The Walking Dread Mar05

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The Walking Dread

Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is a survivor. He has had his political obituary written a number of times in his career only to avoid the zombie apocalypse through incredible tenacity, hard work and a bit of luck. But Pat Quinn will face more than just a Republican opponent in the fall election; he has some Democratic family matters to confront. His role in pushing for public pension reforms was not exactly warmly received by state employees and retirees, and his continuous gadfly approach to governing takes its toll. But surely he can count on the full backing of his fellow Democrats when it’s crunch time, right?

Well, maybe. To see how welcome Gov. Quinn will be at the next family picnic, we asked 1,162 likely Democratic voters two questions. Here’s the first:

In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is doing?

Here are the results to that question:

Poll type: Automated - Date: 3/4-5/2014 - Participants: 1,262 Likely Dem. Voters - Margin of Error: ± 2.90%
Approve56.76%
Disapprove31.42%
Neutral11.83%

OK…nothing too surprising above. Not great, but OK. Then, we asked them this:

Do you agree, or disagree with the following statement? “I will probably vote to re-elect Pat Quinn as governor no matter who is running against him in the fall.”

Here are those results:

Agree49.63%
Disagree34.25%
Undecided16.11%

Whoa…a third of likely Democratic voters disagreed with a fairly mildly written re-elect question, and another 16% aren’t so sure. The crosstab below showing those responses to the re-elect question by LOCATION tells the story:

Location
Agree
Disagree
Undecided
Chicago53.34%26.26%20.40%
Suburban Cook57.91%29.86%12.23%
Collars51.57%34.35%14.08%
Downstate37.74%47.63%14.63%

 

Now, political families fight, but when push comes to shove they tend to stick together. Still, having a third of likely Democratic voters say they’re not sure they’ll vote for an incumbent governor is a swift kick in the patootie.

Will those miffed voters come back home in the fall? Probably. But depending on how deep voters’ walking dread goes, some may not vote at all and a handful may vote against Gov. Quinn because they’ve had it with his schtick. Still, it’s likely Quinn will face Bruce Rauner whose attacks on union bosses will make Quinn the lesser of two evils for some.

But Mr. Quinn may want to tend to a bit of family housekeeping sooner than later.

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