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Bailey Leads, Irvin Flails, Others Struggle to Break Through in GOP Primary Home Stretch

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With just one week to go until the primary, the Republican field for Illinois governor is shaking out with far-right extremist Darren Bailey leading, one-time frontrunner Richard Irvin flailing, and others struggling to break through the noise.

Four separate polls have solidified Bailey’s commanding lead — and with endorsements from ultra-conservative Congresswoman Mary Miller, famed Trump strategist Steve Bannon, and former Trump advisor Steve Cortes, Bailey has successfully established himself as the MAGA candidate in the field. If that cast of uber-conservative characters wasn’t enough, Bailey’s lobbying hard for an endorsement from the Republican kingmaker himself, which is reportedly in the works in advance of Trump’s visit to Quincy on Saturday.

While Bailey’s numbers have soared, Irvin’s have plunged — threatening to end a campaign that has flailed for weeks. Following weeks of ducking, dodging, and deflecting, Irvin has his work cut out for him in the home stretch.

The remaining four candidates are struggling to break through in the crowded field. Some are going to extremes to try to grab voters’ attention — like Jesse Sullivan, who after weeks of polling at third place, released a flashy “polling memo” produced by a firm founded by the consulting group working for his campaign. Others are fading into the background completely — like Paul Schimpf, who scored the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board but is still polling in the single digits.

“One week from today, voters will choose their Republican nominee for governor. Regardless of who ultimately clinches that nomination, Illinoisans know Gov. JB Pritzker is the only proven leader for our state,” said DGA Illinois Press Secretary Yael Sheinfeld.