SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has almost pulled even with Republican challenger Bill Brady going into the November election, after lagging consistently by about 10 points for the past few months, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.
The phone poll of 500 likely Illinois voters was taken last week, and showed Brady leading Quinn 43-40 percent. That's well within the poll's margin for error of +/-4.5 percent -- and a dramatic shift from the 47-36 percent lead Brady enjoyed a month ago.
That 10-point spread in Brady's favor has defined the race since just after the February primaries, and has been largely attributed to the fact that Brady is still unknown in most of the state (that tends to actually help candidates early on in campaigns). Meanwhile, Quinn, as captain of fiscally sinking ship, has been in the politically unenviable position of cutting the state budget while calling for a tax hike.
What's going on here? It's hard to say when it's this early on, but it does appear the margin is shrinking from both ends (that is, Brady's numbers have dropped while Quinn's have risen). This could be a combination of voters getting a better look at Brady, who is to the right of even many many Republicans in Illinois; and Quinn's long-held predicted that Illinoisans will reward him for his honesty in pointing out the need for a tax hike.