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More Fun With Polling

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 12, 2009 6:45PM

After yesterday's Tribune/WGN poll that showed current Cook County Board President Todd Stroger a distant third in that race, a new poll shows the Governor's race is heating up with the two expected front-runners, well, where they were expected to be. According to the poll of 600 likely Democrat voters done last week, Gov. Quinn has a sizeable lead with 49 percent and opponent state comptroller Dan Hynes trailing at 23 percent. Third place was "Undecided" at 21 percent. Things were much closer on the Republican side where Jim Ryan leads with 26 percent and Andy McKenna behind at 12 percent of the 600 likely GOP voters polled. State Sen. Bill Bradley had 10 percent, State Sen. Kirk Dillard had nine percent. But greater than all of these candidates was "Undecided," which came in at 31 percent. So while it seems like we're heading for a Quinn-Ryan showdown next November, the Undecided element is still large enough to make a difference, especially on the GOP side.

As for yesterday's Cook County Board President poll, incumbent Todd Stroger, never one to remain silent on the media and their polls, issued a statement yesterday in which he attacked the actual poll-taker. The statement said Stroger was:

"taking issue with today's Chicago Tribune poll that was conducted by a shady political insider Nick Panagakis of the Market Shares Corporation of Mount Prospect. Mr. Panagakis has been heavily criticized for bogus and inaccurate polling by several public officials."

The statement then reprinted a Sun-Times article from 1992 written by Steve Neal that explored some rather, well, shady poll activity by Panagakis. Of course, all polls have to be taken with a grain of salt and given Panagakis past, there would seem to be reason to look at this poll with some scrutiny if Stroger's claim is true (the Tribune hasn't responded to Stroger's claim). But Stroger's statement uses a 17-year old article and no new evidence to support his claim and fails to connect Panagakis to any of Stroger's opponents, particularly the two he trails. And it's this that, coupled with the interview he gave following the veto override, leaves Stroger seeming more and more like a desperate candidate on the outside looking in rather than an incumbent confident in the defense of his seat.