New poll gives J.B. Pritzker 22-point lead in Illinois gubernatorial race

CARBONDALE, Illinois — If the election were held last week, J.B. Pritzker would be elected governor – easily.

A new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University says the governor is behind by 22 points.

John Jackson with the Simon Institute said the new poll showed Pritzker with 47 percent of the vote while Gov. Bruce Rauner got 27 percent.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a poll this lopsided in a governor’s race recently,” Jackson said. “Pat Quinn was down against Rauner in the last polls in 2014. But he was never as far down as the governor now seems to be.”

The poll was conducted in the last week of September, which was 40 days from Election Day. That was before a report from a Cook County watchdog that shed more light on Pritzker’s questionable property tax savings. The report found that Pritzker and his wife “schemed to defraud” taxing authorities when they had the toilets removed from a Gold Coast mansion just days before an inspection in a move that saved them more than $330,000 in property taxes. After details of the leaked report were published, Pritzker said he would return the money amid questions about the legality of the tax dodge.

“It would be difficult [for the governor] to climb out of that hole in the time that is left. But there is a month left,” Jackson said. “The other problem for him though, is that we found only 17 percent of voters undecided.”

The poll gives both Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann and Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson four percent of the vote.

Jackson said the poll also measured voter enthusiasm. Democrats have a lead there as well.

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