In a recent poll held a couple weeks ago (June 26-28) by Victory Research, Democrat J.B. Pritzker had a 15-point lead over incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner in this heavily contested gubernatorial race. If you just looked at Rauner and Pritzker alone, it’s a tight race in central and southern Illinois.
While the city of Chicago and Cook County are heavily slanted toward Pritzker, Rauner has control of the collar counties. It’s dead even in the rest of northern Illinois, but are incredibly tight in central and southern Illinois. Without consideration of the two alternatives in Libertarian Party candidate Kash Jackson and Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann, there is a rough statewide average of 30 percent having voters undecided. Isn’t that alarming that nearly one-third of voters statewide find our major party options as horrible?
The die-hard liberals and conservatives had better pay attention to these statistics: 25% of registered Democratic won’t even support Pritzker. A little over 8 percent support Rauner’s re-election bid, but currently, 15.6 percent are undecided. 42.9 percent of registered Republicans refuse to re-elect Rauner, due to his questionable actions such as supporting expanded taxpayer funding of abortion and making Chicago a sanctuary city. 12.9 percent of those voters are likely going to cast a vote for McCann over Rauner.
It’s funny what you discover when you request specific results by county. In Montgomery, Christian and Shelby counties, an average of 65 percent outright refuse to vote between Rauner and Pritzker. Keep in mind, these are also three of the highest concentrations of registered independent voters because they have become disenfranchised with the rubbish candidates both major parties put out there. When you look at Fayette, Effingham, Bond and Macoupin counties, that average is closer to 75 percent.
Here are even worse statistics not related to the poll: In the 2014 gubernatorial election, the outcome was decided with only 40 percent of voters casting their votes. In the 2016 presidential election, the state’s outcome was determined with 33 percent of registered voters showing up at the polls. Less than 25 percent of registered voters turned out statewide in the March primaries.
And worst of all: Democrats and Republicans want to suppress voter choice, trying to keep other candidates off the ballot. The efforts of both parties, fortunately, failed and hence why there’s a four-way race for governor. Voter choice is a great thing and even better when there are choices beyond Democrat and Republican.
2018 needs to be the year voters (and politicians) revolt against their party lines and ensure the election of a third-party governor. It is not impossible: Minnesota voters elected former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura as a Reform Party candidate in 1999, Angus King was elected as governor of Maine as an independent in 1995 and in recent years, Bill Walker was elected governor of Alaska as an independent in 2014.
Voters are more disenfranchised than ever and these people do have alternatives to vote for in November’s general election instead of holding their nose and supporting the least of two equally horrible and corrupt political evils.
Mid-Illinois Campaign Coordinator, Jackson/Mohip 2018