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Bruce Rauner leads in latest poll and 'undecided' comes in a strong second

NBC 5 News held a candidates' forum on Tuesday.
NBC 5 News held a candidates' forum on Tuesday.
(NBC 5 News)

A newly released We Ask America poll yesterday is showing Bruce Rauner is holding a 25-point lead over his closest opponent with just two weeks before the March 18 primary. The new poll also shows that Rauner has a roughly 14-point lead over the percentage of "undecided" in the race.

"With only two weeks to go, it will be extraordinarily difficult for any contender to close the gap," We Ask America said of its findings.

The survey has 39.88 percent of those surveyed going with Bruce Rauner, 14.45 percent with State Senator Kirk Dillard, 11.65 percent with State Senator Bill Brady and about 8.20 percent with Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford. The undecided came in at 25.82%, according to the poll.

The four Republican candidates spent the evening at a candidates' forum, the common theme was for Rauner to be on the offensive railing against unions, union bosses, Governor Quinn, politics as usual and most of all, his three opponents.

Rauner's three opponents fought back, with some of the best attacks coming from Sen. Bill Brady, who twice compared Rauner to jailed former Gov. Rod Blagojevich during the GOP candidate forum. "The more I hear Bruce Rauner speak the more he sounds like Rod Blagojevich," Brady said. "That's the way he came to Springfield."

Rauner had said the Democratic Party and many Republicans had sold out to "special interest groups that make their money from government."

Brady made the Blagojevich comparison and said, "You've got to bring people together, but you have to be decisive, you can't be divisive."

Later in the forum, Brady brought up Rauner's reported ties to Blago-linked Stuart Levine. "He's tied to more felons who are in jail than I think Rod Blagojevich," Brady said. Rauner has vehemently denied those ties and denied them again Tuesday. "I'm being attacked relentlessly because we're winning," he said. "We have a message that we're going to shake up Springfield."

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Sources:

We Ask America poll - Illinois governor's race

NBC 5 News - Governor's forum

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Other related pieces about Bruce Rauner by John Presta:

Bruce Rauner, GTCR linked to nursing home deaths and abuse, say multiple lawsuits

Bruce Rauner charter schools

Bruce Rauner campaign 'minimum wage' snafus

Bruce Rauner says lower Illinois minimum wage

Bruce Rauner raises $4 million

Bruce Rauner is the Mitt Romney of Illinois politics (Part 1)

Bruce Rauner is the Mitt Romney of Illinois politics (Part 2)

Bruce Rauner is the Mitt Romney of Illinois politics (Part 3)

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Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, johnpresta@att.net.

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