A new poll out of Southern Illinois University shows potential Illinois voters have their favorites for president.
The new poll out on Monday, February 22 by SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows Republican businessman Donald Trump and Democrat Hilary Clinton leading their party's presidential races in Illinois.
The poll shows Trump has a commanding lead over his Republican opponents. Live telephone interviews conducted with 306 likely Republican voters statewide reveal 28 percent of those polled plan to support Trump.
The poll found Sen. Ted Cruz in second place with 15 percent support, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 13 percent. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and retired surgeon Ben Carson trailed the pack with 8 percent each.
"A part of me is surprised that Donald Trump leads significantly in a state known for its moderate Republicans, from Everett Dirksen to Jim Edgar to Mark Kirk," said Charlie Leonard, a political scientist who helped supervise the poll. "On the other hand, the 'not-Trump' vote, combined together, swamps the pro-Trump vote, with somewhere around one in seven voters still up for grabs."
"While this is good news for Trump, the poll also illustrates a problem for him: There are 72 percent of Illinois Republicans who are for someone else or are undecided," said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. "If the non-Trump vote rallies around a single candidate, Trump could be upended."
Among 422 Illinois likely Democratic voters polled, Hilary Clinton led the field. Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont 51 percent compared to Sanders' 32 percent.
The poll shows Clinton leading in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and among downstate Democrats.
Clinton and Sanders split the votes of men but she leads among women. The poll also showed Sanders leading among voters under the age of 35, but Clinton is favored among those over 35.
The SIU poll also revealed Clinton holds a comfortable lead among minority voters.
In the Show Me state, an unofficial online poll shows some similarities and some differences from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute's poll.
The non-party, non-candidate affiliated website www.ISideWith.com administers a quiz to help voters decide which candidate aligns best with their views on certain issues.
When someone completes a quiz, the website asks: "If the presidential election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?"
"For our 2016 Presidential Poll we ask each of our users this question at the end of our political quiz: "If the Presidential election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?" said www.ISideWith.com administrator Taylor Peck.”We publish the data from these questions on our individual poll pages and issue maps."
On the www.ISideWith.com Republican poll, the data reveals that 36 percent of Missouri Republican quiz takers overwhelmingly support Trump.
The website's poll shows Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tied for second place with 18 percent as of February 22.
Democratic quiz respondents from Missouri paint a much different picture of support than SIU's poll of Illinois voters.
Of Democrats asked, 63 percent of Missouri quiz takers said they would support Sen. Bernie Sanders if the election were held today.
Hilary Clinton trailed sanders with 34 percent support on the www.ISideWith.com poll.
If you're still not sure who to support in your state's primary, www.isidewith.com has a quiz that pairs your opinions on issues with those of the candidates.