2010 Illinois gubernatorial election
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|Turnout||49.69% 2.40 pp|
Quinn: 40–50% 60–70%
Brady: 40–50% 50–60% 60–70% 70–80%
|Elections in Illinois|
The 2010 Illinois gubernatorial election took place on November 2, 2010. Incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn was elected to a full term in office, having become governor in 2009 following the impeachment and removal of Governor Rod Blagojevich. Quinn was elected as the Democratic nominee, the Illinois Green Party nominee was attorney and 2006 nominee Rich Whitney, the Republican nominee was State Senator Bill Brady, the Libertarian Party nominee was Lex Green, and Scott Lee Cohen ran as an independent. Quinn was elected to a full term in a very close race, defeating Brady by only about 32,000 votes, even though Brady carried 98 of the state's 102 counties. With a margin of 0.5%, this election was one of the two closest races of the 2010 gubernatorial election cycle, the other being the election in Minnesota.
Prior to the general election, the primary election in February 2010 featured extremely close races between candidates for the two largest parties' nominations. Quinn warded off a challenge by Comptroller Dan Hynes by a margin of about 8,300 votes, while Brady won the Republican nomination on the strength of less than 200 votes in a fractured seven-way race.
The election marked the first time since 1852 that the Democrats won three consecutive gubernatorial elections in Illinois. This is also the first gubernatorial election since 1990 in which the winner was of the same party as the incumbent president.
For the primaries, turnout for the gubernatorial primaries was 22.21%, with 1,688,297 votes cast and turnout for the lieutenant gubernatorial primaries was 20.10% with 1,527,782 votes cast. For the general election, turnout was 49.69%, with 3,729,989 votes cast.
Quinn defeated Hynes by just under 9,000 votes, while Cohen won an upset over establishment candidates by just over 3% campaigning as a political outsider.
- Daniel Hynes, Illinois State Comptroller and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004
- Pat Quinn, incumbent governor
Democratic candidates Quinn and Hynes debated on January 19. WSIU Public Broadcasting (WSIU (FM)/WSIU-TV) at Southern Illinois University and Illinois Public Media (WILL AM/FM/TV) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also co-sponsored two gubernatorial primary election debates. Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes debated on January 21, 2010.
|Poll source||Dates administered||Pat
|Public Policy Polling||January 26, 2010||40%||–||41%||19%|
|Chicago Tribune||January 16–20, 2010||44%||–||40%||15%|
|Chicago Tribune||December 2–8, 2009||49%||–||23%||23%|
|Simon Public Policy[permanent dead link]||October 16, 2009||33.9%||–||16.5%||35.4%|
|Public Policy Polling||April 24–26, 2009||29%||45%||–||26%|
|Democratic||Pat Quinn (incumbent)||462,049||50.46|
- Mike Boland, member of the Illinois House of Representatives
- Thomas Michael Castillo
- Scott Lee Cohen, Pawnbroker
- Rickey R. Hendon, Illinois State Senator
- Terry Link, Illinois State Senator
- Arthur Turner, member of the Illinois House of Representatives
|Democratic||Scott Lee Cohen||213,475||25.97|
|Democratic||Rickey R. Hendon||113,690||13.83|
|Democratic||Thomas Michael Castillo||105,383||12.82|
As on the Democratic side, both the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial primaries were extremely close, though moreso. Brady defeated Dillard by 0.02%, while Plummer defeated Murphy by just 0.65%.
- Adam Andrzejewski, businessman
- Bill Brady, State Senator and candidate for governor in 2006
- Kirk Dillard, State Senator
- Andy McKenna, businessman, former chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004
- Dan Proft, political commentator
- Jim Ryan, former Attorney General of Illinois and nominee for governor in 2002
- Dennis W. Cook, President of Consolidated District 230 Board of Education
- Brad Cole, mayor of Carbondale
- Matt Murphy, Illinois State Senator
- Jason Plummer, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party
- Don Tracy, corporate attorney
- Randy A. White, Sr., Hancock County Commissioner
- Dave Winters, Illinois State Representative
|Republican||Dennis W. Cook||55,339||7.90|
|Republican||Randy A. White, Sr.||32,343||4.61|
- Don Crawford
|Green||Don W. Crawford||4,968||33.98|
- Pat Quinn (Democratic) (campaign website): Incumbent governor who assumed office after the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich; sought a full term in 2010. Quinn was previously Revenue Director for the City of Chicago, state treasurer (1990-1994), and an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator (1996), Illinois Secretary of State (1994), and lieutenant governor (1998).
- Bill Brady (Republican) (campaign website): state senator, real estate and construction businessman, unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2006
- Rich Whitney (Green): Illinois Green Party's 2006 nominee for governor
- Lex Green (Libertarian) (archived campaign website): Secretary of the McLean County Libertarian Party
- Scott Lee Cohen (Independent): former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010 who was replaced by Sheila Simon after withdrawing due to allegations of abuse toward his wife and other charges. Cohen was reported to have been in a private meeting with Speaker Michael Madigan discussing his plan for running against Quinn.
After the February 2 Democratic primary in which incumbent Governor Pat Quinn was nominated, attention was drawn to Scott Lee Cohen, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. Illinois law required that candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run in separate primary elections, but run as a ticket in the November general election. Cohen was criticized for his having been charged with domestic battery, in which he was accused of holding a knife to the throat of an ex-girlfriend who was also a convicted prostitute. Cohen was also accused by his ex-wife of physical abuse and using illegally obtained anabolic steroids. Quinn and Dick Durbin, Illinois's senior U.S. Senator, both said that Cohen should withdraw his candidacy, which he did on February 7. Cohen ran as an independent candidate for the office of governor against Quinn.
On March 27, 2010, the Democratic State Central Committee chose a replacement candidate, Sheila Simon. Dan Hynes, who placed second in the gubernatorial primary, denied interest in replacing Cohen on the ticket. Other names suggested included State Representative Art Turner, who placed second to Cohen in the Democratic primary and then finished second to Simon in committee balloting on March 27, 2010; State Senators Rickey Hendon and Terry Link, State Representative Mike Boland, and electrician Thomas Castillo, all of whom also ran in the primary; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth; and State Representative Julie Hamos were suggested as possible replacements. Jeff Melvin, a 21-year retired army veteran, also applied to the open nominating call for the Democratic lieutenant governor position.
At one point during the campaign, Democrat Pat Quinn, struggling to make up ground facing poor polling numbers against Brady, accused his Republican opponent of supporting a bill to kill puppies. In fact, the bill regulated shelters' practices when they euthanize animals. Quinn struggled to shake off Blagojevich’s scandals, leading to poor polling numbers throughout the campaign. This was despite Quinn denouncing Blagojevich. Quinn trailed Brady by more than 10 points at times, despite Illinois being a deeply Democratic state.
A central issue in the campaign was the state income tax. Quinn advocated for a one percentage point – or 33 percent – increase in the state’s income tax to primarily fund education, while Brady called for a 10 percent across the board cut in state government and placing the State Board of Education under the governor’s control.
|Cook Political Report||Tossup||October 14, 2010|
|Rothenberg||Tilt R (flip)||October 28, 2010|
|RealClearPolitics||Tossup||November 1, 2010|
|Sabato's Crystal Ball||Lean R (flip)||October 28, 2010|
|CQ Politics||Lean D||October 28, 2010|
|Fox News ()||October 23, 2010||1,000||± 3.0%||39%||44%||4%||7%||6%|
|Chicago Tribune ()||October 18–22, 2010||700||± 3.7%||39%||43%||4%||7%||6%|
|Rasmussen Reports ()||October 20, 2010||750||± 4.0%||37%||45%||2%||7%||8%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||October 12, 2010||750||± 4.5%||40%||46%||2%||9%||3%|
|Southern Illinois University ()||September 30 – October 10, 2010||—||± 3.5%||29.8%||38.4%||2.2%||5.9%||-|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||October 4, 2010||500||± 4.5%||38%||46%||4%||5%||8%|
|Suffolk University (report)||September 30 – October 3, 2010||500||±4.4%||43%||37%||3%||8%||8%|
|(Public Policy Polling)||September 30, 2010||470||±4.5%||35%||42%||4%||8%||11%|
|Chicago Tribune (report)||September 24–28, 2010||600||±4%||39%||38%||3%||8%||12%|
|CNN/TIME (report)||September 24–28, 2010||1,504||±2.5%||38%||40%||4%||16%||2%|
|We Ask America ()||September 13, 2010||1,050||±2.70%||32%||42%||4%||–||16%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||September 12, 2010||750||±4.0%||37%||50%||4%||7%||3%|
|Chicago Tribune (report)||Aug. 28 – Sept. 1, 2010||600||±4.0%||32%||37%||2%||–||19%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||August 23, 2010||750||±4.0%||37%||46%||–||6%||11%|
|Public Policy Polling (report)||August 14–15, 2010||576||±4.1%||30%||39%||11%||–||6%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||August 9, 2010||750||±4.0%||35%||48%||–||6%||12%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||July 27, 2010||750||±4.0%||37%||44%||–||11%||9%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||July 7, 2010||500||±4.5%||40%||43%||–||9%||8%|
|Public Policy Polling (report)||June 12–13, 2010||552||±4.2%||30%||34%||9%||–||27%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||June 7, 2010||500||±4.5%||36%||47%||–||8%||10%|
|Research 2000 (report)||May 3–5, 2010||600||±4.0%||36%||39%||–||–||25%|
|We Ask America ()||May 2, 2010||1,050||±3.02%||31.15%||46.25%||4.81%||–||17.79%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||April 28, 2010||500||± 4.5%||38%||45%||–||5%||11%|
|Rasmussen Reports ()||April 8, 2010||500||± 4.5%||38%||45%||–||7%||10%|
|Public Policy Polling (report)||April 5, 2010||591||± 4.0%||33%||43%||–||–||24%|
|We Ask America ()||March 10, 2010||798||3.5%||31.58%||44.61%||3.51%||–||20.30%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||March 8, 2010||500||± 4.5%||37%||47%||–||6%||9%|
|Research 2000 (report)||February 22 –24, 2010||600||± 4.0%||47%||32%||–||1%||20%|
|The Illinois Poll ()||February 7, 2010||1,200||± 2.8%||42%||31%||–||4%||23%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||December 14, 2009||500||± 4.5%||45%||30%||–||13%||13%|
Even though Brady won 98 out of the 102 counties, Quinn narrowly prevailed. Brady won almost everywhere in the state, including all of the Chicago collar (suburban) counties. Quinn initially had a large lead when results first began to come in, (this is due to the fact that heavily populated areas tend to report their votes faster), however, once the more suburban and rural areas came in Brady narrowed the gap significantly. Quinn's huge win in Cook County, which encompasses the Chicago Metropolitan Area proved too much for Brady to overcome, however. Brady conceded defeat later the following day on November 3, when it became clear he would lose. Quinn's win was ranked by Politico as the 7th biggest upset of the 2010 elections. This election also marked one of the very few times that the Democrats had won the governor's office in Illinois three consecutive times in a row. Quinn would lose re-election to Bruce Rauner when he ran for a second term in 2014.
|Democratic||Pat Quinn (incumbent)/Sheila Simon||1,745,219||46.79%||-3.00%|
|Republican||Bill Brady/Jason Plummer||1,713,385||45.94%||+6.68%|
|Independent||Scott Lee Cohen||135,705||3.64%||n/a|
|Green||Rich Whitney/Donald Crawford||100,756||2.70%||-7.66%|
- Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
- 2010 United States Senate elections in Illinois
- 2010 United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois
- Sweet, Lynn (2009-02-24). "Gov. Pat Quinn to run in 2010. 'I think I am doing a good job today'". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago. Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
'I have no reason not to run,' Quinn told me when I asked him about the 2010 election
- Long, Ray (2010-02-04). "Hynes concedes Dem governor race to Quinn". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Ballots Cast". Elections.il.gov. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- fr:Résultats des élections des gouverneurs dans l'Illinois
- "Voter Turnout". www.elections.il.gov. Illinois State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
- "Election Results". www.elections.il.gov. Illinois State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 22 February 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- "Scott Lee Cohen bows out of Illinois lieutenant governor race". Christian Science Monitor. 2010-02-08. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
- VIDEO: Democrats running for governor debate Archived 2010-03-10 at the Wayback Machine, ABC7 Chicago, January 19, 2010
- Public media to air gubernatorial debates in January The News-Gazette, December 30, 2009 Archived January 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Illinois Public Media, WSIU Host Gubernatorial Debate". WILL Press Room (Press release). Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- WSIU Prepares Voters For February 2nd Primary Election Archived 2011-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, WSIU
- "Ballots Cast". Elections.illinois.gov. Archived from the original on 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Scott Lee Cohen: The Exit Interview". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2022-03-20.
- "Official: Scott Lee Cohen to run for governor". Archived from the original on April 27, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- State Journal-Register via Associated Press (2008-11-07). "Bill Brady says he will run for Governor". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- "Lex Green for Governor of Illinois in 2010". Electlex.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Secter, Bob; Heinzmann, David; Kidwell, David (February 7, 2010). "Behind the man who could be lieutenant governor". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Pallasch, Abdon M.; McKinney, Dave (February 4, 2010). "Lt. gov. nominee: I won't drop out of race over abuse history". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 7, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Esposito, Stefano; Sweet, Lynn; Hussain, Rummana; Konkol, Mark J. (February 6, 2010). "Source: Cohen seeking 'honorable way' to drop out". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Isenstadt, Alex (February 7, 2010). "Illinois lieutenant governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen withdraws". The Politico. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- "Clout St: Democrats pick Simon as Quinn's running mate". Newsblogs.chicagotribune.com. 2010-03-27. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Hynes not interested in Illinois". Blogs.suntimes.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- [dead link]
- "PolitiFact - Pat Quinn blasts Bill Brady for sponsoring bill on pet euthanasia in Illinois gubernatorial race". @politifact. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
- "The Blagojevich Legacy: He Presided Over a Long Slide Into Fiscal Catastrophe". NPR Illinois. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
- MASSINGALE, MARY. "Illinois candidates make final push". Galesburg Register Mail. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
- "2010 Governors Race Ratings". Cook Political Report. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Governor Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "2010 Governor Races". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "THE CRYSTAL BALL'S FINAL CALLS". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Race Ratings Chart: Governor". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "General Election of November 2, 2010" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
- Illinois State Board of Elections
- Illinois gubernatorial election, 2010 at Ballotpedia
- Illinois Governor Candidates at Project Vote Smart
- Campaign contributions for 2010 Illinois Governor from Follow the Money
- Illinois Governor 2010 from OurCampaigns.com
- 2010 Illinois Senate General Election: Mark Kirk (R) vs Alexi Giannoulias (D) graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com
- Election 2010: Illinois Governor from Rasmussen Reports
- 2010 Illinois Governor - Brady vs. Quinn from Real Clear Politics
- 2010 Illinois Governor's Race from CQ Politics
- Race Profile in The New York Times
- Race for Governor from the Chicago Tribune
- Primary election debates
- Republican Primary Debate (November 5, 2009) video from sponsor Illinois Republican Party
- Republican (January 13) and Democratic (January 19, 2010) Primary Debates videos from sponsor ABC7 Chicago
- Republican (January 14) and Democratic (January 21, 2010) Primary Debates audio and video from sponsors WSIU and Illinois Public Media (WILL)
- General election debates and forums
- Illinois Gubernatorial Debate, C-SPAN, September 29, 2010
- Candidate forum Chicago Tonight, October 28, 2010
- Official campaign sites (Archived)