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Simon poll: Pritzker leads Rauner by 22 points

Carol Marin moderated a forum with , from left, Democratric candidate J.B. Pritzker, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson and Conservative candidate Sam McCann Thursday. | NBC Chicago

With just five weeks to go before the November election, a Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll finds Democrat J.B. Pritzker with a 22-point lead over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The poll, released on Tuesday by the Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was conducted Sept. 24-29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for likely voters.

The poll was conducted several days after all four candidates appeared for a televised debate.

Among the 715 likely voters polled, 49 percent chose Pritzker; 27 percent chose Rauner; 4 percent each chose either State Sen. Sam McCann or the Libertarian candidate Grayson “Kash” Jackson. The remaining 17 percent were undecided.

In Chicago, Pritzker leads Rauner by a whopping 43 points. In the collar counties, the Democratic candidate leads Rauner 53 percent to 23 percent. The poll, however, found Pritzker and Rauner “essentially tied” downstate with Pritzker at 35 percent and Rauner at 34 percent.


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Poll takers were also asked about the race for Illinois Attorney General. State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, held a 36 percent to 26 percent lead over Republican candidate Erika Harold. A large percentage of those polled — 39 percent — said they were undecided.

The poll was conducted by live telephone interviews; 60 percent were on cell phones. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for all 1,001 registered voters polled; when responses from only the 715 voters polled who said they are likely to vote are counted, the margin of error grows to 3.7 percentage points.

A poll commissioned by NBC News and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion last month found Pritzker with 46 percent compared to Rauner’s 30 percent when registered voters were asked who they’d vote for if the election were held that day. Jackson had 6 percent, with McCann coming in with 4 percent. Thirteen percent were undecided. That poll was of 831 people, with 734 being registered voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 points for registered voters.

Pritzker and Rauner will appear for their second televised debate on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ABC 7 Chicago. The debate is hosted by ABC, Univision and the League of Women Voters.