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Cook Political Report moves Rauner reelect from “Lean Republican” to “Tossup”

Monday, Jun 26, 2017

* From the DGA…

On Friday, the Cook Political Report released a new analysis of 2018 Gubernatorial races, and it was only bad news from Governor Bruce Rauner. Cook Political Report not only moved the ranking of the race from “Lean R” to “Tossup”, they also singled out Governor Rauner for being the “most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election next year.”

Cook Political Report:

    “The fifth seat is in Illinois where GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner is seeking a second term. Rauner has been under siege for much of his term in a standoff with the Democratic-controlled legislature over the state’s budget – or rather, the lack of one.”

    “As a Republican in a very blue state, Rauner is the most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election next year.”

Governor Rauner’s re-election challenges are numerous and self-inflicted, and really boil down to one question – has Illinois moved forward under Governor Rauner? With no budget, skyrocketing debt, job growth stuck in the mud, and an education system on the verge of collapse, it’s hard to see many voters eagerly pulling “Rauner” in 2018.

To complicate matters, Governor Rauner will have an albatross hanging around his neck named President Trump pushing unpopular legislation on health care and the environment. Rauner so far has refused to break with his party’s leader in memorable fashion.

Rauner’s already suffering from punishingly low approval ratings, and with an election strategy that is summed up as “blame someone else,” it looks like 2018 will not be kind to him.

“You don’t get labeled the ‘most vulnerable incumbent’ without compiling an impressive record of failure,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “With no accomplishments to run on, Governor Rauner’s only hope at re-election is to spend tens of millions dodging responsibility and blaming others for his own failed leadership. Illinois voters will see through his cynical re-election strategy and demand accountability for the state’s slide backwards.”

The full report is here. Just keep in mind they do these ratings from far away and it’s really early, so the ratings are always subject to change.

* Meanwhile, from the Rauner campaign…

We’re quickly approaching the end of the quarter.

Normally at this time of year, we’d email you to help us reach our big end of quarter fundraising goal, which directly fuels our team’s efforts across the state.
But this isn’t a normal end of quarter here in Illinois.

Last week, Bruce called legislators back to Springfield for a special session to work towards a Capitol Compromise that brings a balanced budget and real reforms to Illinois.

These legislators have just four more days to come together in a bipartisan fashion to fix our state.

We’re not concerned about our end of quarter fundraising deadline. We’re concerned about our state legislators following Bruce’s lead to change the system and get our state back on track.

So, instead of contributing to our fundraising goal today, we’re asking you to show your support. Will you commit to the budget and reform movement? Sign here.

Let’s show Bruce that we’re behind him as he keeps up the momentum in Springfield.

Our movement is stronger than ever, no matter what career politicians try to get in the way.

Thanks,

Team Rauner

- Posted by Rich Miller        

44 Comments
  1. - Anon221 - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    As much as Team Rauner would like to pretend, Rauner ain’t Gary Cooper…

    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/irooks/clips/crane-shot-high-noon


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    As President Hillary can attest, polling over one year and half before an election is completely meaningless.

    Hard to believe Illinois voters will vote for a Governor who will not stand up to Mike Madigan


  3. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    This makes sense. Illinois still leans blue; Trump is President; and historically Republican areas that have universities might not be so kind to the GOP this time around.

    This race could have a very similar spread to the Quinn-Brady results of 2010.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    “Bruce Rauner failed”

    Governors own. Rauner will be judged as Quinn was.

    Good try, thou.


  5. - One hand //ing - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    ===Hard to believe Illinois voters will vote for a Governor who will not stand up to Mike Madigan===

    Harder to believe Illinois voters would vote for a governor who will not stand up to Trump.

    Get out of the bubble once in a while.


  6. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    There hasn’t been a “tossup” governors race in Illinois since 1994 - each one since has been a “throw-up”.


  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Rauner failed.
    2018 will be a “toss-out” year.


  8. - Sophie & Pete - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    We believe in term limits. The voters have that right to keep the rich from buying elected reps. Check out my belief on November 7, 2018. Oh by the way, betting on yourself is like betting on a donkey in a horserace.


  9. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    How exactly is Governor Rauner connected to Donald Trump to the average voter?

    Let’s wait and see how being against a real property tax freeze or any meaningful reform will help Democrats before you count your chickens OW.


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    I want a governor to fight a speaker to fiscal calamity and destruction, like I’d want to live next door next to Pritzker and need to use the toilet.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Oh - Lucky Pierre -, lol

    Rauner failed. Rauner will increase income tax on all working Illinoisans.

    A state university may close, or two…

    Social services did fold, are gone, under Bruce Rauner

    “Bruce Rauner failed”

    Bruce can’t run against Bruce…


  12. - Downstate - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    Team Rauner message - “Do you want Mike Madigan to have more or less power in the future?”


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    ==Hard to believe Illinois voters will vote for a Governor who will not stand up to Mike Madigan==

    It’s also hard to believe Illinois voters would vote for a Governor who hasn’t accomplished anything. But I guess we’ll see


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    ===Team Rauner message - “Do you want Mike Madigan to have more or less power in the future?”===

    … when Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois Universities close… under Rauner… you keep up the “Because… Madigan!”

    Governors open universities, they don’t close them, passively, on purpose.


  15. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    =There hasn’t been a “tossup” governors race in Illinois since 1994 - each one since has been a “throw-up”.=

    Well put. You are on fire today.

    Where would we be if Kirk Dillard had been elected? I ask my self that often.


  16. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    If Kennedy, Biss or Pawar is the nominee: Leans Dem.

    If Pritzker is the nominee: Toss-up

    Pritzker is the only nominee with the negatives (Madigan, Blago, Property tax etc) that Rauner can drag underwater far enough to make this race a tossup


  17. - Rogue Roni - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    Because LP the midterm elections are typically a referendum on the party in the White House. Rauner pretending trump doesn’t exist isn’t helping.


  18. - Mark Sullivan - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    But two weeks ago after 2 1/2 years of gridlock the state that Hillary won by 16 points was still lean Republican.

    How could that be? I guess the majority still blame the impasse on the Speaker more than the Governor

    Rauner has plenty of money to get his popular message out about fair maps, property tax reform, term limits etc and whoever the democratic nominee is will have to distance himself from the Speaker and his unpopular policies.

    The Democratic candidate for Governor can explain why he can magically balance budgets, reduce the pension debt unlike Blagoevch and Quinn. He can also explain how he can work with legislative leaders like Madigan and Cullerton who considered Governor Quinn irrelevant


  19. - One hand //ing - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    ===How exactly is Governor Rauner connected to Donald Trump to the average voter?===

    There’s a word they both put immediately after their names on the ballot. Ten letters long. Starts with R.

    You can get this. I believe in you!


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    - Mark Sullivan -

    The tried isn’t Rauner’s friend.

    58% disapproval, no tangible accomplishments, the signing that will occur with the Rauner Tax, arguably one of the largest income tax increases in state history…

    … social services closing, state universities in the brink of closing or losing accreditation…

    “Pat Quinn failed”

    Bruce Rauner closes social service agencies, state universities, raises your income tax and let Illinois go to junk bond status in less than 3 years.

    Rauner needs to run away from Rauner! lol


  21. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    Fax - but do you really think Pawar and Biss can raise enough money to keep up with Rauner’s and Griffin’s cash?! And will the DGA be willing to foot the bill if those two need it? Probably not.

    One of the things that made Rauner so palatable for the national GOP is that he can self-fund - which meant that in 2014 (and now in 2018) the RGA was not required (and will not be required) to shell out enough to compete in a blue-leaning state and two super-expensive media markets. The same goes for Pritzker and the DGA. They will have their hands full in other states, so J.B.’s cash makes him all the more enticing from a national perspective.


  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    Does it occur to Gov. Rauner, Billionaire Kenneth Griffin, and the rest of the IL GOP that they are hurting Illinois’ prospects by constantly talking down the state and ignoring all that Illinois has going for it? Hope there is a strong Democratic Nominee to take on Gov. Rauner in 2018 and being well funded won’t be enough.


  23. - Sue - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    This comes from the same polling firm who suggested HRC would now be our 45th president. Makes you wonder why Nyone listens


  24. - Arsenal - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    ==How exactly is Governor Rauner connected to Donald Trump to the average voter?==

    By party. It’s not always the case, but the vast majority of average voters think that if two people belong to the same political party, they’ll basically work together and agree on things.

    This isn’t new information, it is, in fact, the heart of Rauner’s re-election strategy, too.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    - Sue -

    Hillary Clinton won Illinois by 14 points.

    Mendoza beat Munger by 4 points.

    So, there’s that.


  26. - Fixer - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    Curl, I know Chicago is one of the media markets you mentioned, but what’s the second one?


  27. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    From leans Republican to becomes Junk


  28. - Arsenal - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    ==This comes from the same polling firm==

    Cook Political Report is a newsletter, not a polling firm.


  29. - Arsenal - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    == they are hurting Illinois’ prospects by constantly talking down the state and ignoring all that Illinois has going for it?==

    It is often jarring to see those Illinois tourism commercials after Rauner speaks…


  30. - CCP Hostage - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Unless there’s a budget and some significant progress toward making Illinois better, 2018 won’t be kind to anyone in office who has name recognition. Based on my informal poll at my family reunion, they’re voting out Rauner, Madigan (none of them live in his district), and their state reps/senators.


  31. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Fixer - that would be St. Louis.

    I should have mentioned the Quad Cities, too, which is VERY expensive since 2/3 of the market is in Iowa.


  32. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Fizer - it should be noted that about 3/4 or more of the St. Louis media market is in Missouri so the “rate of return” makes buying St. Louis airtime enhances the gamble.


  33. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Curl - absolutely, Quinn had enough money - whoever the nominee is will get upwards of $100MM from labor, lawyers, liberals, etc.

    Now if Biss or Pawar is the nominee, that is that much less that won’t go into legislative races, which is why Madigan is pushing so hard for Pritzker right now


  34. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    In fact, if Kennedy, Biss or Pritzker is the nominee there will be literally no money available for Dem legislative races unless the candidates can raise it themselves because its all going to the Gov race. However, GOP legislatives will have Rauner/Griffin tens of millions regardless.

    If Pritzker is not the nominee I believe there is a better than 50/50 chance Madigan loses his majority because of the above.

    Getting rid of Rauner and Madigan in one election would be the greatest 200th birthday present Illinois could get.


  35. - Fixer - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Thanks Curl, that was the other I was considering but wasn’t 100% sure on.

    Self funding seems to be the biggest draw for both parties right now, which to me is disappointing.


  36. - don the legend - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Lean, toss up, solid, etc. After March 2018 we’ll know our choices will be Governor Junk Bond and somebody not named Governor Junk Bond.

    Is it possible 50%+ could vote for Governor Junk Bond?

    Please say it ain’t possible.


  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    Arsenal, so it was printed in the Cook newsletter. Did they just opine or did they conduct a poll or commission a poll and print the results?


  38. - Real - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Sue -
    This comes from the same polling firm who suggested HRC would now be our 45th president. Makes you wonder why Nyonelistens
    …….

    HRC did win the popular vote. So without if that election was counted the same way as all other elections then HRC would have won.


  39. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==How exactly is Governor Rauner connected to Donald Trump to the average voter?==

    They’re both Republicans for starters.

    And, name me one major Trump policy proposal that Rauner has opposed. Silence = tacit support, which will be read that way by all Trump voters.

    Rauner’s strategy is cynical to the nth degree. He says nothing that opposes POTUS in the hopes he can get the Trump vote. He says nothing in support of POTUS because he loses a lot of the suburbs if he does that.

    He’s in a trick box, and if the money is there, it will be very, very easy to paint his agenda as the Trump-Rauner agenda.


  40. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Rauner is lucky Illinois does not have a 2018 Senate race,as that would directly draw out Democrats around the state to send a message to Trump (and vote against Rauner while they’re at it).


  41. - Boone's is back - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    ===Rauner’s already suffering from punishingly low approval ratings, and with an election strategy that is summed up as “blame someone else,” it looks like 2018 will not be kind to him.===

    Ouch.


  42. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Vanilla Man for the win on the toss up/throw up comment.


  43. - Concerned Observer - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    I’m already hearing “I hate all of em, but since I can’t vote Madigan out, I’ll pull against Rauner.” Which, hey, that’s always the theory…but I think this time there really is a strain of people who are just so exasperated they’d get rid of everyone with power if they could.


  44. - Sigh - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 5:13 pm:

    Way to early to fret about a report on an election so far off. It may be more meaningful in a few weeks if the impasse continues.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Ives doesn't believe Rauner can win, won't rule out another gubernatorial bid
* Answer the question, please
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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
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* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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