Conservatives said they recruited the outspoken Keyes as someone who could eloquently make the case that Obama, a Democratic state senator from Hyde Park, was too liberal to represent the state. But the poll showed that more than half of voters said they mostly agreed with Obama's stance on issues, while less than one in five said they agreed with Keyes. Even voters who described themselves as fairly conservative preferred Obama to Keyes by a margin of 49 percent to 40 percent.
Keyes has made opposition to abortion a centerpiece of his campaign, forcefully decrying it as a sin and equating abortion rights advocates like Obama to slaveholders. But the survey found that only 28 percent of Illinois voters want to see restrictions on abortion tightened, while 61 percent said they either liked the status quo or thought restrictions should be loosened. The rest said they didn't know
Despite the controversy that led Ryan to drop off the ballot, black voters still had a far higher opinion of him than Keyes, with 25 percent saying they viewed the former GOP candidate favorably.