It's not clear which candidates will face off in the general election for Governor of Illinois this fall, but early indications are that it will start out as a toss up.
We looked at four potential November match ups and found Dan Hynes leading Jim Ryan 40-35 and Andy McKenna 38-36 with Pat Quinn trailing Ryan 42-35 and McKenna 42-36.
Here are our takeaways from those numbers:
-Hynes is a more electable candidate for Democrats than Quinn. Quinn's approval rating has fallen to 25/55...those sorts of numbers make him virtually unelectable in the general election. His 9% approval with Republicans is par for the course in a time of polarized politics but the 16/55 spread with independents is bad and the fact that his standing with Democrats is under 40% is even worse. Matched against the Republicans Hynes gets around 70% of the Democratic vote and Quinn gets just 60%, which is why Hynes is ahead and Quinn is behind.
-This is probably going to be a close contest no matter who gets nominated. Three out of the four scenarios we looked at came out within the margin of error and there are a decent number of undecideds. Illinois will be one of the most watched states in the country this fall with close races for both the Senate and Governor.
-The same trends that fueled Republican victories in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia are showing up in Illinois. Independents are leaning strongly toward the GOP, leading by anywhere from 5 to 21 points in these head to heads. And Republicans are also more unified, getting 71-80% of their party's vote compared to 60-69% for the Democrats. That's the formula that makes Republican victory possible in Democratic leaning states.
*We tested Ryan and McKenna because earlier polling in the race suggested they were the GOP front runners. Given the lack of variability in their performance relative to Hynes and Quinn it seems likely Kirk Dillard or Bill Brady would have polled similarly.
Full results here