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Rauner Rated “Most Vulnerable Incumbent” by Cook Political Report

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National Political Analyst Changes Rating of Illinois Election from “Lean R” to “Tossup”

On Friday, the Cook Political Report released a new analysis of 2018 Gubernatorial races, and it was only bad news from Governor Bruce Rauner. Cook Political Report not only moved the ranking of the race from “Lean R” to “Tossup”, they also singled out Governor Rauner for being the “most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election next year.”

Cook Political Report: “The fifth seat is in Illinois where GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner is seeking a second term. Rauner has been under siege for much of his term in a standoff with the Democratic-controlled legislature over the state’s budget – or rather, the lack of one.”

“As a Republican in a very blue state, Rauner is the most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election next year.”

Governor Rauner’s re-election challenges are numerous and self-inflicted, and really boil down to one question – has Illinois moved forward under Governor Rauner? With no budget, skyrocketing debt, job growth stuck in the mud, and an education system on the verge of collapse, it’s hard to see many voters eagerly pulling “Rauner” in 2018.

To complicate matters, Governor Rauner will have an albatross hanging around his neck named President Trump pushing unpopular legislation on health care and the environment. Rauner so far has refused to break with his party’s leader in memorable fashion.

Rauner’s already suffering from punishingly low approval ratings, and with an election strategy that is summed up as “blame someone else,” it looks like 2018 will not be kind to him. 

“You don’t get labeled the ‘most vulnerable incumbent’ without compiling an impressive record of failure,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “With no accomplishments to run on, Governor Rauner’s only hope at re-election is to spend tens of millions dodging responsibility and blaming others for his own failed leadership. Illinois voters will see through his cynical re-election strategy and demand accountability for the state’s slide backwards.”