Poll: Dem challenger leads GOP Illinois governor by 18 points

Poll: Dem challenger leads GOP Illinois governor by 18 points
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Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker is leading incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) by more than 18 points, according to a new Victory Research poll.

The survey found that 49.4 percent of Illinois voters said they would vote for Pritzker, while 31.2 percent of those polled backed Rauner in the so-called "Battle of the Billionaires."

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Rauner only narrowly beat out his primary opponent, conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) last month, despite outspending her by a margin over 5-to-1. 

The governor likely faces an uphill reelection in his state, which has a legislature completely controlled by Democrats. 

He drew the ire of conservatives after he signed legislation allowing the state to fund abortion services, and Democrats never had favorable views toward Rauner in the first place. 

Despite his unpopularity, Rauner's personal wealth could help him in the general election in November. 

The governor spent $16.5 million on television ads in the Republican primary last month alone. 

His race with Pritzker, a Hyatt Hotels heir who has never served in public office, could set a record for gubernatorial race spending.

The Victory Research survey was conducted last week via landlines and cellphones. The Hill has reached out to the organization to inquire after its methodology.