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The most negative campaign ever

Tuesday, Dec 19, 2017

* It’s custom to take questions after a City Club speech and somebody asked me yesterday about how Gov. Rauner can win reelection

“In a wave like this, he’s not going to win by touting his accomplishments,” Miller said to widespread laughter in a packed room of business and civic leaders that it’s fair to say tilted heavily Democratic.

“He has to run the most negative campaign anyone in this room has ever seen, period. He has to drive down the black turnout, the woman turnout, Latino turnout, young people turnout — he’s got to drive them all down,” he said of discouraging voters most likely to cast a ballot for the Democrat running against Rauner.

“The only way to do that — the only way to do that — is to be unbelievably negative, so negative that you just gasp at the TV ads.”

Short of Twitter going out of business and “solving a lot of Republican problems” by silencing President Donald Trump’s social media output, “that’s what (Rauner) has to do,” Miller said, citing the higher-than-expected black voter turnout in Alabama’s recent special election as evidence of an energized Democratic base.

“Negative, negative, negative, negative … what Rod (Blagojevich) did to Judy (Baar Topinka) times 50,” Miller said, referring to the expensive 2006 campaign ads in which Blagojevich painted the late Topinka as irresponsible by repeating the phrase “What’s she thinking?” over and over again.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Just Visiting - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    Should be pretty easy to do given how dysfunctional/corrupt/broke Illinois is and because… Madigan!

    /not really snark


  2. - DarkHorse - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    Rich, assuming Rauner does what you describe, how does this effect GOP chances in down ballot races?


  3. - very old soil - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    I am afraid that you are right. Thank God for the mute button


  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Rich is on the mark again. If JB is the nominee, the media markets will enjoy the enhanced revenue.


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Way to take it to the “heavily democratic audience” with the simple fact that Illinois is incredibly hostile to business and the results speak for themselves.

    Very little applause on that one from the self described party of the middle class whose jobs are leaving the state at a record rate.

    Exactly how are the Democratic GA members going to win reelectioo ” by touting their accomplishments,” to anyone but their special interests?


  6. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    “Burn it down” Rauner
    Is the nickname
    I am giving
    The most destructive
    Governor
    In the history
    Of Illinois


  7. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    Rich - Are you saying Rauner should go heavy negative against Ives if she starts gaining serious traction in the primary? Seems like that would really alienate him from the GOP base.


  8. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    “He has to drive down the black turnout, the woman turnout, Latino turnout, young people turnout — he’s got to drive them all down”

    And, by contrast, the Democrats need to give those very same voters a good reason to get out and vote, and then ensure their ability to vote on election day. (IMHO, that should be the Democrats focus in every election.)

    – MrJM


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Yeah, LP, that City Club crowd is a bunch of Bolsheviks. Keep telling yourself that.

    “Widespread laughter,” dude. They’re laughing at you and your boss for good reason.

    Which do you prefer? Incompetent or misanthropic?


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    That’s why it’s smart to build a strong campaign infrastructure, which is what Pritzker appears to be doing—smart if he wins the Primary. The focus has to be on organizing and turning out voters.

    I think it’s smart and correct to tie Rauner to Trump, and to try to catch that wave. Both favor policies that really help the wealthiest, and both are phony populists, Rauner with his working class costumes and affected “g” droppin’, and Trump with his “forgotten man”/MAGA schtick.

    Rauner won’t fight back against the federal income tax bill that heavily favors the wealthiest and would hurt Illinoisans via the SALT cap. Trump is all in on Rauner’s national public sector union busting via the Janus case.


  11. - Roman - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    “Negative, negative, negative….”

    Wait, so are you saying this top 10 accomplishment list isn’t gonna move votes?


  12. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Since when is a “heavily democratic audience” Bolshevik? Were you there?

    They don’t see the irony of the fact the Cook County Democrats- Madigan, Cullerton and Prekwinkle are more unpopular that the Governor according to every poll.

    I guess even Democratic voters don’t think just permanently raising taxes and doing nothing to fix our terrible business environment is a recipe for prosperity.


  13. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Jeeze guys. The Guv is obviously trying to run a positive campaign with his optimistic top ten list. But what do you all do? You dump all over it and make fun of him.

    Shame on you all, you are leaving him no other choice but to go negative.


  14. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Maybe you missed it but the tax bill does hurt the wealthy in blue states with high state and local taxes. It lowers the write-off of this as well as their property tax deductions are limited to $10,000 and mortgage interest deductions are capped at $750K.


  15. - Veil of Ignorance - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    To Democrats, this should serve as a warning. The product ultimately matters the most. Doesn’t matter how much you spend on marketing or distribution infrastructure…if voters aren’t excited about what they see it’ll spell trouble.


  16. - Whatever - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    ==He has to drive down the black turnout, the woman turnout, Latino turnout, young people turnout — he’s got to drive them all down==

    And for white, male geezers like me, who are definitely going to show up, he has a lot of explainin’ to do.


  17. - So_Ill - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    =He has to drive down the black turnout, the woman turnout, Latino turnout, young people turnout — he’s got to drive them all down=

    Luckily for democrats, Trump and the national GOP will do everything possible to make sure these groups come out and vote en masse.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    The good news for Rauner is the Dems have NO message…..see results nationally for the last 6 yrs….thanks to BO….a real leader.


  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    And the only Democratic candidate that affords Rauner such a target for a highly negative to gain traction is Pritzker — so, of course, the party establishment rallied to endorse Pritzker with his Blagojevich and Berrios baggage. Sheesh!


  20. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    “but the tax bill does hurt the wealthy in blue states with high state and local taxes”

    In blue states, yes, but the corporate tax cut would be massive, so much larger for wealthy corporations than for the rest of the country. The doubling of the estate tax exemption is also huge for the super-rich like Trump and Rauner. It’s filet mignon for many of the wealthiest and crumbs for the rest.

    Why isn’t Rauner speaking out against the tax hikes Illinoisans would experience through capping SALT?

    Both Trump and Rauner support starving the beast. This tax cut bill will set the table for future cuts to social services to make up for deficits. Trump said something to the effect that he hates paying taxes because they’re wasted by the government. Rauner dishonestly accomplished his goal of cutting social services through the back door of a manufactured budget crisis.

    Then we have repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, which would hurt many Illinoisans via purposely-manufactured premium increases.

    I believe very strongly that Rauner and Trump are tied together.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    ===Maybe you missed it but the tax bill does hurt the wealthy in blue states with high state and local taxes===

    I’ll look forward to the governor campaigning on the tax cut, given its polling about the same as he is…


  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    Pritzker is the ideal opponent for Rauner to use a negative campaign. The attack ads almost write themselves.


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    ===And the only Democratic candidate that affords Rauner such a target for a highly negative to gain traction is Pritzker===

    lol

    No.


  24. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    == and doing nothing to fix our terrible business environment is a recipe for prosperity ==

    They don’t have to because Rodney Davis and Peter Roskam are going to give Illinois the greatest, most luxurious permanent business tax cuts in the entire history of the world. Remember?


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    The irony of Cook County Democrats running on the “manufactured budget crisis” is rich.

    Yes, it was “manufactured” through decades of unbalanced budgets, onerous regulation and excessive taxation of businesses that has stagnated growth in our economy, and unaffordable retirement benefits for their special interests.


  26. - Nacho - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    ==The good news for Rauner is the Dems have NO message…..see results nationally for the last 6 yrs….thanks to BO….a real leader.==

    As is the usual pattern, the president’s party lost ground in the 2010 and 2014 midterms. Who’s the current president again?


  27. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    The Dem side is likely to go very negative too. How you do that without inadvertently repressing your own supporters is quite a chemistry experiment too. Who wins when everyone is Ugly? I guess we’re going to find out.


  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    –The Dem side is likely to go very negative too.–

    You mean like Ives?


  29. - Pieroge tirebiter - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Of course he’s going to go negative. Have you seen him do anything else in the last couple years?


  30. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    I love how LP and the anonymous bots come out for stories like this. Their owners are obviously scared of something.


  31. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    All that just to beat Ives. Just wait til he has to run in the general


  32. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    “The Dem side is likely to go very negative too. How you do that without inadvertently repressing your own supporters is quite a chemistry experiment too.”

    Fortunately, Democrats have run multiple iterations of this experiment, with increasing successful results, in the campaigns of 2017.

    There may be reasons why “Vote for someone who will protect you from the excesses of the Trump presidency” can’t work in Illinois, but I haven’t heard them.

    – MrJM


  33. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    +++- wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    –The Dem side is likely to go very negative too.–

    You mean like Ives?+++

    Yep. Just like that.


  34. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    Labor ground game will be decisive.
    Door to door
    Hand to hand
    Neighbor to neighbor.


  35. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    Mr.JM, that’s a very interesting point. We’ll see. Not sure how the dynamics of this state line up with the others or the special elections with special circumstances. It will be interesting to see the early voting this time.
    It seems people are going to take as much time as they are given to choose in a number of races. It’s a crazy cycle. Even crazier than most here.


  36. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    Rauner has few positives, so he has to run a negative campaign. Don’t ask me what the positives have been, though…


  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    If the GDP is 4% in 4th qtr 2018 it will be Rauner by 2pts and MM will lose 5 seats but still be speaker.


  38. - Shytown - Tuesday, Dec 19, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    Yes to all of this


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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