The media missed the point of the new We Ask America poll, which gives Bruce Rauner a 50 point lead over his GOP challenger, Jeanne Ives. In voting likelihood, Rauner has a 40 point lead. What does this point lead spread mean? Ask Sen. Mark Kirk.
‘We Ask America’ asked those polled, “If the GOP Primary for Illinois governor were held today, for whom would you vote?”
Rauner’s poll numbers, even at this point, put him dangerously close to Sen. Mark Kirk territory with Republican primary voters. Rauner’s poll lead is roughly the same as what Sen. Mark Kirk received in a March 2016 poll over another political unknown. That poll found Kirk with 65 percent support compared with 22 percent for challenger James Marter.
In the March GOP primary, Kirk won 70.6% to Marter’s 29.4%, again a virtually unknown candidate with no campaign budget and no name recognition and this was the writing on the wall for the outcome in the general election.
Kirk was despised by conservative primary voters, who despite the possibility of electing liberal Tammy Duckworth, could not hold their noses to vote for Kirk in the general. Duckworth ended up trouncing Kirk 55% to 40%.
Like Kirk, Rauner has earned the wrath of Trump voters. He us a dedicated Never Trumper, refusing to respect or honor the Republican President. In August, Rauner signed “Trust Act” legislation, giving Illinois sanctuary state status and making it a refuge for illegal immigrants. One month later, the liberal Governor bowed to Democrat pressure and signed HB 40 which forces taxpayers to fund abortion.
Whether Rauner wins the GOP primary or not isn’t the issue, it’s how much he will win or lose by. Even if he wins, will conservatives support Rauner after his betrayal on immigration and abortion? For Trump voters, is Rauner any different than Pritzker?
Or do they see him as just another Mark Kirk Republican?
We’ll find out in November.