ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A new NBC News/Marist Poll surveyed 831 registered voters and found Democrat J.B. Pritzker leading the pack of 2018 gubernatorial candidates by a wide margin.
Pritzker topped the list with 46 percent, while the incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner captured just 30 percent of support in the survey which was conducted with a 4.4 percent margin of error.
Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson, whose former legal name of Benjamin Winderweedle will also appear on the ballot, polled at six percent. Conservative Party challenger and state senator Sam McCann finished last with four percent.
The November 6th election is just 11 weeks away, and the top two candidates are on pace to eclipse an all-time record for money spent to win the Governor’s Office. Both Rauner and Pritzker suffer from poor favorability ratings. Just 38 percent of registered voters reported a favorable impression of Pritzker, which is astonishingly low for a candidate who has never before held elected office. Rauner, the incumbent whose name was dragged through the mud during an unprecedented budget standoff, fared even worse with a favorability rating of just 26 percent.
Pritzker got a recent campaign boost from former President Barack Obama in the form of a web video. Rauner is currently campaigning on a semi-truck trip across central and southern Illinois with an emphasis on job creation. Both candidates held campaign events to rally party loyalists at the Illinois State Fair last week.