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Statehouse Insider: Poll bad for all but Rauner

Front-runner’s lead expands to 20 points

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidates pose for a photo before a debate on Feb. 4 in Naperville. They are (from left) state Sen. Kirk Dillard, state Sen. Bill Brady, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and businessman Bruce Rauner. The primary election will be March 18.

A poll by the Chicago Tribune released last week pretty much spells bad news for any Republican candidate for governor not named Bruce Rauner.

The Tribune/WGN-TV poll had Rauner at 40 percent in the four-way race for the GOP nomination. The next best finish was Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington at 20 percent.

In fact, if you combined the support the poll showed for Brady, Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, they would get just 44 percent, barely enough to beat Rauner even if the law allowed them to combine their votes, which, of course, it does not.

The poll showed 15 percent of likely Republican primary voters undecided, but undecided voters never throw all of their support behind one candidate, so the non-Rauners won’t find hope there.

The good news is that there are still 4 weeks left before the March 18 primary election, which means there is still time for some sort of major upheaval that could cut into Rauner’s margin and help propel one of the three others to victory.

The bad news is there are only 4 weeks left until the primary, which means it will likely take some sort of major upheaval for Rauner to lose the lead.

We wouldn’t hazard a guess about what that would entail.


‘cry for help’

This popped into the old email bag last week.

“Pat Quinn’s top political allies just launched a TV ad attacking me. They know we’re winning and that I’m the only candidate who will truly shake things up in Springfield as governor. Now they’re spending millions trying to hijack the Republican primary and stop us.”

Yes, it was a cry for help by Rauner in an effort to turn back the tides that are trying to prevent him from winning the GOP primary for governor.

Here’s the key line: “Please click here right now to send an emergency contribution of $100, $50, $25, $10 or whatever amount you can afford to our campaign.”

Sounds dire, doesn’t it? And only you, the little people, are in a position to help.

Interestingly, Rauner received a few contributions that he reported on Feb. 10 to the Board of Elections. Let’s review. There was one contribution for $25,000, two for $10,000 each, eight for $5,000 each, two for $2,000, four for $1,000 and one each for $3,000, $2,500 and $1,500.

Wonder whether those people got the same email asking for an emergency contribution?

Bad governors? Plaque ’em

State Rep. Charles Meier, R-Okawville, wants to add a bit to some of the portraits of past governors that hang on the second floor of the Capitol.

Under a bill he’s filed in the General Assembly, plaques would be added to portraits of governors who have gone to prison for committing crimes while in office. That way, people would know that the heroic painting in the Capitol doesn’t necessarily reflect the true character of the guy who served.

As of now, Otto Kerner and George Ryan would get plaques, but apparently not Dan Walker, because he committed his sins after leaving office.

Rod Blagojevich also wouldn’t get a plaque, simply because the state hasn’t spent the money to get a portrait of him. Perhaps the feds could lend us one of their pictures.

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