With clear-minded voters, this shouldn’t have been a close race. Quinn has not found a property tax hike he didn’t like, has no clue how to solve the ticking time bomb that is the state’s pension crisis, has limply watched the state’s jobless rate flounder, called for Chicago school reform but refused to help, calls for useless ban on assault weapons, and opposes parental notice on children having abortions. And all this political infertility despite the fact that he had the support of a Democratic legislature during his five year watch as Democratic governor.
Democrats love to promote themselves as caretakers of the poor, yet my parents—who are on Medicare and other government programs—were outraged at how their benefits were cut across the board by—you guessed it—those supposed advocates of the poor, the Democrats. Of course, you won’t hear about these cut in benefits to the poor in the media. But my parents made their voices heard anyway when they voted Republican in this election.
The Democrats hoped to help Quinn by boosting voter rolls when they preposterously loosened voting rules, such as no longer requiring photo IDs for early voting. It already is so easy to vote in Illinois, with no photo ID required during regular voting either. And absentee voting is even easier: the ballots are mailed to the registered voter’s house with no confirmation that the person filling out those mail-in ballots is really the same person (I know this b/c my parents voted via absentee ballot and they showed me the entire process).
And after the AP and other outlets claimed that Rauner was projected to win the election, Quinn and his cronies cried out that “every vote needs to be counted,” pompously assuming that all remaining votes had his name on them. But on Wednesday afternoon, Rauner’s lead actually increased by 5,030 votes. Yes, Pat, you were technically right in that votes were still uncounted!
During the campaign, I thought Rauner spent too much focus on linking Quinn to convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich rather than focusing on Quinn’s fiscal ineptness. But then again, maybe it hit a nerve with the voting public. I know it hit a nerve with ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington, who was actually offended by Rauner’s claims of Democratic “corruption” and “100 years of failure” during the news station’s live broadcast of the election results.
In any event, Rauner won the endorsement of every single major newspaper in the state, something that didn’t happen the last time Quinn was up for election. In fact, Michelle Obama’s recent campaigning for Quinn probably came back to bite him rather than help him, given that President Obama’s current approval rating in Illinois—even though he is viewed as a beloved son in Chicago—is only 50%. (In fact, those Illinoisans who “strongly disapprove” of Obama is greater than those who “strongly approve”, 33%-23%.)
Rauner is a social moderate, so I’m not fond of that aspect of him. And I’ll address the subject of voting the “lesser of two evils” in a future post. But clearly, Quinn was the very bottom of the barrel and it was long past time for him to go.
Thank God now Quinn is gone. Even if he refuses to leave.