An email from We Ask America:
Illinois: Everything old is new again
Governor Pat Quinn has made a career out of proving those who dismiss his chances in political races wrong.
Earlier this year, most pundits outside of Illinois had Quinn high on their likely-to-be-dumped lists. The reasons were logical: the Illinois lags behind other Midwestern neighbors in economic recovery, has the highest pension debt in the nation and continues to lose jobs to greener economic pastures.
Enter Republican Bruce Rauner, a highly successful investment professional with deep pockets and an in-your-face promise to “shake up Springfield.” Conventional wisdom dictated that Quinn was in serious trouble.
But Rauner had a much tougher Primary than expected thanks partially to a successful campaign by teachers unions to encourage crossover votes, and Quinn has since seemed to hit his stride earlier than usual in the race. Many assumed that Rauner would launch a shock-and-awe level attack that would bury Quinn, but his campaign seems has yet to overwhelm observers or voters. And Rauner’s purposeful penchant for avoiding details has left more questions than answers.
Rauner had a 10-12 point lead a few weeks ago. With Quinn hitting his stride and Rauner stumbling a bit, what do the voters think? We asked more than 1,400 likely voters on September 18-19 the following question:
If the election for Governor were held today, would you vote for Democrat Pat Quinn, Republican Bruce Rauner or Libertarian Chad Grimm?
Poll type: Automated – Date: 9/18-19/2014 – Participants: 1,418 Likely Voters – Margin of Error: ± 3%
After holding a double-digit lead a few weeks ago, the gap narrows…just as it did four years ago when Republican State Senator Bill Brady led Quinn by 10 points a month out from the election only to lose a relatively close race. Despite running a state that’s home to massive debt, terribly low job creation rates, and a pension system that has almost single-handedly lead to a credit rating close to “non-investment grade”, Pat Quinn has pulled within the margin of error.
There is time left, and Bruce Rauner has the wherewithal to unleash the hounds with a wave of his checkbook, but the ticking of the clock is growing louder every day.