, the Republicans did very well.”
Pritzker has seen a boost in the national spotlight due in part to his stance on abortion and his handling of the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park.
Out of the 1,200 voters, nearly 10% are undecided. McCulloch said many Democrats had supported Pritzker’s views on those issues, but the undecided voters have placed their importance on other issues.
“Among those undecided voters, and there was 10.1 percent undecided, very few of them chose either abortion or guns as their many issues,” McCulloch said. “They were much more focused on inflation, energy prices, and crime.”
The poll also highlighted a potential presidential campaign by Pritzker if he is re-elected and current President Joe Biden decides not to seek another term in 2024.
Research shows that 77% of Illinois Democrats would support a national campaign by the Illinois governor.
More than 76% of voters in heavily Democratic Chicago want the now first-term governor to run for president. In addition, 70.4% of Illinois African-American voters favor a Pritzker presidential candidacy, and 55.4% of Illinois Hispanic voters favor a potential Pritzker campaign for president.
McCulloch suggested there are things that the governor could potentially base a campaign off of.
“He could campaign on all the things that the Democrats talk about nationally as far as their agenda goes,” McCulloch told The Center Square. “He has accomplished all those on a state level, for better or worse. So that is what he would run on.”
Nearly 90% of Republican voters do not support a presidential campaign from Pritzker. Of the nearly 10% that do, McCulloch said they want him out of the governor’s office in any way possible.
“It turns out that most republican voters are united about one thing, and that is that they want to get rid of Governor Pritzker.”