Republican Bailey, Illinois Gov. Pritzker in Toss-Up Race: Poll

Republican Bailey, Illinois Gov. Pritzker in Toss-Up Race: Poll Republican Bailey, Illinois Gov. Pritzker in Toss-Up Race: Poll Republican gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Darren Bailey speaks at an election-night party on June 28, 2022 in Effingham, Illinois. Former President Donald Trump-endorsed Bailey beat out a field of six candidates for the nomination. (Jim Vondruska/Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 20 October 2022 11:32 AM EDT

Republican Darren Bailey has moved into a virtual tie with Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the race for Illinois chief executive, according to new survey.

Bailey received 42% and Pritzker 44% among likely voters, with a plus-minus 4% margin of error, in the new Osage Research poll. Libertarian Scott Schluter received 4%.

Pritzker also had a larger unfavorable rating than Bailey, 47% to 40%.

A total of 62% of likely Illinois voters said they either would consider another candidate other than Pritzker (27%), or would vote to replace the governor regardless of who ran against him (35%).

The survey also found that 56% said Illinois generally was on the wrong track, with 35% saying the state was headed in the right direction. Another 10% did not know or refused to choose.

When asked to agree or disagree with the statement they were "personally better off after four-years of J.B. Pritzker as our governor," 45% agreed, 48% disagreed, and 8% were undecided or refused to answer.

Presented with the statement, "Darren Bailey will keep us safer than J.B. Pritzker," 45% agreed and 44% disagreed, with 12% undecided or refusing to answer.

Asked to which party they thought of themselves belonging, 39% said Democrat, 25% said Republican, and 28% said they were independent.

In a somewhat surprising result, when asked whether they were conservative, moderate, or liberal, the responses were 32% conservative, 26% liberal, and 31% moderate. Another 10% were undecided or refused to answer.

The Osage survey was conducted among 600 likely voters Oct. 13-15.

The candidates on Tuesday night participated in their second and final debate.

Bailey accused Pritzker of pushing "woke ideology" in Illinois schools.

"His gender issues are so extreme," Bailey said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. "Gov. Pritzker is perfectly fine injecting his gender curriculum, the first of its kind in the nation, into our schools. Woke ideology. I think that’s extreme."

Pritzker slammed Bailey for being an "extremist" and a "threat to democracy."

With increased crime seen in Chicago in recent years, Bailey referred to the Windy City as "Pritzkerville."

"I want to call it Pritzkerville because every one of Gov. Pritzker’s extreme policies are destroying the city, out of control crime, devastated education, the fact that corporations are packing up and leaving every day," Bailey said, the Sun-Times reported.

Illinois earlier this week was among the states reporting heavy early voting turnout, according to the University of Florida.

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