New Poll Shows Over Half of Illinois Republicans “Conservative”

The Illinois-based Battleground Polling unveiled a new poll that shows over half of Illinois’ Republicans identify themselves as “conservative,” indicating key Illinois GOP leadership is out of touch with their base.

“The right, if it insists on its own ideology, depending on the issue, it’s either my way or the highway,” State Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka, a longtime Republican leader, said on a talk show earlier this fall. “It could split the party in such a way that it could not come together for a victory.”

While Illinois Republican leadership has publicly blamed conservatives for the slow weakening of the party’s influence in the Midwestern state’s political atmosphere, when 535 Republicans statewide were asked how they identify themselves, those polled answered:

What type of Republican would you describe yourself as?

  • Conservative – 54%
  • Moderate – 25%
  • Fiscal Conservative – 16%
  • Social Moderate – 5%

Interestingly, only 12% of those Republicans polled were members of Tea Party organizations, and only slightly more – 19% – said they were members of the Republican Party.

The biggest weakness in the poll sampling was the high number of older Republicans that were contacted, most likely because those 65 years and older are more likely to have landline phone numbers most commonly used in phone surverys. Some experts argue the older segment is more likely to vote in party primaries.

In the Battleground Polling that took place the first week of November, 51% surveyed were 65 years and older, 20% were 56 to 64 and 17% were 46 to 55.

The poll also asked about two statewide Republican primary races, and 33% were still undecided.