With just 15 days left before Illinois’ June 28 primary, GOP primary voters who were undecided in the governor’s race are starting to make up their minds. But a new poll shows that about two-thirds of Republicans are still unsure about the U.S. Senate, Attorney General and Secretary of State.
Several GOP campaigns are hitting the reset button two weeks before the primaries.
In the race for governor, Aurora Mayor Ricard Irvin is changing strategy, stepping up attacks on rival State Senator Darren Bailey. Irvin argues Bailey is unelectable in a general election.
“A vote for Darren Bailey is a vote for J.B. Pritzker,” Irvin said.
The more aggressive stance comes after a poll out late last week showed Bailey with a double-digit lead over Irvin.
Governor Pritzker and Democratic allies have spent millions on multiple attack ads against Irvin.
“He’s trying to choose the Republican candidate that he faces in the general, one that he knows he can beat,” Bailey said.
On Monday, Bailey embarked on a 14-day whistle-stop tour of Illinois’ 102 counties. The downstate lawmaker, who made a name for himself opposing Governor Pritzker’s COVID mandates, is making a populist pitch.
“These are the hands of a farmer, strong and determined.”
Illinois’ richest man, Ken Griffin, has pumped millions into the GOP primary in support of Irvin and other candidates. But the “the Griffin slate,” as it’s known, appears to be struggling, says political analyst Paul Lisnek.
“You can’t tell from that money that there’s really much of an effect,” Lisnek said. “In the Secretary of State’s race and the Attorney General, which seem to be higher profile in terms of candidates, there we can see the Griffin/Irvin money – coming from him – it’s not working.”
In addition to Irvin, the Sun-Times/WBEZ poll shows Griffin backed John Milhiser trailing State Rep. Dan Brady in the Secretary of State contest.
Steve Kim is behind Thomas DeVore in the Attorney General race.
In the race for Senate, two candidates have crossed the 10% mark, but nearly 7 in 10 voters say they’re undecided.
“When they’re going to go up against a Tammy Duckworth down the line, who has tremendous name recognition, it’s just a tough ride for anybody in that U.S. Senate race on the Republican side,” Lisnek said.
Over the final two weeks, the campaigns will turn their attention to scores of undecided voters. Also, another reputable poll is expected to be released Tuesday.