As governors from across the country descend on Washington for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, here is POLITICO’s updated list of the 10 governorships most likely to change parties in November.
1. Illinois — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is running for reelection. (Previous ranking: 1)
Rauner remains the most vulnerable governor in America — but much has changed ahead of the March 20 primary. Rauner’s primary challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, is running incendiary television ads aimed at turning conservatives against the incumbent. But things may be even more unsettled on the Democratic side: Controversial comments by self-funding front-runner J.B. Pritzker about African-Americans has widened an opening for his opponents in the primary. State Sen. Daniel Biss has emerged as a top competitor to Pritzker in the primary and points to polls of him leading Rauner in the general election. Both Rauner and Pritzker have been forced to begin airing attack ads against their two main primary rivals. Rauner and Pritkzer, both billionaires, are still likely to win their bruising primaries, setting up the general election to be among the most expensive state races in the nation’s history.
Some of this info is a bit outdated. The African-American controversy, for one, seems to be fading. And as I told you Friday, Ives’ campaign has been running on fumes. Since I posted that quickie analysis, some Republican operatives said Ives was off (or, at the very least, “dramatically reduced from where she was earlier this month”) network TV last week. She did have about $80K in cable ads running in Chicagoland. I did see one of her ads last night on WCIA.
Jeanne Ives, a West Point grad and the conservative reform Republican candidate for governor, has released new :30 second ad, “Respect.”
“What the hell is wrong with this Governor?” Ives asked rhetorically at a press conference last week calling on Governor Rauner to remove veterans and their families from the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy after 4 more cases of Legionnaires’ Disease where reported in the past week.
The ad is in response to this ongoing crisis that has already claimed 13 lives and produced 11 negligence lawsuits against the state over the past 2.5 years and to Governor Rauner’s lethal mishandling of it.
In July 2016, Governor Rauner said his administration was “really on top” of the situation at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
After that pronouncement, 3 more people got sick. A Korean war veteran died.
Recently, after his January PR stunt of staying at the home, Rauner told the Crain’s editorial board in response to a question as to whether he would’ve done anything differently in handling the crisis, “We handled it exceptionally well and we would not do anything different.”
13 people are dead and Governor Rauner says he wouldn’t have done anything different. Astounding.
Since that pronouncement, 4 more people have gotten sick.
A West Point Graduate and Army veteran, Ives has used her platform as a candidate for governor to draw attention to the crisis. She has repeatedly called on Governor Rauner to end his press release politics and respond to the crisis with urgency and prudence.
With the Olympics on this past week, I watched more network TV than I have in a long, long time. Even with that I split a lot of time with the NBC cable outlet Olympic coverage. The ROI on network TV ads just doesn’t make sense to me. The plethora of ads I see on ESPN, the cable news channels (all of them), History, Discovery, Hallmark, Animal Channel, etc. tell me they would be hard to miss on cable. I would estimate 3 hours out of 15-18 hours of watching a week for me is on Network TV. Thank God for Amazon and Netflix.
Tough ad. The Governor has a lot to answer for. When those law suits are settled it is going to cost the state a lot of money. “We would not do anything different” and people jus keep getting sick. I echo the sentiment; “What the hell is wrong with this Governor?”
This is usually the time where Proft pulls the front pockets out to a candidate and shows they’re empty to air more ads, of course after the ad that can’t be aired has been paid for, ad cuts that needed to go to producing the ad are made, and in full.
Proft probably measures how much monies he had to get from Ives, maximized his margins, produced whatever he claimed he would deliver, but “mis-figured” the cost to air the ad.
Writing on the wall?
Where will the monies come? What does the polling show?