The latest Emerson College/Nexstar Poll of Illinois likely Democratic Primary Voters finds former Vice President Joe Biden with a substantial lead in the Prairie State with 57%, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders with 36%, and former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with 2%, 6% plan to vote for someone else.

Forty percent (40%) of voters said they made up their mind about who to support over a month ago, 30% said they had decided in the last month, 21% decided sometime in the last week, 6% in the last three days, and 3% said they had decided just today. Among those who had decided in the last week or less, 

The majority of voters are solidifying their support, 81% say they will definitely vote for the candidate they chose and 19% say there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for someone else. 

Among Democratic Primary Voters under 50, 53% support Bernie Sanders, and 38% Joe Biden. Among voters over 50, 72% support Joe Biden, and 22% Bernie Sanders. 

When it comes to deciding who they will vote for President, 40% of voters say the most important factor is electing someone who can beat Donald Trump, 30% say healthcare is the most important issue, and 13% say the economy. 

The majority of Illinois are split on which candidate has the best healthcare policy: 50% think Bernie Sanders has the best healthcare policy and 50% think Joe Biden has the best healthcare policy.

The majority of Democratic Primary voters in Illinois disapprove of President Trump’s pardoning of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (72%) whereas 28% approve of the pardoning. 

The majority of Illinois Democratic Primary Voters said that based on everything that they have seen, read, or heard about Coronavirus, they are concerned about contracting COVID-19. 28% said they are very concerned, 40% are somewhat concerned, 10% were unsure, 15% said they are somewhat concerned, and 7% are not concerned at all about contracting COVID-19.

When asked if they support Senate Bill 1966, which would increase the Firearm Owners’ identification card fees and require fingerprinting of gun owners, 81% of respondents supported it, and 19% of respondents did not. 

Respondents were asked if they were concerned about the impact legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana would have on their community, 66% said they were not concerned, 34% said they were not concerned.

In the Cook County State Attorney Democratic primary election, incumbent Kim Foxx leads with 36%, followed by Bill Conway with 20%, Donna More with 5%, Bob Fioretti with 4%; 34% of voters are still undecided.

Caller ID

The Illinois Emerson College/Nexstar poll was conducted March 11-12, 2020. The sample for the Democratic Primary consisted of registered Democratic, Republican, and Independent very likely voters, n=567, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.1 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, education, and region. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines (n=234) and an online panel provided by MTurk (n=333).