Poll- Illinois voters don't like choices in governor's race

Sunday, October 15, 2006

CHICAGO -- A new poll conducted largely before the indictment of a major fund-raiser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich shows the incumbent with a 14-percentage point lead over Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka.

The Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows slippage in both candidates' support compared to levels measured by a similar poll almost a month ago. But Blagojevich's advantage is slightly higher than his 12-point lead from that previous poll.

More than half, 51 percent, said they were dissatisfied with their choices of candidates for governor.

With the Nov. 7 election less than a month away, Blagojevich received support from 43 percent of voters. Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka received 29 percent support. Green Party candidate Rich Whitney garnered support from 9 percent, and 17 percent said they were undecided.

The poll of 600 registered voters was conducted Oct. 8 through Wednesday, and has an error margin of 4 percentage points.

On the survey's last day, federal prosecutors announced charges against Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a fund-raiser for Blagojevich, involving alleged attempts to collect millions of dollars in kickbacks from companies seeking state business.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Sheila Nix said voters care more about the governor's record on issues such as children's health insurance, and that she did not expect the Rezko indictment to be a drag on the campaign.

"We believe our lead will continue to grow in spite of this week's activities," Nix said, referring to Wednesday's indictment.

Topinka spokesman John McGovern said the poll may not reflect voters' preferences because of its timing.

"Obviously, this remains a very volatile race, and the fact this poll was taken mostly before the Rezko indictment means it may not reflect the current situation, especially regarding the governor's standing," McGovern said.

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