McSweeney: Poll shows how much Rauner needs conservatives in November
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is starting the general election campaign down 22 points to Democrat J.B. Pritzker, according to a recent Ogden & Fry survey.
More alarming for Rauner: the survey found 33 percent were favorable and 63 percent were unfavorable, compared with 45 percent favorable to 47 percent unfavorable for Pritzker.
Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) says the survey results show how much Rauner needs conservative voters, who nearly took him down in the primary, but he has yet to indicate whether he even wants their support.
“He (Rauner) has to show not in words but in action that he’s willing to change to win back their support,” McSweeney said. “At this point, I’m not sure he even wants it. I think he’s still in the first stage, the denial stage, of the whole process.”
Conservative and traditional Republican voters surged behind Rauner's opponent, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), in the two weeks before primary election day, so much so some political analysts say she would have won if the election were held even a week later.
Rauner lost conservative support by signing legislation -- namely a bill that expands taxpayer funding of abortions and a "sanctuary state" bill -- they felt showed all along he harbored a progressive social agenda. This while he ran the first time around saying he had no social agenda.
McSweeney said that making it worse for Rauner was that he gained no liberal support when he lost the conservatives after signing the bills.
“This wasn’t anything like a zero-sum outcome for him,” McSweeney said. “He just lost a lot of votes.”
The Republican Party has been ripped in two by the primary while Democrats are unifying behind Pritzker in a state where the Republicans are already outgunned. In the gubernatorial primary, nearly 600,000 more votes were cast on the Democratic side than the Republican side.
But despite all the negatives surrounding Rauner, McSweeney said he will still vote for him in November.
“Pritzker and his progressive tax will destroy this state,” he said.