* Kirk Dillard…
“People are catching on to the fact that Bruce Rauner is a social liberal, and a vacation buddy and a member of Rahm Emanuel’s inner circle,” Dillard said. “And buyers better beware. They better know who Bruce Rauner is. He has a ton of scandals in his business background with many people that were his associates in federal penitentiaries. We’ve been down that road with Rod Blagojevich before.”
Dillard disputed Rauner’s claim to be a political outsider.
“He’s an insider to the max. He’s the worst kind of insider — the one that does the buying,” he said.
* From NPR…
Democrats are eager to paint Rauner as the second coming of Mitt Romney, only worse — an arrogant rich guy seeking to buy his way into top political office.
“There is hardly a more flawed candidate running for office in the country today,” claims Quinn consultant Mark Mellman. “He’s done Romney-like dismemberment of companies to his own benefit.”
* From Politico…
“I believe Rauner’s probably the only one who could beat Quinn,” said a veteran Democrat operative who did not want to be named. “The message he has is resonating in the Republican Party, but I think it is also resonating with independents and disenchanted Democrats. … And Rauner’s run a very good campaign, he’s proven to be a very good candidate.”
Some outside observers agree Republicans have a good shot at this one if Rauner wins the nomination on Tuesday.
“You’re starting with the fact that it’s a blue state, so for a Republican to win in Illinois, the right set of factors have to come in place,” said Brad McMillan, former chief of staff to then-Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) who runs Bradley University’s public service institute. […]
But Democratic strategist Pete Giangreco, who ran Bill Daley’s short-lived primary challenge of Quinn before the former White House chief of staff dropped out, said the governor couldn’t pick a better challenger than Rauner.
“He’s probably the best guy for Quinn to run against,” Giangreco said. “Bruce Rauner is as phony as a $2 billion bill. This is a guy who has spent a record amount of his own money and he has defined himself negatively in a lot of people’s minds because all they know about him is he’s a billionaire and they see these ads where he looks like such a phony. They don’t buy him as a reformer. … And you can’t say that about Pat Quinn, that he’s dishonest. People don’t buy that.”
Going into this election, Mr. Quinn’s approval ratings are even worse than in 2010. The spread has widened, with 34 percent saying he has done a good job and 60 percent saying he has not, according to Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling’s latest survey in November.
Since then, however, Mr. Quinn had perhaps the biggest accomplishment of his term, getting statewide pension reform enacted.
“In the final analysis, Quinn doesn’t run against his job approval rating, he runs against another human being,” says David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon institute.
* New York Times…
“It’ll be a rock ’em, sock ’em campaign,” Mr. Quinn acknowledged last week as he left a church basement in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, where he was promoting efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage. “This is a tough state politically,” said Mr. Quinn, whose approval ratings, at times, have dipped to miserable lows.