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Rauner’s Reelection Chances Downgraded Twice in 2 Days

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Cook Political Report Shifts Race to “Lean Democrat” – Cites Unusually Early Shift

One day after Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball downgraded Governor Bruce Rauner’s reelection chances, the Cook Political Report announced that it was also shifting its race rating to “Lean Democrat.” Echoing Crystal Ball, Cook noted their early race rating change was out of habit for them:

“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.  Even then, they rarely move further than Lean… 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 Cook Political Report wrote the entrance of Republican state Senator Sam McCann into the race, and Rauner’s inability to unify his base, were reasons for their early rating shift:

“It is the presence of a Conservative Party candidate and a Libertarian on the ballot that has created the latest obstacle to re-election for Rauner, and is the tipping point that moves the race into the Lean Democrat column.”

“The Republican primary proved that conservatives are unhappy with Rauner, who eked out a 51-percent to 49-percent victory over state Rep. Jeanne Ives even though she spent a fraction of the millions the incumbent did…Generally, the GOP nominee would be able to unify the base, but this doesn’t seem to be happening for Rauner.”

Read the rest here.
“For months, Bruce Rauner ignored Jeanne Ives’ supporters to his own detriment,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Now, with the election winding down and with another Republican on the ballot, Rauner will have to spend more time and effort trying to win back the 48% of Republican voters that wanted to kick him out of office.”