By. Chris Stritzel
I do not live in Illinois, so I can't vote for anyone there, but I can see the circus that is taking place on the Governor's race side of things and decided to write about the race. Incumbent Bruce Rauner is up against J.B. Pritzker whose family owns the Hyatt Corporation. So I dug into Rauner, Pritzker and Libertarian Candidate, Kash Jackson, and have written a small write up about the state of the race since politics, to me, is fun to watch. What makes this even better is, as I said before, I don't live in Illinois! So I can write about the circus without having to choose sides. Let's start.
Bruce Rauner: He upset former Governor Pat Quinn in the 2014 election by winning all but one county in the State of Illinois. That one County is Cook County. Rauner labeled himself as an outsider whose ideas could lift Illinois out of it’s corruption, grow the job base and take down Mike Madigan’s Machine. He also pledged to reduce taxes. Yet, since 2014, almost every single one of these promises has been broken. Jobs are leaving the state, the State House passed a tax hike last summer, Corruption is running rampant and Madigan’s Machine still runs the state. A large swath of the Republican base in the state is also angry at Rauner for signing a bill into Law that funds abortions with tax payer dollars.
All of the above issues made an ultra Conservative Candidate jump into the Republican Primary race in the state. Her name is Jeanne Ives. She walked away from the Primary with 49% of the vote compared to Rauner’s 51%. The closeness of the race symbolized just how far Rauner’s popularity has fallen. Ives has refused to endorse Rauner, which isn't a surprise and has left her supporters and voters looking elsewhere.
J.B. Pritzker: J.B. was caught on a wiretap taking with former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, about selling Obama’s Senate seat and on a race issue within the Illinois Government. On top of this, Pritzker got unwanted media coverage when Hyatt Hotel employees, in Chicago, held a strike due to the lack of a new Union deal. Pritzker himself has ridden the high road this entire election however due to an energized democratic base in Illinois. However, his ideas are not sitting well with conservative voters in the State who dread J.B.’s “Progressive Income Tax” and “Road Tax”. The addition of the two tax ideas seem to be bringing trouble.
On top of this, Pritzker has been ridiculed for his support of “Obamacare 2” and communication with former Governor Blagojevich. He came out on top in a Democratic Primary of 6 Candidates and garnering 45% of the vote. His nearest competitor, Daniel Biss, picked up 27% of the vote, a margin of victory for Pritzker of +18%.
Kash Jackson: Mr. Jackson, a Libertarian, seems to be in a hole in all of this. He is simply being overlooked by many as Rauner and Pritzker shovel their own money into the political advertisement furnace. Jackson wants to pause taxes, limit government, relieve certain incarcerated individuals of petty-crimes and legalizing Marijuana. However, he has his share of problems and the biggest is the fact he didn't pay his wife’s child support and could've ended up in Prison. Besides that, there really isn't nothing wrong with him besides not being known (name wise).
THE RACE: According to polls, Rauner is in trouble. From the problems mentioned earlier and the energized democratic base, Rauner is the for sure Republican governor to go “bye-bye” in 2018. Rauner is trailing Pritzker by 18% with Pritzker’s lead growing weekly. Jackson is currently standing at an average of 5% with 17.8% of the electorate voting for someone else or undecided. In all, the race is in Pritzker’s favor and he’ll have to screw up big time to blow a victory on November 6th.
Rauner has a trail of broken promises, Pritzker has a dark background with ideas that won't make Illinois prosper and Jackson has no chance at winning at all. It’s just the facts but ultimately, the people of Illinois will decide who they want to eb the face of their state on November 6th.
DEMOCRATIC GAIN: +12% Gain from November 2014