What can I say about Illinois? After working on the campaign since May, I’m speechless not only that we were able to help Bruce Rauner defeat Pat Quinn for Governor but to have the race called last night when it could have gone all night, was impressive.
However, Quinn still refuses to concede the race. As of 11:10 central time today, the Associated Press reports that 99.54% of the precincts are in, with 50.73% and 45.89% of the votes for Rauner and Quinn, respectively.
Rauner’s win came despite the now infamous ‘calibration error’, in which a Republican State Representative had his vote mysteriously go to his Democratic opponent, Quinn’s attack ads, two weeks of early voting, and the entire Democratic Chicago machine.
In the first pile of precincts reported, Rauner held the lead, but Quinn took it in between. I was very concerned at this point, thinking this could be a replay of 2010 in which he narrowly defeated Republican candidate Bill Brady. However, Rauner regained the lead and increased it to a near 5% margin with nearly all the votes now in.
One key difference from this election to 2010 is Rauner clinched many more Chicago votes than Brady did in 2010, in which he earned about 17% of the vote. In fact, Chicago’s strong support for Quinn in 2010 is what helped him win 4 years ago. Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar explained that Rauner realistically needed at least 20% of the Chicago vote in order to win. At the time Edgar appeared on Fox 32 last night, Rauner was receiving over 22% of the vote, over 5% more than Brady received, giving the Republicans an early glimpse of hope for a new governor.
This Chicago turnout for Rauner paid off and determined him as the new governor. He was the first Illinois Republican governor elected since 1998, and included the following in his victory speech:
“This is your victory. This is a victory for every family in Illinois. Are you ready for a new direction? Are you ready to bring back Illinois? This is a victory for our taxpayers who need to have a lower tax burden. This is a victory for our workers who deserve to have a booming economy. This is a victory for our students, our children, who deserve the best schools in America.”
Now that Rauner has won, we have hope that he will deliver and bring back Illinois for at least the next 4 years. Illinois is last on jobs and businesses, with many Illinois residents flooding out of the state under Pat Quinn. I trust in Rauner’s business experience that he will revive our economy and make the state great like it was before. Onward to success!