Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First sign of Burris’ uphill battle

By Jamey Dunn
An online survey conducted last month by Zogby International indicates that most of 644 likely voters would not vote for incumbent U.S. Sen. Roland Burris in 2010. Just 5.3 percent of the survey respondents said they would support him in the Democratic primary, while Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Comptroller Dan Hynes garnered about an equal level of support: 28.1 percent for Giannoulias and 26.8 percent for Hynes.

However, Zogby said, “it’s very, very early. It’s a name recognition game, essentially.”

Of the Republican respondents, 26.3 percent said they would support U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, and
21 percent would support U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the GOP primary for Burris’ seat.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan led incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the question about whom respondents would support for governor in 2010. Madigan received 41 percent, while 29.5 percent supported Quinn.

However, Zogby said that Quinn has an approval rating of 46.4 percent during an economic crisis, indicating that he does have at least “some political capital.”

Republicans supported DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett for governor over state Sen. Bill Brady, who received 8.5 percent, and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce president Doug Whitley, who received 5.6 percent. Birkett received 39.3 percent.

Zogby said that a high number of Democrats, Republicans and independent undecided voters means that the Illinois GOP could have a shot at making these races close. He advised the Republican Party to reach out to the middle and to pick moderate undecided voters, as well as to try to avoid infighting. “Republicans have an opportunity in 2010, but the opportunity will not be in embracing their old [conservative] principals. You don’t embrace your fundamental principles when you’re out of office. You’re supposed to do that when you’re in office.”

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