Race results show gap closing

By Matt Porter | mporter@wcia.com

Published 08/06 2014 04:53PM

Updated 08/07 2014 11:11AM

Update: 10:03 pm
ILLINOIS -- The race for governor is tightening with some new polls changing from favoring one candidate to another. Those released in the last few weeks show Republican Bruce Rauner inching upward against Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. One has him as much as six points ahead.

Some have blamed the recent publicity linking the governor's office to corruption scandals out of Chicago and the state's poor management of the economy as reasons for the slump in the polls. Timothy McAnarney, a former campaign manager for Democratic candidates, said trends in either direction can seriously affect a campaign.

"If you show momentum, if you can show that you're closing in the polls, it will help you raise money,” McAnarney said. “Conversely, a bad poll can dry up your money."

McAnarny has managed campaigns at state and national levels. He says any change in polls is taken seriously by campaigns.

"A lot of times it affects your fundraising first, then it will affect turnout at the election,” he said.

The race between the governor and Rauner has always been expected to be close. As the election draws near, polls will tell each campaign how to move forward.

"They'll be looking for the weaknesses in each of the other's campaigns and try to exploit it,” McAnarney said.

Rauner has already released a flurry of ads attacking Quinn this summer. Quinn's numbers have gone down, but McAnarney said the early attacks could backfire.

"At some point, there is the law of diminishing returns where you can buy only so much TV and radio before people tune you out,” he said.

Quinn’s campaign hasn’t released a negative ad against Rauner since he won the primary, but it has created a YouTube channel, including several professionally-made attack ads. McAnarney said it’s only a matter of time before Quinn joins his opponent in throwing mud over the airwaves.

"I'm assuming it will get negative on both sides and it will definitely be the most expensive race we've seen in Illinois," he said.

The Quinn campaign said most polls are still well within the margin of error and the race is too close to make any predictions.

The Rauner campaign said while they’re glad to see their candidate ahead, they are not taking anything for granted.
Original: 4:53 pm
ILLINOIS -- The race for governor is too close to call and it has supporters pulling out all the stops. It could be one of the closest races come November.

Recent polls show Republican Bruce Rauner is gaining on incumbent Pat Quinn. In most cases, the race is well within the margin of error. However, in the past month, there has been a trend of polls showing Rauner gaining ground.

The organization, Politico, changed its rating of the governor's race from a toss up to leaning Republican. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn's campaign staff says the polls are still too close to call.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers says the election could be the most important in its history. Organizers say they're not taking anything for granted. While the Rauner campaign has been hammering Quinn hard with several negative TV ads, the Quinn campaign says it has not released a negative Rauner ad since primary night.

However, the Quinn campaign has set up a YouTube channel where it created several longer-form ads attacking Rauner. As the election nears, experts say it could easily be one of the most negative campaigns in state history.

A telephone survey, by Rasmussen, from the end of July, questioned 750 likely voters who gave Rauner a five point lead over Quinn. The breakdown gives Rauner 44% of the vote and Quinn 39%.

If you won't be around November 4, you could vote early. Starting Wednesday, you can request an absentee ballot. There are several ways to do it. For example, in Champaign County, requests can be made by phone, web, email or in person. You'll get your ballot starting September 25.

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