Illinois Governor Faces Double-Digit Deficit in Re-election Bid
John Jackson, a political analyst with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute in Illinois, told KFVS-TV that it is unusual for the governor of one state to call for another governor’s resignation, especially when both are from the same party.
But that is precisely what Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner did April 13 when asked by a reporter if Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who is embroiled in a sex scandal, should step down.
"I have to say I am deeply troubled by, now there has been an investigation and the investigation has brought forth some very disturbing, terrible behavior apparently,” Rauner said. “Now Democrats, as well as Republicans in Missouri, have called for the governor to step down in the best interest of Missourians, and that seems like a reasonable request."
Why would any Republican violate Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment so brazenly, not only speaking ill of a fellow GOPer but actually calling for his resignation?
Jackson said it’s a sign of how much trouble Rauner faces winning re-election in November.
Gubernatorial campaigns are underway in 36 states this year. Out of those three dozen races, 23 are in GOP-held states. That’s 23 knocks of opportunity to Democrats who can only lay claim to 15 governors’ offices in America.
The knock is heard loudest in Illinois, where Rauner has been branded “the most vulnerable governor in America” by Politico.
When questioned about Greitens, Jackson said Rauner must have felt he had to speak out against his fellow Republican to save his own campaign.
"He's trying to survive just like Gov. Greitens is trying to survive," said Jackson. "His survival depends on what happens on November the 8th and that depends on what happens with the voters, especially those suburban woman voters that I think this is designed to appeal to."
An Ogden & Fry survey released a few days after Illinois’s March 20 primary showed Rauner started the general election campaign down a crushing 22 points versus Democrat J.B. Pritzker.
As the Prairie State Wire reported, the news got even worse when Rauner kept reading the survey. Only 33 percent of the voters surveyed said they had a “favorable” view of the incumbent governor. Sixty-three percent said they had an “unfavorable” view of Rauner. By comparison, 45 percent have a favorable view of his Democratic opponent. Forty-seven percent said they had an “unfavorable” opinion of Pritzker.
Illinois state Rep. David McSweeney said the survey shows how much Rauner needs conservative voters who deserted him in favor of Rep. Jeanne Ives during the primary.
“He (Rauner) has to show not in words but in action that he’s willing to change to win back their support,” McSweeney told the Prairie State Wire. “At this point, I’m not sure he even wants it. I think he’s still in the first stage, the denial stage, of the whole process.”