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Rauner, Nation’s Most Vulnerable Incumbent, Set to Face Primary Challenge

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Rauner’s Unpopularity with Own Party is Dragging Down Failing Reelection Bid

The hits just keep on coming for Bruce Rauner’s failing reelection bid. Already known as the “most vulnerable incumbent” in America, Bruce Rauner is set to face a primary challenge as State Rep. Jeanne Ives announced she would file the maximum number of ballot petition signatures. Ives’ campaign has been focused on two of Rauner’s Achilles-heels – his dishonesty and his failure to govern.

Rauner’s position is already perilous. A July DGA poll found Illinois voters rating his job performance at a Trumpian-low of 34% with 63% disapproving. The poll also found that Rauner’s unpopularity with his own party could be a drag on his campaign:

“Rauner is not just losing ground with those critical constituencies, but there are signs that Rauner’s low standing among his own partisans combined with the intensity of dislike from Democrats could create a disproportionate turnout scenario that further damages his re-election chances…Rauner is on track to be an albatross around the neck of GOP candidates up and down the ballot.”

Republican candidates for state legislature have been keeping their distance from Rauner and three of the state’s Republican Congressmen refused to endorse the incumbent Governor. Even Rauner’s operation has been impacted by his unpopularity; Rauner’s re-election launch consisted of a web video, three weeks of nothing, and a statewide tour that only visited businesses and company employees.

How much energy will Rauner have to waste bringing Republicans home?

“Bruce Rauner’s tough climb to reelection just got steeper,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Illinois voters already think Rauner has failed to lead and that his two-year budget crisis was a disaster for the state. But now, he’ll also have to spend time and energy convincing Republicans he deserves another chance to lead the party. So far, all Rauner has done is hide behind campaign ads and staged events.”