* Greg Hinz asks around about how the Janus decision helps Gov. Rauner’s reelection campaign…
The decision in the Janus case “gave him a good press pop. It helps him with the conservative base,” which is still outraged that Rauner signed a bill beginning Medicaid funding of abortion, says one top GOP official, who asked not to be named. “But in the end in this year, it won’t make a difference.”
“Maybe it’ll help him get up every morning and realize he’s made a difference,” quipped a top party activist. “It’s still very much up hill.” […]
“I’m surprised he’s as well-positioned as he is,” said [consultant Thom Serafin], noting a recent poll that shows Pritzker leading by less than 10 points. After the big win over organized labor, “He’s got more to talk about” with the GOP’s conservative base, added Serafin. “He’s still got quite a bridge to cross.” […]
Asked if Rauner’s Supreme Court victory is enough to bring her aboard and get her endorsement, [Rep. Jeanne Ives] had a clear answer: “No. I’m not going to endorse the governor. I’m going to let him buy back his voters.”
Chris Mooney, professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said unions have been strongly against Rauner since he made it clear at his inaugural address in 2015 that he was taking on the power of public-sector unions.
“Even if they won this Janus case,” Mooney said, “they would have still been there to fight Rauner tooth and nail. It’s a death match between them.”
But to some conservatives who may not be enchanted with Rauner, Mooney said, “With this, maybe it looks like Rauner [is] not completely ineffectual. Maybe he can get something done.”
Rauner still is looking to unify a socially conservative Republican Party base that split in the March primary over his signature on laws expanding abortion, immigration and transgender rights. His campaign already is touting media coverage of the ruling to help try to heal the rift.
But the court decision on its own may not help unify the party. Third-party governor candidate Sam McCann, a Republican state senator from central Illinois, is a supporter of organized labor who espouses socially conservative views. McCann attacked Rauner over the court ruling, and he symbolizes Downstate areas that are largely Republican but peppered with state institutions and the union members who work there. […]
Yepsen said that while Rauner and “a lot of people who do not like unions … are going to be gloating” about the court decision, “they need to be careful what they wish for.” He and others see the ruling as benefiting Pritzker and Democrats at the ballot box.
“I think it will have an energizing and radicalizing effect on the (union) members. This has been the history of the labor movement all along. You start messing around trying to threaten unions and break unions and what’s the effect of it? It’s a mobilizing effect,” he said. “I think it’s an organizing tool, it’s a mobilizing tool, not just with public-sector unions but with all of labor, which is threatened.”