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Gov. Pat Quinn's new ad slamming Bruce Rauner on the minimum wage
If you only consider the winners in looking at Tuesday night's primary results in Illinois, there were no surprises. The margins, however, tell a very different story. Billionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner captured the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but he survived by a shockingly tight 40-37 spread over state Sen. Kirk Dillard. Rauner had dumped enormous sums into TV ads, and conservative pollster We Ask America absolutely flooded the zone with survey after survey showing him with an insurmountable lead. Indeed, their final numbers, taken the day before the election, put Rauner up 44-27.

Polling primaries is no easy task, but this is a massive miss, and WAA will need to offer some serious and searching self-criticism if they ever want to be taken seriously again. You also have to wonder if WAA's parent organization, the extremely right-wing and anti-union Illinois Manufacturers' Association, had a rooting interest in this race. Dillard was actually able to make it so close because labor groups spent heavily on his behalf to attack Rauner. And because Illinois has open primaries, they encouraged their members (many of whom might otherwise lean Democratic) to vote for Dillard. It almost worked.

And this is probably the ideal outcome for embattled Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who will need a lot of luck to survive in November. Sure, Rauner has infinity moneys, but he's easily caricatured as an out-of-touch one-percenter, thanks in large part to his own Romney-esque tendencies. And a narrow win after a bitter primary means that Dillard can't possibly be thrilled about attending whatever unity breakfast the GOP hopes to schedule.

Quinn, in fact, has already gone on the offensive, airing a new ad before Rauner was even officially declared the victor on Tuesday. The buy is small (around $45,000), but the topic goes right at one of Rauner's worst blunders to date. Quinn's spot features two clips of Rauner. In one, he says, "I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage," which is lower. In the other, he says, "I am adamantly, adamantly against raising the minimum wage." This is not the last time we're going to hear Democrats bring this up.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And Mitt Rauner's already begun tacking left. (12+ / 0-)

    Rich Miller's Capitol Fax Blog is indispensable for those following Illinois politics. Bookmark it now, and then check out this post to see how Rauner, et.al. have already begun tacking left.

    Rauner vs. Quinn. Oberweis vs. Durbin. And, in my own IL-9, Susanne Atanus (BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) vs. Jan Schakowsky.

    As clear and stark a set of choices to be found, and just over seven months to go. No excuses. It's time to roll up our sleeves and work for it.

  •  Rauner is another Linda McMahon (14+ / 0-)

    A spoiled billionaire who thinks he can buy an office.  Unfortunately for Rauner he's shown once again that vast sums of money can't buy you good will when you are an asshole.  Even republican's are coming out against him and I'm sure this won't help him against Quinn.  

    Today, the Alliance for Retired Americans released a video of long-term care expert and registered Republican Margaret Niederer voicing strong concerns about GOP front-runner and millionaire Bruce Rauner's run for Governor of Illinois. Among her concerns are Rauner's business record and ties to nursing home abuse and neglect.
    Between his minimum wage quotes and his business record Quinn has alot of material to continually hammer Rauner.  I'm sure more will come out too.    

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:33:35 AM PDT

  •  I was surprised to see Tio Hardiman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, DownstateDemocrat, Jeff Y

    take 28% of the Dem Guv vote.  By one CBS account from 2 months ago, he had $550 while Quinn had $4.5 million in funds.  No doubt many voted tactically for Dillard, and Quinn is being made the fall guy in many minds for decades of fiscal crises in Illinois, but 28%?

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:51:35 AM PDT

    •  Quinn's pissed off a lot of folks downstate. (5+ / 0-)

      My guess is that a percentage of Hardiman's votes were protests against Quinn, who has honked off a lot of downstate Dems as well as the public sector unions.

      My next guess is that given the choice between Quinn and Rauner, the unions will wind up backing Quinn for Nov. 4. But he'll either have to try and make up some of that ground or concentrate his efforts in the 6-county Chicago area.

      •  I agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Railfan

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:10:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Quinn's problems with downstaters (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1, Railfan, marykk, Odysseus

        1) Quinn proposed consolidating downstate school districts en masse, something which has been done on a case-by-case basis in downstate Illinois for decades.

        2) Quinn signed into law legislation legalizing fracking in Illinois, and most fracking operations will be in the earthquake-prone southern part of the state.

        3) Quinn is from Chicago, and parochialism is a bigger deal in Illinois than most people think. For example, Mike Frerichs (Democratic nominee for state treasurer, he was unopposed in his primary and seems like a stronger candidate than Quinn is) is probably going to outperform Quinn downstate but do poorly in the Collar Counties (where GOP primary winner Tom Cross is from).

        •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

          The only point on which I'd digress is that I think Democrats around here will care much more about the "R" after Tom Cross's name than they will that Frerichs is from downstate. I think he'll do well.

          When Glenn Poshard ran against George Ryan in 1998, he didn't do as well in Chicago and the suburbs because his primary opponent successfully painted him as anti-choice, which hurt him among Dems here (I know a few who'd take their votes back if they could).

    •  Hardiman had a Scott Lee Cohen problem as well (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, Railfan, Odysseus, abgin

      Had he somehow won the primary, it would have been a given that his domestic battery charges would have become front and center in the local news media here in Illinois, which is why I voted in the D primary for Quinn, because I did NOT want a repeat of the Scott Lee Cohen fiasco four years ago.

  •  Rauner is a Far Right Extremist...Period. (8+ / 0-)

    I live in Illinois, which has had numerous GOP governors. All have been moderates. There will be tons of money spent by the Koch brothers & dear, sweet Karl Rove to turn Illinois in to the next Mid-Western ALEC state. If you can spare a few bucks for Democrat Quinn's campaign, please give.

    •  Dillard would have been REAL trouble for Quinn. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y

      Rauner is much less so. He'll get the hard line Republicans, sure, and that's a lot of voters in Illinois between the suburbs and downstate ... but Kirk Dillard was pulling up close in the last few days. He is a very respected legislator, with respect from both sides. Rauner is, well, he isn't any of those.

      And Dillard might have attracted some of the union vote, which is going to tend against Quinn because of pension reform. (SOMEone's gonna have to do it, but the unions aren't there yet.) Rauner, on the other hand, cannot possibly appeal to union members.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:30:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Record low turnout (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, LordMike

    was likely for Chicago and Cook County.  Could be the entire state:

    Throughout Cook County, voter turnout was also expected to be at a record low, according to Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for County Clerk David Orr's office.

    Greve estimated that voter turnout would also likely end up around 16 percent of registered voters. The next lowest turnout was in 1998 when 23.9 percent of registered voters showed up to the polls.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:30:24 AM PDT

  •  pro tip: It would help those of us who don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    have an encyclopedic knowledge of every state's candidates in our memory banks, if you would put the state and office in question in the title. Something like this:

    IL-Gov: As one-percenter Bruce Rauner ...

    I went ahead and tweeted this diary anyway, although I normally would not do that without more complete identifying info in the title.

    Kthx.

    I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:16:39 AM PDT

  •  In a lot of his primary ads, Rauner always said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, Inland, Jeff Y

    "Union Bosses".

    He's playing the Walker/Snyder game:

    Lie to get elected, then drop the bomb once in office.

    If Rauner wins, we need a dirty player like Madigan to shut him down.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:40:50 PM PDT

  •  Quinn (5+ / 0-)

    I made the mistake of having Morning Joe on the other morning.  They were discussing the general election in Illinois, and I belive it was Mike Barnacle who said something to the extent that Quinn was a goner and the most vulnerable governor in the country.  No, not the most vulnerable Democratic governor in the country, but the most vulnerable governor, full stop, and as if it weren't a matter of debate or opinion. You know, in a year when you have Rick Scott, Corbett, Snyder, etc...on the ballot.

    It just drove home to me how horrible the media can be.  Quinns in a tough spot, no doubt, but you have incumbent governors actually trailing their challengers in the polls, and you're going to make the pronouncement that Quinn has no chance?  Really?  It's the kind of stuff that'll make you tire of media politics.

  •  Don't you qualify for re-election as IL Gov... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madame defarge

    ...By not being indicted for anything?  Seems like most of the recent occupants of that office moves to other public facilities lacking keys.

  •  Lots of Dems voted for Dillard (0+ / 0-)

    that is probably the only real reason the election was so close.

    There was no reason a Dem would even bother voting in this primary except to switch parties and vote for Rauner's opponent.

    Do not take this "narrow" victory as anything meaningful.

    •  But if Dems were that smart, they shoulda ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... voted for Rauner. He'll be easier to beat.

      Dillard would have given people a choice between a more moderate Republican and an unfavorable Democrat. As it stands, Quinn could have it better than the morning-after-primary pundits from-too-far-away think.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:34:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope.. Rauner has the money and the message (0+ / 0-)

        to beat Quinn.

        Why the heck would the unions have spent 5 Million dollars to push Dillard???

        •  Because they like Dillard better than Quinn? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          I don't know, mind you, but I'm pretty sure they think little of Quinn and less of Rainer (whom their campaign bucks wouldn't influence because he has so many other sources).

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:43:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not at all convinced of that... (0+ / 0-)

        I think Rauner is very likely to win.  Here's why:

        (1)  Rauner is immediately pivoting off of his more extreme positions, and he is manipulative and charismatic enough to recreate his image between now and November.

        (2) Money is not sufficient in itself to win, but it helps... Rauner spent $50 per vote and overwhelmed his opposition in the GOP primary, and the only reason why Dillard was even close was because of all the Democratic primary voters who picked GOP ballots.

        (3)  The media has done a very good job of depicting Quinn as ineffective, and even though it is unfair, Rauner will do his best to tie Quinn to Blagojevich.

        (4)  The pension funding crisis is real, and scary. The way to address it is not to cut taxes and impoverish former state employees, but the deadlock in the state legislature really bugs a lot of independents and even collar county democrats. Quinn was caught in a no-win situation; he had to do something, he pissed off the unions, but he's still blamed for lack of movement on the issue - even if Illinois' budget problems actually improved.

        (5) Rauner is much better at engineering optics than the other Illinois GOP.  He's working very hard to spotlight any persons of color he can convince to join him - he's manufacturing himself as the Benelton GOP candidate, with special attention to always show himself with women, young people and persons of color, together comprising a majority on any stage.  He's just like all the rest of the GOP in terms of actual policies that blame the poor, but he's angling hard to carve off young people, women and minorities.

        Rauner is dangerous, and it will take a strong (but smart) populist campaign to defeat him - they will have to tie him to grannies dying of bedsores so Rauner can buy his 9th mansion.  And they will have to do it in a more clever way than Rauner, who seems to hire better ad agencies.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:51:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It would have been sad (0+ / 0-)

      to see Dillard winning the Republican primary with Democratic votes, and later to see Dillard defeating the Democratic incumbent

      It was not sure but Dillard had a better propect than Rauner.

      I see not Rauner as a winner.

  •  Bruce buys himself a nomination. nt (0+ / 0-)

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:48:46 PM PDT

  •  Don't ask do you know Bruce. (0+ / 0-)

    Bruce wants to cut your salary too. Is that OK with you?

    An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second..Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr

    by JugOPunch on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:52:27 PM PDT

  •  There are 6m ($) reasons why he won... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MetroGnome

    As weird/ineffective as Quinn is, I still think he'll beat Rauner.  Hopefully, (most) Illinoisians* will not vote for someone who wants to buy the election...

    *Void where prohibited by class status (i.e., those who hang with Bruce) and the class wannabes...

    What it is, is up to us. ~ Howard Rheingold

    by madame defarge on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:05:45 PM PDT

    •  I keep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, madame defarge

      I know very little beyond this race but what little I've seen of it in cable news.  I keep seeing how Rauner is different than past GOP opponents in that he's running a "serious" campaign, and from what I can tell, this guy is even more tone-deaf and out of touch than Mitt Romney was in 2012.

      I mean, it is one thing to say that against a relatively unpopular incumbent that Rauner constitutes a serious challenge to Quinn.  But, to paint the man himself as a serious person?  Really?  You couldn't draw up a more cartoonishly country club conservative on paper.

      We're about to see just how keen a politician Quinn is.  If he can't be Illinois' C. Montgomery Burns, he deserves to lose.  This race reminds me of when multi-millionaire business man Dick DeVos tried to buy himself the governship back in 2006 here in Michigan.  Hopefully, it turns out the same way; Granholm crushed him despite horrible economic news.

  •  I can't believe Rauner won. Must be the Tea Party (0+ / 0-)

    goofs were thinking they were voting for John Galt plus their worshipful attitude to all things rich. That might work in a low turnout primary but Rauner at best will wear like Romney a rich guy looking to impress his rich friends who cares nothing for policy and even less for Illinois voters.

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