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Quinn, Rauner head downstate

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* It’s my tradition to keep the blog open on the last weekend before a general election. I can’t promise many posts. I have to be in Chicago for the pre-election party I host every couple of years, so we’ll see what happens. And, for sure don’t expect anything early Sunday morning.

I used to keep comments open every weekend, but some of y’all would have a few adult beverage on a Friday or Saturday night and then would come home and comment away, sometimes angrily.

Please, refrain from doing that. Thanks.

* OK, on to the story from David Ormsby

Downstate Illinois is getting a big chunk of time from gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 campaign’s final weekend.

With polls showing that Republican Downstate dominance somewhat slipping in the race for Illinois governor, both Governor Pat Quinn and GOP challenger Bruce Rauner are or will be in the region this weekend, starting on Friday.

The governor started his day in Chicago, but then headed to UIUC to award some education and agriculture grants, then traveled to Mount Vernon and Edwardsville to hand out even more money. He’s in the Quad Cities this weekend for a rally with FLOTUS.

Rauner’s schedule has him in 14 cities over the next three days, with 11 of those towns outside the collar counties. He’ll be in southern Illinois, Quincy, Lawrenceville, Carmi, Harrisburg, and Marion on Saturday. On Sunday, he will be in Chicago and a suburban town, but then travels to East Alton and Peoria. On Monday, Jim Edgar and Rauner swing through Bloomington, Springfield, Moline, Rockford, and Lincolnshire.

* Back to Ormsby

Recent polling has shown that Rauner has been underperforming the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee, Bill Brady, who captured 59% of the Downstate vote. Rauner is drawing as little as 45% up to 53% in surveys.

Rauner’s poorer showing Downstate is partly reflected by the presence of Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm on the November 4 ballot. According to a recent Illinois Observer poll, Grimm is drawing 8.5% of the Downstate vote, a fact that is hurting the GOP nominee.

Rauner’s weekend schedule of stops in Southern, Central, Western and Northern Illinois is the starkest signal yet of the concerns by his campaign about the GOP base. The wealthy venture capitalist had intended to pry a higher than average share of votes out of Chicago from disenchanted Democrats to build a winning coalition. That strategy depended on support from a robust GOP base in Southern and Central Illinois in order to free him to focus his energy on poaching votes in Chicago.

…Adding… Keep in mind, however, that Rauner could just be making one last pass to fire up the base. While most of the vote is around Chicago, and he does need to be there (and will be, and will get his face on TV), it’s not a guaranteed sign of weakness.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 5:52 pm:

    At least Bruce will have a whole campaign staff to blame on Tuesday, keeping his personal record of success unblemished. And I suppose these swings will quiet whoever complained on some other post earlier that neither candidate travels south of Springfield.

  2. - Wordslinger - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 5:53 pm:

    Didnt see this coming.

    Wasn’t it Shimkus a couple of months ago who told Rauner to go win it up north?

  3. - No Longer A Lurker - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:08 pm:

    Who would have thought Grimm would draw almost 9% of the downstate vote. Perhaps Grimm will draw up to 6 or 7% of the vote state wide.

  4. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:09 pm:

    While there were little red Rauner signs out along the edge (Mt Hawley and Lake of the Woods) in Peoria today,, I’ve never seen Peoria have so few political signs heading into an election.

    I’m use o seeing huge signs all the way in from all directions. One would be hard pressed to remember there’s a vote coming on Tuesday. There were a few larger signs for Aaron with a tiny Rauner down in the lower corner. Actually the most signs I saw were for Judy for comptroller. I’m not seeing the mega huge can read three blocks away type signs Brady had out when he ran and I’ve not seen the usual farm field signs that the farmers usually put out.

    Twenty five years down here in the boonies and I’ve never observed such bare front yards and front boulevards of businesses.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:16 pm:

    ===That strategy depended on support from a robust GOP base in Southern and Central Illinois in order to free him to focus his energy on poaching votes in Chicago.===

    The Cake won’t bake.

    Been saying it, it’s happening.

    You can’t have your Unity Breakfast, right after the Election, and trot out “Democrats for Rauner” hours later…

    …and expect the Base to come home.

    No way.

    The formula is still flawed, even further, by no real way to GOTV a formulated and artificial “Rauner Base” that is predicated on the premise that enough Conservative Dems and Indies will offset alienating Conservative GOP voters, and Unionized Conservative voters with “Union is Bad” mantra…

    …now the numbers don’t add up.

    Like the Budget numbers, or the Education funding numbers, or DNR funding numbers.

    The GOTV of the artificial Rauner Cake formula - it hasn’t added up.

    Thus, Rauner goes Downstate, with “Career Politican” Jim Edgar.

    Disaster may await, if the Cake won’t bake in 3 days.

  6. - ChazAllen1 - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:17 pm:

    The Rauner campaign’s claim their internal polls show them up by 6-7 points is clearly contradicted by his last minute decision to venture downstate. The momentum has clearly shifted to Governor Quinn.

  7. - Wensicia - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:25 pm:

    I assume Mrs. Rauner won’t be along on the downstate tour.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:28 pm:

    Rauner’s campaign staff appears to care more about soaking Rauner than telling him the truth about how to win.

    I’m guessing they instructed the Pollster not to deliver the accurate number but the one that ensures Rauner keeps his wallet open

  9. - my two cents - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:31 pm:

    Cindy Lou, I’ve noticed the same lack of big signs in my area, only Rauner’s signs here are blue because he’s after the pro-choice women’s vote around here.

  10. - The Captain - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    It’s nice to see the downstate vote finally get some attention, with minor exception it’s been largely overlooked this fall. I wish there was good public data on TV spending by media market so you could see which candidates are playing in which markets (and which have them all to themselves). The media consultants are providing that info to the campaigns on a regular basis, it’s jut not publicly available.

    Rauner is going to have a hard time matching Brady’s downstate numbers. It’s not necessarily because Brady is a downstater and Rauner isn’t, after all Kirk matched Brady’s downstate numbers, it’s just that the 2010 downstate numbers were so much more Republican than they have been since the 1990’s. The 2010 downstate numbers look like a bit of an aberration, just unsustainable. Then again with some of the facility closures downstate Quinn hasn’t made it easier for his support to bounce back.

    It makes sense that Rauner’s spending time down there, but it’s also customary for the statewide candidates (who can afford it) to do a fly around on the final weekend and get on TV. If you do a press conference at or near the airports you can usually get the reporters to cover it and you want to get your face on tv in as many media markets as possible. Plus you usually get some reporter embeds for the final weekend and every candidate gets some weird kick out of trying to tire out the reporters.

  11. - The Captain - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:39 pm:

    Anonymous, if Rauner’s staffers and consultants wanted him to spend more money they’d tell him he was down a few points but well within reach and then recommend a bunch of spending to communicate to the persuadables. I don’t follow your logic.

  12. - Mighty M. Mouse - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:48 pm:

    What Willy said is spot on. As for Bruce Rauner’s internal polling, it’s horse hockey, just like his house-of-cards shell game of a deceitful campaign.

    This election is about fear and loathing. Intense dislike of Pat Quinn versus gut-wretching fear of Bruce Rauner. Which is a more powerful motivator?

    Loathing is akin to going for a hike in the forest and surprising a skunk. Fear is going for a hike in the forest and surprising a mama grizzly bear.

    Not much sounds worse than smelling like a skunk, and yet it’s not even a close call. Fear trumps loathing, greed, and pretty much everything else.

    Quinn stayed the course, but Rauner’s strategy was inherently flawed. Quinn’s been consolidating his support all along, Rauner is leaking like a sieve.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:56 pm:


    Frerichs just covered 25 cities and towns from Rockford to Carbondale.

    Oswego Willy:

    Makes you wonder what they have been doing in those 50 field offices across the state, doesn’t it?

    Here is the problem.

    Hard R’s aren’t voting for Grimm. It is downstate, conservative Independents. And you are not going to win them over with a rally cry 72 hours before the election.

    The Hard R’s you have lost are the union members: the republican teachers and tradesmen and firefighters who elect all of those downstate Republicans that voted against pension reform. And they ain’t coming back.

  14. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 6:56 pm:

    Didn’t Rauner perform poorly in southern Illinois during the primary?

    He’s going to be remembered as chasing after Black votes that didn’t materialize while neglecting southern Illinois “Conservatives” that got Grimm the votes Libertarians needed to achieve major party status.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:02 pm:

    - YDD -,

    I tried. I really tried to point out enough flaws early on, but they new better.

    The field offices were/are props. Nothing more.

    You are On It, once you lose those groups, they don’t come back, and further, baking a Cake you can’t have a GOTV base from; flawed strategy.

    So, Rauner must go downstate for all the wrong reasons, at the wrong time, when burning daylight is bad.

    We will see how the weekend goes…

  16. - Leo - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:09 pm:

    I’m not sure how many of you have been to southern Illinois recently, but you can drive Rt. 4 to 64 to 57 and NEVER see a Pat Quinn sign (if you’re judging by those things like the Peoria commenter). Lots of Rauner, Oberweis and GOP signage, though. In fact from Perry County to Marion County and even in Jackson (which Quinn should win) there were few signs for Quinn. Many for Rauner and Bost, though. So, I don’t know if the jolly juice being chugged here is wishful thinking or based on a tour of duty or two down there, but I imagine in the end the GOP down south will stay with Rauner. Too much anger and too many closures.

  17. - railrat - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:12 pm:

    Rauner is toast not because a labor group spent the members PAC funds for Grimm but the 2nd amendment issue is going to hit now and Rauner failed to appeal to the sportsmen/women and the south of 80 folks will take that to the ballot box

  18. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:18 pm:

    “So, I don’t know if the jolly juice being chugged here is wishful thinking”

    Nope, no jolly juice being chugged here. Commenters are discussing polling numbers that I trust are legitimately reported.

  19. - MrJM - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:22 pm:

    “He’s going to be remembered as chasing after Black votes that didn’t materialize while neglecting southern Illinois ‘Conservatives’”

    This seems likely.

    – MrJM

  20. - The Captain - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:26 pm:

    YDD, I am exhausted just thinking about that.

    Carl, for all of downstate in the primary it was Dillard 40%, Rauner 31%, Brady 19% and Rutherford 10%. If you want to look at just some of the Southern Illinois sections you can do that by media market. In Paducah it was Dillard 49%, Rauner 24%, Brady 19% and Rutherford 8%. In the St. Louis media market it was Dillard 38%, Rauner 33%, Brady 19% and Rutherford 9%. So he didn’t win any of these areas, he was stronger up north, but it’s not like he got blown out either.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    - MrJM -,

    I am a huge fan of your Twitter.

    Had to say that. OW.

    Rauner Crew,

    As you send the Principle downstate, where o where is Slip and Sue?

    Another burden this weekend; what can we do with Slip and Sue where she won’t hurt us.

    Coulda used a solid #2.

  22. - Leo - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 7:32 pm:

    Grand Son. I assume you’re referring to the McKeon treatise? Either he’s a charlatan or genius depending on who you want to win. Grimm the savior will never show up in the votes. In the polling, sure. We’ll see when they pull the trigger. I do agree, though, that Quinn would be done without Grimm. Whoever predicted Tio Hardiman would win all those counties downstate? No one.

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:11 pm:

    My downstate sample of one, mother-in-law, who always votes R, tells me she is not voting for the “phony”

  24. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:14 pm:

    Rauner is doing this to leave no stone unturned. Just as Leo pointed out in his area, Sangamon County is loaded with Rauner signs and few Quinn. I have not seen one Quinn sign larger than a yard sign and half of them have been knocked over by the wind.

    Rauner has been investing a lot of time in the Chicago area and he is making a final swing thru the state. The Quinn kool-aid drinkers are reading far more in to this. Rauner will draw plenty of support from below I80.

  25. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:16 pm:

    Leo is right about the signs here in the deep south. But I think that has mostly to do with Bost having a very good ground game here and likely putting out signs for others (Rauner, Terri Bryant) as well.

    A strong turnout for Bost is the best thing happening for Rauner here, as well as the NRA guys voting against Quinn.

  26. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:48 pm:

    Davis will help Rauner in Bloomington, Champaign and the area heading South towards the metro East area. Schock will really help Rauner in the Peoria and central IL area.

  27. - Anon - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:53 pm:

    There may be plenty of signs in Sangamon but they just went up last weekend and few of them are in single family home yards. Lots of them in vacant lots. Lived here in Springpatch for 40 years and never seen so few signs of support for a GOP Gov candidate.

  28. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:03 pm:

    Just not true anon 8:53. There have been plenty of signs up for 2 months. And if you want to discuss yard signs, not sure I have seen more than 5 for Quinn.

    And the R signs are on commercial, high traffic areas for a reason.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:10 pm:

    Signs. Don’t. Vote.

  30. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:28 pm:


  31. - RNUG - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:43 pm:

    ” … Sangamon County is loaded with Rauner signs …”

    Not really; I don’t see that many individual ones … and there is something interesting about the Rauner signs I see. The blue signs are usually part of a field of GOP signs and the smallest of the bunch is the Rauner sign … it’s almost like they need to include Rauner but would prefer you didn’t really notice it.

  32. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:51 pm:

    Rauner signs are 4 x 4. Davis signs are 4 x 4. Many Oberweis are 2 x 4. Some others are 4 x 8(mostly the sheriff’s signs) but Cross and Topinka are yard signs and there are many Rauner yard signs. At least get it straight.

    I go by these signs several times a day, all over town. I think I know what I am looking at. How many 4 x 4 or 4 x 8 Quinn signs have you seen?

  33. - Madison - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:56 pm:

    People signs don’t win elections, althogh they can make a local field office look good. consider which will be more critical, the Grimm vote or the undervote?
    I hear the roar of the undervote…but who will it damage most?

  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:56 pm:

    Signs. Don’t. Vote.

    Regardless of the size.

  35. - Madison - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:01 pm:

    Another good question is what does JBT do besides being a woman that makes her sucessful as a Republican the boys just can’t seem to emulate? she does have a pattern that seems to work in all kinds of weather.

  36. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:04 pm:

    I. KNOW. THAT.

    Look Willy, we know you are one of the smartest guys in the room.

    Its called part of marketing. Since you are the ultimate consultant/guru, you would agree.

  37. - ironman - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:08 pm:

    Proper signage allows name ID and makes your campaign organized. Don’t fool your self. They can help will election..I have proved this…

  38. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:20 pm:

    Rich, thanks for keeping the blog open. it’s like the night before Christmas and it’s good to connect with people. thanks.

  39. - Adlai - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:45 pm:

    “Proper signage allows name ID and makes your campaign organized.”

    Yeah, they can help with name ID, but that’s not really necessary in a governor’s race. No idea how you come to the idea that they make your campaign organized, you haven’t “proved” that.

  40. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:46 pm:

    - anonano -,

    It’s all good.

    Here is exactly what I know about signs;

    They are worth what they cost to make them, they can be an asset as well as an eye sore (D-Lard), but if you ask me if I can have 100 signs for 10 precincts and no one working the voters, or 10 bodies covering 10 precincts for a month and Election Day, with no signs, I take the bodies every single time.

    Sorry. Not raining on anyone’s parade. Trying to be rational is all.

  41. - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 10:51 pm:

    and Willy, I would agree with what you just posted. But signs are part of an overall marketing strategy and play a role. So do lack of signs, and Quinn is surprisingly absent in the capitol city.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:01 pm:

    - anonano -,

    Jack O’Malley - Richard Devine.

    If signs and marketing and image were votes, O’Malley was on his way to be governor.

    “Punch 10″

    That was that.

    There’s no “Punch 10″ but the point is still true;

    A sign is as good as it’s location, colors, whatever.

    A vote is always better.

  43. - RNUG - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:09 pm:

    - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 9:51 pm:

    On the roads I drive, I’m just seeing small Rauner “yard” signs even where there are bigger ones for the other candidates.

  44. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:27 pm:

    In my part of the suburbs signs for governor are almost invisible. Lots of signs for state rep races but few for either Quinn or Rauner.

    I think this reflects the impact of the negative ads coming from both sides. No one is excited about either candidate and seemingly embarrassed to profess their preference. Neither of the candidates are well-liked, neither has a net positive rating.

    Where I live the yard signs usually appear slowly in September and increase in October with a burst just before the election in November. That’s not happening this time. I think no one is happy with the choices set before them.

  45. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:30 pm:

    DD, I’ve been hearing lots of reports that people can’t get any signs from Quinn. They’re putting it all on TV.

    Signs don’t vote. Move along.

  46. - Adlai - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:34 pm:

    I agree with RNUG, I’ve missed this explosion of Rauner signs in Springfield. To my eye, it’s pretty much neck and neck on that count.

  47. - ironman - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:36 pm:

    Leo you are spot on. Truth be known. I think all roads have been. Covered from I70 south to Ohio and mississippi…

  48. - A Citizen - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 11:59 pm:

    So TVs vote ?

  49. - Downstate Libertarian - Saturday, Nov 1, 14 @ 7:09 am:

    Looking at signs, in my small downstate village in the land of Schock, there were more signs up in the primary than the general election. After taking a drive last night, I noticed that there were only five signs. One for Judy Baar Topinka, one for Julie Fox, one for Paul Schmipf, and two for a write-in candidate for county board.

    I know people I have talked to are just burnt out on the ALL the negativity. Will be interesting to see the turnout.

  50. - Roadiepig - Saturday, Nov 1, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    - anonano - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 8:48 pm:

    Davis will help Rauner in Bloomington, Champaign and the area heading South towards the metro East area. Schock will really help Rauner in the Peoria and central IL area.

    So your logic says that lower ticket candidates will have “coattails” to drag the top of the ballot candidate across the finish line? Never seen that strategy employed to win a governorship before!

    As far as what I have seen down here- there are many, many longtime R’s that I have talked to on the trail that have said they are voting for Davis but just can’t stomach Rauner.

    Maybe Monday you (and Rauner’s campaign folks) will have a good explanation why he received so many less votes than Davis (or Schock, or whomever else you wanna pick) did in their districts

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