Poll: Clinton holds strong Illinois lead over Trump


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (TNS)

By Marnie Leonard

Hillary Clinton is leading the presidential race against Donald Trump in Illinois by 25 percentage points among likely voters, a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows.

The results of the poll — which surveyed 1,000 registered voters, 865 of whom said they were likely to vote — showed 53 percent favored Clinton while 28 percent supported Trump. The poll was conducted from Sept. 27 to Sunday.

This is likely because of Clinton’s good debate performance and the tough week for Trump that followed, said David Yepsen, director of the public policy institute.


Though Clinton was expected to poll higher than Trump, the size of the gap between the two candidates is surprising, said John Jackson, a visiting professor at the Institute and one of the poll’s designers.

“It looks like Clinton is in good shape and Trump has his work cut out for him in Illinois,” Jackson said.

The poll also showed that 5 percent of voters are backing Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and another 2 percent favor Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Nine percent of Illinois voters are still undecided.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. (TNS)
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. (TNS)

Yepsen said undecided voters are expected at this point in the election cycle.

“Some of those people won’t even vote,” Yepsen said. “They don’t know, they may not care. A lot of undecideds just don’t show up at the polls.”

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The gap between the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates is even larger in the counties of Greater Chicago.


In Chicago, Clinton polled at 67 percent to Trump’s 19 percent. This pattern fits a tradition of Democratic candidates in the city, Yepsen said.

In the remaining 96 Illinois counties, voters favored candidates almost equally. Trump earned 40 percent of polled voters, leading Clinton by 1 percentage point.  

But candidates tend to focus more on Chicago and its suburbs because that is where the highest concentration of votes are, Yepsen said.

The poll also surveyed voters on local elected officials.

Poll results showed that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has a higher disapproval rating from voters than Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner’s disapproval rating comes in at 55 percent among voters, while Madigan’s is at 63 percent.


This could be because Madigan has been around longer and Rauner has been targeting him with negative ads, Jackson said. Yepsen agreed, citing Rauner’s “bully pulpit” and his command of media attention as a potential factor in Madigan’s disapproval ratings.

In the U.S. senatorial race, Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth leads Republican Mark Kirk by 14 points. Democratic comptroller candidate Susana Mendoza also leads Republican candidate Leslie Munger by 8 points, according to poll findings.

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One thing is clear from these results, Yepsen said.

“Republicans have some work to do,” he said.

The institute’s findings were based on a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

Staff writer Marnie Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @marsuzleo.

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