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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and state Comptroller Dan Hynes are running neck-and-neck in the contest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, while three Republicans are bunched up in the race for their party's nod, according to a Chicago Tribune/WGN poll conducted Jan. 16-20. The primary is Feb.2.
Quinn, who became governor last year when Rod Blagojevich was ousted in a corruption scandal, leads Hynes by 44 percent to 40 percent with 15 percent undecided. The margin of error is four points.
Quinn had better than a 2-to-1 lead six weeks ago, but that "has evaporated amid concerns about the unelected incumbent's ability to handle the job," according to the Tribune.
The Tribune said "Hynes has hammered Quinn with TV ads criticizing the governor for releasing inmates only days after their arrival at state prisons to save money" and also taking him to task, as have some of the GOP candidates, for proposing a big income tax increase that would affect the middle class. Illinois, like many other states, is in the throes of a major budget crisis.
On the Republican side, former state GOP Chairman Andy McKenna leads with 19 percent, followed by former Attorney General Jim Ryan at 18 percent and state Sen. Kirk Dillard at 14 percent. State Sen. Bill Brady gets 9 percent and 38 percent are undecided. The margin of error for the Republican race is also four points. In the Tribune's last poll, Ryan led with 26 percent. Ryan lost the governor's race in 2002 to Blagojevich.Follow Poll Watch on Twitter
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