Illinois poll: Rauner leads Quinn 43% to 35%; FLOTUS leads Kirk 47% to 42%

The GOP challenger to Illinois??? Democratic Gov. J. Patrick Quinn leads the incumbent 43 percent to 35 percent according to March 22 Human Events/Gravis poll of 806 registered voters.

The 22 percent of respondents who are undecided is high, and means that the challenger Bruce Rauner still does not have the name recognition as the governor, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based polling firm that conducted the survey, which carries a 3 percent margin of error and was conducted as a random telephone poll by automated calls to landlines.

Kaplan said Quinn has the approval of 31 percent of all respondents, 56 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of Independents.

Quinn, then the state???s lieutenant governor, succeeded convicted former governor Rod Blagojevich in 2009. He won his own term in 2010, although he beat Republican William Brady with only 46 percent of the vote and winning only four of the state???s 102 counties.

Michael Schrimpf, the Rauner campaign???s communications director, said to Human Events he is not surprised by the poll results.

???There is no doubt that Illinoisans are tired of Pat Quinn’s failed leadership and broken promises. They are eager for a change,??? he said.

???Illinois is suffering while the rest of the Midwest is making a comeback,??? he said. ???Under Pat Quinn, the unemployment rate has increased more here than in any other state, and today, Illinois has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest and second worst in the entire nation. The working families of Illinois are ready for a change.???

Schrimpf said voters are looking for an economic turnaround.

???Illinois is in an economic death spiral,??? he said. ???He’s broken his promises, raised taxes and now Illinois has the worst unemployment in the Midwest.???

The key to the campaign is focus, he said.

???Bruce is completely focused on four major issues that unite Republicans, Democrats and Independents,??? he said. ???He wants to bring a booming economy back to Illinois, deliver value for tax dollars, ensure world class schools and enact term limits on the career politicians in Springfield.???

The Quinn campaign was asked for comment and did not respond before deadline.

Kaplan said respondents were asked: ???If the 2016 election for U.S. Senate or held today, and the candidates are Sen. Mark Kirk and First Lady Michelle Obama who would you vote for????

The First Lady was the choice of 47 percent against the GOP incumbent Kirk???s 42 percent, he said.

Speculation about Obama???s political future has been buzzing in Washington and Illinois since her husband President Barack Obama beat former Massachusetts governor W. Mitt Romney for reelection in 2012.

When John McLaughlin, host of ???The McLaughlin Group,??? in January made the on-air prediction that Obama would emulate Hillary Clinton???s 2000 winning of a New York Senate seat by turning the trick in the Land of Lincoln.