Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday dismissed a recent poll giving his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner a 14-point lead as “phony-baloney” and suggested it’s a bit early to write his political obituary.
“I think Representative Eric Cantor in Virginia learned about relying too much on phony-baloney polls supported by political types,” Quinn said, referring to the former Republican majority leader in Congress, who recently lost in an upset. “My whole life I’ve been underestimated in campaigns and I’ve done pretty well.”
To illustrate his point, Quinn pointed to his run for governor four years ago. Media outlets, including the New York Times, suggested he had little chance of winning.
“I wasn’t behind on election day. And the guy I ran against is still looking for his gym shoes,” Quinn said of Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady, who lost by a narrow margin. “A lot of these polls are supported by my opponents supporters, so you gotta be careful there.”
The poll Quinn referred to was commissioned by the civic group, Reboot Illinois, which was founded by hedge fund manager and Rauner donor, Anne Dias Griffin. Griffin previously donated $5,000 to Rauner. Her estranged husband Ken Griffin, who is also a hedge fund manager, donated $2.5 million to Rauner.
The July 28 poll showed Rauner sitting on a 14-point lead – a jump from the 10-point lead he had in a June poll. Rauner’s boost was attributed to his economic plan, which includes a state income tax reduction. While people don’t believe Illinois can afford this plan, a majority say it makes them more likely to vote for him.
Madeleine Doubek, chief operating officer of Reboot Illinois, said she stands behind the poll and its methodology.
“I am completely comfortable with the results. The firm doing polling for us is reputable,” Doubek said.
She said the race is in its early stages and cautioned that the poll only represents a snapshot in time.
Meanwhile, the Quinn camp pointed to two recent polls that suggest Rauner has a more modest lead.
One of those polls, conducted by McKeon & Associates, showed Rauner leading Quinn 40 percent to 34 percent. Another 26 percent were undecided.
The other, a CBS/New York Times poll, showed Rauner leading 46 percent to Quinn’s 43 percent.