Cook Political Report rates governor's race as 'Lean Democrat'
The Cook Political Report has changed its Illinois Governor race rating to “Lean Democrat.”
“When it comes to rating races, it has long been our practice not to move extremely vulnerable incumbents into the other party’s territory until well into the election cycle — generally around Labor Day,” the article states. “Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has held the dubious distinction of being the most vulnerable incumbent of the cycle, and despite much heckling has been sitting in the ‘Toss-Up’ column. But, the race recently hit a tipping point that moves it into the ‘Lean Democrat’ column.”
The shift is the result of Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann and Libertarian Kash Jackson entering into the governor’s race.
“Rauner has had a very difficult tenure,” the article states. “He is a Republican in a very blue state, and while he is relatively moderate, he hasn’t enjoyed the same levels of popularity and success that fellow GOP Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts or Larry Hogan of Maryland have experienced. His job ratings have sunk under the weight of a long-running battle (and its aftermath) over the budget, and adversarial relationships with state House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who have proven adept at robbing Rauner of victories.”
While the Cook Political Report article said one of Rauner’s great advantages in politics had been his personal wealth, the presence of billionaire philanthropist J.B. Pritzker, running as a Democrat, has neutralized the advantage.