A new poll commissioned by Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign says the candidate has established at least a six-point lead ahead of Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker, whose own campaign pointed to his sharp rise in the same poll.
According to Kennedy’s campaign, a survey conducted between June 26 and 29 found that Kennedy led Pritzker 44 percent to 38 percent in the trial heat. Among Illinois voters who “knew both candidates,” Kennedy held a 49 percent to 37 percent lead.
The 602 people who were polled are Democratic primary voters who intend to vote in the party’s primary election, according to the Kennedy campaign.
“Democratic primary voters want radical change in Springfield, and they aren’t falling in love with Pritzker’s big wallet,” said Kennedy campaign manager Brendan O’Sullivan. “Big money talks, it doesn’t listen, and voters are tired of billionaires in both parties trying to buy their votes.”
Pritzker’s camp, though, used the same polling data to point to their own candidate’s rise.
“While Kennedy is stalled at the same 44% he polled at in March, Pritzker surged from 11% to 38%,” a statement from the Pritzker campaign read.
“It’s exciting to see Chris Kennedy’s own internal polling numbers confirming the surging support and enthusiasm that JB has been feeling around the state,” Pritzker campaign manager Anne Caprara said in the statement.
Last month, both Kennedy and Pritzker touted new endorsements in a crowded field of Democratic challengers to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., threw his support behind the billionaire venture capitalist Pritzker.
“I want to stand with a champion of immigrants and refugees. J.B. Pritzker’s career has been one committed to helping people, to helping poor people — people who might not otherwise have had a chance,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez’s colleague in the House, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., endorsed Kennedy.
“We need a governor who will listen to our pain, to our cries and not just listen, but roll up their sleeves and do something about it. That’s why I believe in Chris Kennedy,” Rush said.
State Sen. Dan Biss, D-Evanston; State Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood; businessman Alex Paterakis; Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th); Madison County schools superintendent Bob Daiber and former Ceasefire director Tio Hardiman have all declared their candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination.