Democrats thought they received a break when Bill Brady surprisingly won the Republican nomination for Governor of Illinois, but with Pat Quinn's approval rating at just 25% it may not have mattered that much who the GOP put forward.
Brady leads Quinn 43-33 in our first poll of the general election. He's getting 80% of the Republican vote while Quinn earns just 53% of the Democratic vote, and he also has a 39-31 lead with independents.
Part of Quinn's problem within his own party is the same as that of Alexi Giannoulias- many Democrats who aren't too high on him aren't choosing a side for now. 28% of Democrats are undecided while only 13% of Republicans are. But Quinn is in a deeper hole than his party's Senate nominee because 19% of Democrats have already decided to support Brady for Governor compared to only 10% going for Mark Kirk against Giannoulias.
There were contentious primaries on both sides for Governor, but the numbers indicate that the Republicans have unified around Brady while Democrats are just as divided about Quinn as they were two months ago. Only 37% of voters in his party say they approve of the job the Governor is doing to 36% who disapprove, that 1 point net approval pretty much analogous to his one point victory in the primary. For Brady though 44% of Republicans now see him favorably, more than double the percentage of the vote he won in February, while only 11% have a negative opinion of him.
Overall 53% of Illinois voters disapprove of the job Quinn is doing to that 25% who approve. Beyond his tepid numbers with Democrats just 10% of Republicans give him good marks and independents go against him by a 23/54 margin.
Brady remains an unknown to most voters in the state. 55% have no opinion of him while 25% see him favorably and 20% negatively. Quinn's best hope is to absolutely destroy Brady's image with that majority of voters who are ambivalent toward him right now. But when an incumbent's disapproval is over 50% it's pretty hard for the election to end up being anything other than a referendum on himself. The GOP is favored to win this race.
Full results here