Incumbent Mike Bost Holds Early Lead Over Darren Bailey in What Will Be the Hottest Republican Primary Race in 2024

Cor Strategies Releases First Illinois 12th Congressional District Primary Poll

Illinois political experts Cor Strategies released the first poll in the Republican primary race between incumbent Congressman Mike Bost and challenger Darren Bailey in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District on Live from the Lincoln Desk today. The poll shows Bost holds an early 6-point lead over Bailey (43%-37%) in the Republican Primary.

“These results are about what we expected, with Bost starting out with an early lead, though Bailey is close behind,” Cor Strategies founder Collin Corbett said. “Bailey has higher name recognition, which is partially why he is this close in the polls. Much of the 12th District was new to Bost after the 2022 remap, so his name recognition is lower—this indicates Bost’s lead will grow as more voters get to know him, especially since his net favorables are already higher than Bailey’s despite being less known.”

Darren Bailey is already known by 70% of IL-12 Republican Primary voters, with a net favorability (favorable minus unfavorable) of +41%. Mike Bost is less known, with 61% of voters having an opinion, yet his net favorability is higher than Bailey’s at +46%.

“The wildcard in this race is what Trump does, if anything,” Corbett continued. “Because both candidates have been supportive of Trump and have had his support in the past, the ‘Trump impact’ on this race is lower than we see in other Republican primary races. Still, an endorsement from Trump could move up to 10% of the vote based on this early survey. There’s a reason Bailey is courting Trump so hard while Bost and the NRCC send smoke signals encouraging Trump to stay out of the race.”

53% of respondents said they would vote for Trump for their GOP presidential nominee compared to just 16% for Ron DeSantis and 9% for Mike Pence, with no other candidate getting more than 4% support. When asked if a Trump endorsement of Bost or Bailey would impact their vote, 31% said they’d vote for the Trump endorsed candidate while 8% said they would vote against the Trump endorsed candidate—a majority, 52%, said it would not impact their vote.

The poll was conducted from July 5th through July 8th. 661 responses were gathered from registered Republican voters in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, for a margin of error of ±3.8%. A mix of live calls, texting, and automated calls were utilized to gather responses (with 45% of responses coming from cell phone respondents). Cor Strategies conducted this poll independently and is not affiliated with the Bost or Bailey campaigns.

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