New Illinois Wesleyan Poll Shows Obama Leading in Illinois

Republican Side Without a Clear Voter Favorite

Oct. 25, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Heading into next week's debate among Democrat presidential candidates, a new statewide survey conducted by Illinois Wesleyan University showed Sen. Barack Obama as the clear – but not overwhelming – favorite among Illinois voters.

Choosing between Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, 36 percent of Illinois voters surveyed last week favor Obama, 26 percent favor Clinton and 16 percent choose Edwards.

The Republican side lacked a clear favorite, with voters closely divided between top choices Sen. John McCain (21 percent) and Rudy Giuiliani (23 percent).

The poll demonstrated unpopularity for President Bush, with 69 percent of voters disapproving of his performance. Illinois' Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich is also unpopular, with a 60 percent disapproval rating.

Illinois voters are strongly opposed to the Iraq War, with 59 percent saying it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, and 52 percent believing the United States should withdraw troops as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable.

Among other issues, voters strongly support stem cell research and Roe v. Wade.  Political Science Professor and Chair Tari Renner, who coordinated the poll, noted that voters seem much more likely to support a candidate seeking to reform criminal justice practices over the "traditional" approach of incarceration.

See the complete poll results (pdf).

A validity check compares demographic data from the IWU poll with the 2006 Exit Polls by Voter News Services (VNS) in Illinois.

For more information, contact Renner at (309) 826-1057.

Contact: Ann Aubry (309) 556-3181