(Chicago) – Insider: New polls have three messages for suburban GOP State Reps. Patty Bellock of Hinsdale and Sandy Pihos of Glen Ellyn.
One, despite your many years in office, you are unknown to most voters in your districts.
Two, there is “widespread” support in your districts for same sex marriage.
Three, a vote for same sex marriage would provide a net gain for you among voters.
Backers of the Illinois marriage equality efforts have provided The Insider with the results of recent polls in both lawmakers’ districts, which comprises the senate district of Kirk Dillard.
Subscribers to The Insider got the results earlier today (subscriber here).
In Bellock’s district, voters support same sex marriage by 63% to 29%, a margin of 34 points, according to the pollster Voter Consumer Research, which served as the primary pollster for the George W. Bush White House and Bush-Cheney 2004.
And the support runs across key voter demographics within the district:
- 71% – Women
- 65% – Independents
- 63% – Catholics
- 59% – Protestants
Additionally, according to the pollster, “more Republicans support same sex marriage than oppose it”. The survey data says 48% of Republican voters back the idea and 44% oppose.
“[T]he district is unique in that a plurality of Republicans support same sex marriage,” say the pollsters Jan van Lohuizen and Laura Mirengoff in their polling memo.
In fact, voters in Bellock’s district have a more favorable impression of same sex marriage than of Bellock. Only 25% of her voters have a favorable impression of the Hinsdale lawmaker who was first elected in 1998 while 9% have an unfavorable impression. A whopping 53% of voters are “not aware” of Bellock, according to the poll.
The survey says that were Bellock to cast a “yes” vote, she would likely see an overall 10% boost in support, 31% more likely to support her and 21% more likely to oppose her. And Bellock would see a 14% boost among centrists voters.
“Rep. Bellock is not all that well known in the district… Were she to support same sex marriage, it might help define her positively in the Center and among moderate voters and increase overall support in the District,” write the poll’s authors.
Sources say Bellock has seen the poll results but remains unmoved.
The story in Pihos’ district is nearly identical.
Voters backing same sex marriage lead opponents by 32 points, 62% to 30%.
The demographic results break in favor of marriage equality backers in Pihos’ district, too:
- 74% – Younger Voters (<45)
- 71% – Wealthier Households
- 65% – Independents
- 62% – Catholics
- 56% – Seniors
- 54% – Protestants
Though relatively unknown in her district, Pihos, who was elected in 2002, scores higher than Bellock in the neighboring district. Pihos has a 3 to 1 favorability rating, 33% having a favorable impression and 11% an unfavorable impression. Meanwhile, 43% of voters are “not aware” of Pihos.
A “yes” vote for same sex marriage would be a 12% net gain of overall voter support, 34% more likely to support her versus 22% more likely to oppose her, according to the poll. A plurality, 36%, say her vote would make no difference to them.
“Rep. Pihos is only moderately well known in the district and has an opportunity to expand her reach in the Center and on the left,” according to poll’s authors.
Sources tell The Insider that polls taken in other suburban district districts surrounding Chicago and Cook County have yielded similar results.
And voters on both sides question agree one point: same sex marriage is inevitable in Illinois – and that’s according to 78% of the voters in Pihos’ district.
Both polls surveyed 300 registered voters in each district between October 2 and October 7, 2013. The margin of error is 5.7%.
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