April 24, 2006

IL-Gov: Blagojevich Major Threat Fellow Democrats?

In the new Rasmussen Reports polling has Republican State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka now leading Democratic Governor Rod R. Blagojevich 44% to 38%. The poll was conducted a day after former Republican Governor George Ryan's conviction on corruption charges.
Governor Blagojevich is clearly in a vulnerable position for an incumbent. He has yet to rise above 42% support, let alone 50%, when pitted against Topinka, and enjoys only 64% support from fellow Democrats.

Only 43% of likely voters view the incumbent favorably; 57% disapprove. Topinka is viewed favorably by 58%, unfavorably by 39%.

However, opinions on both candidates are fairly soft. Just 17% have a "very favorable" opinion of Topinka while 15% have a "very unfavorable" opinion."

For the Governor, 14% have a "very favorable" opinion and 29% hold a "very unfavorable" opinion.
With little bit over six month before general election those polling numbers for Rod Blagojevich is not impossible to overcome. Luckily, Blagojevich has a large campaign war chest and is running in 2006 rather than 2004 in a increasingly blue state with all indications pointing towards a down election year for Republicans. Even with all of those advantages, the biggest threat for Blagojevich is fellow Democrats not supporting his reelection bid. If Blagojevich does not increase this support amongst the Democratic base Republican Topinka might have enough support across Illinois to pull out a victory.

Blagojevich came out early with campaign ads to shore up this base and to define Republican State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka as a Republican who is out of touch with Illinois values not as the moderate seeking a centrist path. Republican Topinka with ties George Ryan and her ultra conservative running mate Joe Birkett might make enough Democrats cast their votes for the lesser of two evils they know rather for the lesser than two evils they don’t know. Politics at it‘s worst, but it works.


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