Ratings Change: Illinois Governor

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois has been a political survivor, but the incumbent is facing his toughest race yet. Quinn looked like a loser in 2010, when eight out of the nine public polls in October showed him losing, but he won. This cycle, it looked like the governor couldn’t get out of the Democratic primary, yet he cleared the field. That said, the governor’s poor job approval numbers can’t be ignored, and it looks like Republicans are going to nominate wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner on March 18. Rauner certainly isn’t perfect, but his wealth allows him to run a competitive race — preventing Quinn from burying the Republican in an avalanche of unanswered ads. Given Rauner’s likely nomination and Quinn’s continuing vulnerability, we are changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the Illinois gubernatorial race from Lean Democrat to Pure Toss-Up. Read more of our analysis in the February 28 edition of The Rothenberg Political Report ($).