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Tribune: Meh

Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014

* Not surprisingly, considering the source, the Chicago Tribune editorial board rules that Bruce Rauner has plenty more time to talk about specifics

Quinn wants Rauner to issue an austere budget plan so Quinn’s plan isn’t the only politically perilous one on voters’ radar.

Rauner plainly sees no reason to oblige for now. He’s surely relishing last week’s projection by the political numbers geeks at FiveThirtyEight.com: Early polling suggests that Quinn has a 25 percent chance of winning — and a 75 percent chance of losing — on Nov. 4. Of all the states with elections for governor this year, only Pennsylvania now has a higher likelihood than Illinois of switching parties.

Rauner will have to get more specific about his spending priorities. Voters aren’t paying much attention in June to an election to be held in November. But come fall, if Rauner doesn’t get into the dirty details, he’s going to invite comparisons to 1968 and Richard Nixon’s so-called secret plan to get the nation out of the Vietnam War.

So, because Rauner has a good chance of winning and voters aren’t paying much attention yet, he doesn’t have to say what he’ll do if elected.

Check.

* But about that projection. Here’s what FiveThirtyEight.com recently published

Illinois’s Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, has trailed in nearly every single early poll against Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. This is one state where early polling may not be telling the whole story. Almost all the polls in Illinois have been conducted by automatic dialers that use a recorded message, which tend to overstate the GOP position (though the only live-interview poll we have also had Quinn down). Moreover, Quinn managed to win in 2010, despite trailing in most surveys during the campaign; it was probably the biggest general election polling blunder of the past six years.

The website back then had Quinn with almost no chance of winning because it made the very same mistake that many pollsters did. Instead of asking voters about all the candidates running, most pollsters cheaped out and just asked about Quinn and Bill Brady. But it turned out that third party candidate Scott Lee Cohen was taking more votes away from Brady than from Quinn. Garbage in, garbage out. The blunder wasn’t in the polls, per se, it was that the pollsters tried to short-cut the process and FiveThirtyEight failed to see what was going on. So, in the end, it was as much a blunder by the famed prognosticator and his computer program as it was by the pollsters. And now they’re trying to rewrite history.

Gov. Quinn has also been trying to rewrite history by repeated pointing to FiveThirtyEight’s horribly wrong prediction in 2010 as proof that he’ll be fine this year. But I wouldn’t be too sure of that if I were him. The website was wrong because the pollsters made a huge mistake and it didn’t catch that mistake, and still apparently doesn’t realize how badly it screwed up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - Walker - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Good report rich.

    FiveThirtyEight might still be wrong about why they missed the boat 2010 — but Quinn’s lagging now, and the polls seem to be better.

    Given last week, I’m not sure bringing up any budget plan as the subject for debate, works for Quinn. He’s in a heck of a spot, and Rauner’s generalities will continue to be enough.


  2. - SAP - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Going to invite comparisons to Nixon’s secret plan? What rock have the tribsters been hiding under the last 2 weeks?


  3. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    No plan, until it is time… And keep asking… Keep dodging….If it was anyone but Rauner, I would be willing to bet, there would not be this clamor… The Super Majority failed… Quinn is not even signing the budget… He will have a plan out by Labor Day or he won’t get elected… Giving the opponents all summer to pick it apart while they are floundering….Not quite….


  4. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    The right thread instead…


  5. - Liberty - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    So Rauner acts like a politician- not news


  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Nate won’t make the same mistake twice. I’m sure Quinn knows that and realizes he’s in big trouble.


  7. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    154 days and counting …


  8. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    The Tribune never fails to amaze. Wouldn’t be surprised if Rauner signed off on that editorial board piece before it went to ink.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Want to see the lemming mentality at the Trib Edit Board?

    “@StatehouseChick: We endorse @BruceRauner for IL gov in tmrw’s Trib. Why? Simple. Change.”

    Between giving the Rauner Crew an Op Ed any time they want it, or being the Rauner Crew apologist at every turn, even if it means contradicting themselves, it’s the Dopey mentality of the “Simple-Minded” making sure the Trib’s “Guy” has all the cover he needs, whenever he needs it.

    No matter if honesty and integrity, ethics and morals are compromised by the Edit Board for “Simplicity”

    Being a lap dog is “Simple”, understanding your own hypocrisy as a Edit Board doesn’t “add up”.


  10. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    This is all just background noise from news outlets trying to justify their existence.

    Once the Dems start the full court press re Rauner’s vulture capitalism and putting profit over lives, this race is over. I assume the Dems are just waiting until it’s too late to replace Rauner on the ballot.


  11. - Pensioner - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    As much as I dislike republicans in general and rauner in particular (as a spectacular phoney), I do relish seeing Quinn defeated. Either way, Quinn or rauner, nothing will change. MM still rules.


  12. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Polling may be quite tricky this year. Rauner barely won, after spending $14 mil. Who exactly makes up his base? Repubs who didnt vote for him wont automatically fall in line. Many could stay home, or just not vote that race (incl me?). Dillard, w a $6 mil campaign, nearly beat him. Crossovers who closed the gap will migrate back to quinn.

    African americans and their preachers may not be enamored w gay marriage quinn. But will they go for the uber wealthy pro abortion rauner, w platitudes but no plan on education?

    Rauner needs lots of throw-the-bums out, blow things up, voters. If same day registration is in force, it might help rauner. Or it might help quinn. As many here say, it takes a ground game to get new converts, or old loyalists, to the polls.

    Pollsters will earn their money if they get it right.


  13. - Chi - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Isn’t there a libertarian candidate this year? I would venture to guess he/she takes more votes from Rauner than Quinn.


  14. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    It’s very difficult to see how same day registration does anything but help Pat Quinn. Since, Illinois is a big Blue state: there aren’t enough Republicans. Anything that sparks a better Democrat turnout : is a huge negative for Rauner.


  15. - The Prince - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Langhorne: He really does not have a base. He has donors, many of whom are 1) out of state and/or 2) disinclined to be active in politics on a “grass roots” level.


  16. - please - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    On a day when Moody’s was pretty clear that not extending the income tax is a negative threatening the state’s financial future - I don’t know how they managed to find a way to knock Quinn for Moody’s comments AND for advocating to keep the rates. Creative writing indeed.


  17. - Obama's Puppy - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    The Tribune cheerleaders are ready to get out their pom poms.


  18. - phocion - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    ==Dillard, w a $6 mil campaign, nearly beat him. Crossovers who closed the gap will migrate back to quinn.==

    Those crossovers were never going to vote for Dillard in the general. That stunt (fairly well played, btw) was labor showing its fear of a more formidable foe - Rauner.


  19. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    ==Those crossovers were never going to vote for Dillard in the general==

    Did you speak to many? I did and pretty regularly. They hate Pat Quinn. They hate Bruce Rauner. They were glad to vote for Dillard and they were more than ready to vote for him in the fall.


  20. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rauner didn’t even have to provide the op-ed defending himself; the Tribune editorial board was happy to supply excuses instead for their boy.


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 5:33 pm:

    Wensicia:

    Welcome to politics. Candidates are not obliged to say anything they do not want to.

    Rauner’s strategy cannot possibly come as a surprise.

    Heck, even while Governor, Quinn has been pretty vague at times or moved from position to position on budget issues.

    Blame Rauner if you like, but my experience is that voters in some ways want to be duped.

    When they are leaning toward “Change” in a “change election,” voters are less concerned with the specifics of the new policies than the utter certainty that the old policies will end.

    To us wonks, it does not seem right, but the voters are — in a sense — always right.


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 8:00 pm:

    Rich is spot-on BTW that the analysis of 538 while robust has its limitations.

    It is only as good as the polling it relies upon, and while Nate has been pretty good at building predictive models, there are other great predictors.

    Think of a great pool player. Now imagine that same pool player at Murphy’s Pub in Champaign, with its short wall, warped right bumper, and imperceptible moraines and kettles.

    Minnesota Fats is gonna lose to the guy who has played that table every Thursday-Sunday for three years.

    Soon I hope, Rich will open a thread where we can all lay down our halftime analysis and our predictions.


  23. - Just saying - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 5:47 am:

    Rassmussen poll had Bruce up 3. I heard there is one coming out Bruce up 4. In other words, pretty close race Not Nates, 75 25 analysis, that’s for sure. If it stays at 5 or under. quinin WINS. State is too blue


  24. - Madison - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Gotta side with big R on this issue. This group hates this sort of politics and I understand that; however, until the polls demand that R speak about this or any other issue, R has to stand pat. Everything to lose and nothing to gain folks.


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Even the last polls before the election that included Whitney, “Other,” and “Undecided” had Quinn at 38%-40%. He ended up at 46.8%.

    The range on Brady was 43%-46%. He finished at 45.9%.


  26. - Formerpol - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Rauner will beat Quinn handily. That is my vibe across the state. Even in Chicago, Rauner will do better then usual for a Republican. My vibe has never been wrong in a statewide race!


  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    - Formerpol -,

    No “Base”, no Ground Game, versus the Democratic GOTV, and the negative onslaught, and Rauner wins… handily?

    That Rsunerbot kool- aid is fresh this morning.

    “Never”? “Never been wrong?”

    So you had Carol Mosely-Braun over Dixon?


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