The top 6 reasons why Bruce Rauner won the IL Governor's race tonight:
6. Rauner had a clear message from the get go-- even in the IL Republican Primary: Get state spending (and in particular state employee pension benefits) and state taxes under control. Get onerous state regulations out of the way of the private sector-- and thru tax cuts, regulatory relief, tort reform and workmen's compensation reform, stimulate dramatically the IL economy and private sector job growth.
5. Rauner had the money to be competitive in terms of total spending on this race, including 28 million dollars of his wealth and about 37 million dollars of contributions, allowing him to outspend Quinn by 2 to1. Rauner had to outspend Quinn by 2 to 1 because Quinn had an army of State, Cook County and City of Chicago employees to help him and the IL Democratic Party organization is way stronger than the GOP.
4. Rauner built a strong state wide organization. He didn't buy the election. But, Rauner did buy a strong, state wide organization that would allow him to be competitive with Quinn in a way that Brady (2010), Topinka (2006) and Jim Ryan (2002) were not. If you went to a campaign event, you would see that Rauner often, if not always, had out-reach type people working the crowd and the media. Moreover, those out-reach people were working for Rauner day to day. For example, this reporter interviewed Hermene Hartman after a church service 10 days ago at the black New Beginnings Church (Paster Corey Brooks) on the South Side of Chicago. Hartman (African-American publisher of N'Digo) told me she had been paid $100,000 for her work for Rauner since January, 2014. Similarly, Wendell O'Neal, an African-American office manager for Rauner on the South Side of Chicago (Chatham) was also at the event after the church service-- working the crowd and the media.
3. Republicans since Jim Edgar's 1990 and 1994 gubernatorial wins have believed that to win the IL Governor's race, the Republican candidate has to win 20% of the City of Chicago vote. Rauner worked hard for the Chicago vote, including African-American and Hispanic vote. Tonight, he is winning 22% of the Chicago vote (Senator Brady got 17% in 2010). Rauner also out performed recent Republican Gov candidates in suburban Cook county and the Collar counties that ring Cook County.
2. Rauner is a likeable guy who, despite his $700 million net worth, passes the "you would like to have a beer or cup of coffee with him test." Moreover, Rauner, more than Quinn, is willing to discuss and think about public policy issues in a serious way-- while Gov. Quinn cautiously sticks to platitudes. There are voters who are impressed by a serious discussion of the issues. Further, Rauner has had a long time commitment, with his wife, Diana, of working hard to help African-American and Hispanic kids escape failing public schools-- with a choice to attend charter or private schools. Also, the fact that Rauner and his wife are pro-Choice on abortion and moderate on gay rights helped him with large segments of suburban, married women.
1. Finally, the people of Illinois have had enough with corruption, patronage and a poor economy. Rauner represents the change they are looking for. It is as simple as that.