2018 Illinois gubernatorial election

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2018 Illinois gubernatorial election

← 2014 November 6, 2018 (2018-11-06) 2022 →
  J.B. Pritzker Chicago Hack Night 53 (cropped) (cropped).png Bruce Rauner crop.jpg
Nominee J. B. Pritzker Bruce Rauner
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Juliana Stratton Evelyn Sanguinetti
Popular vote 2,479,746 1,765,751
Percentage 54.5% 38.8%

Illinois Governor Election Results by County, 2018.svg
County results
Pritzker:      40-50%      50–60%      70–80%
Rauner:      30-40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

Bruce Rauner
Republican

Elected Governor

J. B. Pritzker
Democratic

The 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2018, to elect the Governor of Illinois, concurrently with the 2018 Illinois general election. Incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner ran for re-election to a second term in office,[1] but was defeated by Democratic nominee J. B. Pritzker. This was the second consecutive Illinois gubernatorial election in which the incumbent ran and lost.

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Nominated[edit]

Eliminated in primary[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Jeanne Ives
Illinois legislators
Local officials
Individuals
Local Republican parties
  • Chicago Republican Party[19]
  • Fremont Township Republican Organization[20]
  • Lake County Republican Assembly[21]
  • Rock Island County Republican Party[22]
  • Wauconda Township Republican Club[21]
  • Wheatland Township Republican Organization[23]
  • Wheeling Township Republican Organization[24]
Organizations
Newspapers and magazines
Declined to endorse in primary
Individuals

Debates[edit]

Rauner and Ives held their first and only scheduled forum on January 29. Rauner largely ignored his opponent and focused on attacking Speaker Mike Madigan, comparing him to his likely Democratic challenger, J. B. Pritzker. Ives, on the other hand, attacked Rauner for being an ineffective governor and alienating social conservatives.[31] Rauner and Ives were invited by the University of Springfield to debate a second time, although Rauner declined the invitation.[32]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Bruce
Rauner
Jeanne
Ives
Undecided
Ogden & Fry (R-Ives) March 14, 2018 787 ± 3.5% 42% 35% 23%
Southern Illinois University February 19–25, 2018 259 ± 6.0% 51% 31% 18%
We Ask America January 14–16, 2018 1,026 ± 3.1% 65% 21% 15%
We Ask America October 25–29, 2017 1,064 ± 3.0% 64% 19% 16%
Ogden & Fry (R-Liberty Principles PAC) October 12, 2017 495 ± 4.5% 59% 14% 28%

Results[edit]

Primary results by county:
  Rauner—60–70%
  Rauner—50–60%
  Tie
  Ives—50–60%
  Ives—60–70%
[33]
Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Rauner (incumbent) 362,721 51.40
Republican Jeanne Ives 342,906 48.60
Total votes 705,627 100.00

Despite a 14% decrease in Republican primary votes cast, Rauner increased his final result by 9%, in number of votes, from 2014. In 2018, he managed to capture a narrow majority of the votes, with 51.4%, in his victory over conservative Ives. Rauner only received 40.2% of the primary vote in 2014, in his narrow win victory over Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady, and Dan Rutherford.

Rauner did well in central Illinois compared to the Republican primary four years earlier, when he managed 30% in the downstate region and finished 2nd to Kirk Dillard. In 2018, he carried the region with 52%.

Democratic primary[edit]

Democratic candidates listed on a blank ballot

Candidates[edit]

Nominated[edit]

Eliminated in primary[edit]

  • Running mate: Jonathan W. Todd, social worker[39]
  • Tio Hardiman, former director of CeaseFire and candidate for governor in 2014[40]
  • Running mate: Ra Joy, nonprofit executive[44]
  • Running mate: Dennis Cole

Removed from ballot[edit]

  • Terry Getz, corrections officer (filed on November 29, 2017, but did so without a running mate or submitting any signatures)[46]

Withdrew[edit]

  • Running mate: Alex Hirsch, political operative
  • Running mate: Tyrone Coleman, Mayor of Cairo

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Daniel Biss
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Statewide officeholders
State Senators
State Representatives
Chicago Aldermen
Other local officials
Organizations
Individuals
Newspapers
Withdrawn endorsements
Chris Kennedy
U.S. Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Local officeholders
Invididuals
Organizations
  • Iroquois County Democratic Central Committee[157]
  • Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairmen's Association[158]
Newspapers
Declined to endorse for the primary
U.S. Representatives
Orgainzations
  • Madison County Democratic Party[164]

Forums[edit]

The Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor[165] was held on December 6, 2017, and organized by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank. Candidates who attended included Daniel Biss, Tio Hardiman, Ameya Pawar, J. B. Pritzker, and Chris Kennedy.

Whitney Young High School hosted the first student-run gubernatorial debate in the United States on October 4, 2017. All 7 then current candidates attended, meaning Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, Chris Kennedy, Alex Paterakis, Ameya Pawar, and J. B. Pritzker.[166]

The Illinois chapter of progressive advocacy organization Our Revolution sponsored a forum at the Chicago Teacher's Union headquarters on October 8, 2017. Candidates voiced similar opinions on single-payer health care, gun control, and the minimum wage, but differed on a hypothetical state deal with Amazon and relationships with powerful Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan.[167]

The Democratic candidates held their first televised debate on January 23.[168] All six candidates met again a week later on January 30. The debate was not televised but was uploaded to WSIL-TV's YouTube channel.[169]

Another debate was held on February 21, which was hosted by the University of Springfield.[32] Chris Kennedy did not attend due to a back injury, although all five other candidates participated.[170] Another major debate took place on March 1. It involved issues such as gun control, Blagojevich's tapes, sexual harassment, and relatability.[171] Another debate took place the next day in Springfield. The topics involved Madigan, sexual harassment, among other issues. The spotlight remained on the top contenders: Chris Kennedy, J.B Pritzker, and Daniel Biss.[172]

Pritzker was criticized for refusing to commit to attend the only live-television debate planned outside the Chicago media market, prompting the debate's cancellation.[173] Biss and Kennedy gathered petition signatures to encourage the debate's continuation, and Biss commented that "JB is borrowing a page from the billionaire playbook, avoiding debates and shunning reporters who ask tough questions."[174] Another debate took place on March 14, revolving around topics including Pritzker's newly reported offshore holdings, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, and education. Kennedy and Biss both attacked Pritzker on the offshore businesses, Kennedy "saying it's like a job interview, and Pritzker lying to get the job", and Biss saying "Pritzker did that to avoid taxes".[175]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Daniel
Biss
Chris
Kennedy
J. B.
Pritzker
Other Undecided
Victory Research March 13–16, 2018 1,204 ± 2.8% 22% 26% 32% 16%
We Ask America March 7–9, 2018 1,029 ± 3.1% 15% 16% 35% 1%[176] 31%
Southern Illinois University February 19–25, 2018 472 ± 4.5% 21% 17% 31% 6%[177] 25%
Global Strategy Group (D-Pritzker) February 9–13, 2018 802 ± 3.5% 21% 23% 37%
ALG Research (D-Biss) February 6–11, 2018 500 ± 4.4% 24% 24% 32% 4%[178] 16%
Victory Research February 6–7, 2018 1,209 ± 2.8% 24% 17% 27% 5%[179] 28%
Global Strategy Group (D-Pritzker) February 1, 2018 801 ± 3.5% 22% 16% 41% 21%
32% 52% 16%
We Ask America January 29–30, 2018 811 ± 3.4% 17% 12% 30% 3%[178] 38%
We Ask America October 17–18, 2017 1,154 ± 3% 6% 15% 39% 2%[180] 36%
ALG Research (D-Biss) July 2017 5% 23% 30% 2%[181] 35%
Garin-Hart-Yang (D-Kennedy) June 26–29, 2017 602 ± 4% 44% 38% 18%
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D-Summers) March 2–6, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 44% 11% 7%[182] 34%

Results[edit]

Primary results by county:
  Pritzker—70–80%
  Pritzker—60–70%
  Pritzker—50–60%
  Pritzker—40–50%
  Pritzker—<40%
  Biss—40–50%
  Kennedy—<40%
  Kennedy—40–50%
[33]
Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic J. B. Pritzker 573,679 45.2
Democratic Daniel Biss 337,342 26.6
Democratic Chris Kennedy 308,731 24.3
Democratic Tio Hardiman 20,479 1.6
Democratic Bob Daiber 14,814 1.2
Democratic Robert Marshall 14,193 1.1
Total votes 1,269,238 100.0

Pritzker won 98 of Illinois' counties. Kennedy won two, and Biss also won two.

Third parties and independents[edit]

In order to qualify as an established party in Illinois, a candidate for said party must earn at least 5% of the vote in a statewide election. This last occurred in 2006, when Rich Whitney won 10% of the vote, allowing the Illinois Green Party to achieve such status. Established party status comes with benefits. For example, candidates of an established party needs only 5,000 voter signatures on its petitions to gain ballot access. For non-established parties this number is approximately 25,000.[183][184]

For the 2018 election, non-established parties do not need to run a full slate in order to qualify for ballot access.[185]

Conservative[edit]

Sam McCann, a longtime intraparty opponent of Bruce Rauner, resigned from the Republican Caucus to run for governor as a member of the newly created Conservative Party. His running mate is Aaron Merreighn, a constituent with whom he has worked on legislative issues relating to veterans.[186]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Libertarian[edit]

Kash Jackson is the Libertarian nominee for Illinois governor. 2018, Libertarian nominees for governor, other statewide offices, and the General Assembly were chosen by the Libertarian Party of Illinois at a state convention on March 3, 2018.[187] The convention for 2018 candidate selection was held on March 3, 2018, in Bloomington, Illinois.[188] Jackson will appear on the ballot.[189]

Candidates[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Kash Jackson
Notable Individuals

Unsuccessful[edit]

  • Matthew C. Scaro, entrepreneur and Libertarian activist[190]
  • Jon Stewart, retired professional wrestler, Republican candidate for the state house in 1998 and Republican candidate for IL-05 in 2009[190][196]

Independents[edit]

Declared[edit]

Removed from ballot[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

  • William J. Kelly, radio host and perennial candidate (subsequently ran on Constitution Party ticket, then withdrew)[5][6]
    • Running mate: Brian Leggero, candidate for Mayor of Rockford in 2017[7]

Constitution[edit]

Nominee[edit]

William J. Kelly was nominated for governor and Chad Koppie, a member of the Kane County Regional Board of School Trustees, were chosen to run as the gubernatorial ticket of the Illinois Constitution Party. However, on June 5, 2018, Kelly dropped out and endorsed the third party campaign of Sam McCann.[202][203][204]

Withdrew[edit]

Green Party[edit]

The Green Party ran a slate of statewide candidates in 2006 and 2010, but failed to be placed on the ballot in 2014[206][207] and declined to run any statewide candidates in 2018.[208]

Notes[edit]

General election[edit]

Bruce Rauner had been rated as one of the, if not the most, vulnerable governors running for re-election in 2018 by Politico and the National Journal.[209][210] Following his surprisingly narrow primary win, Rauner offered former state senator Karen McConnaughay, attorney general nominee Erika Harold, Chicago Cubs co-owner and Republican National Committee Finance Chair Todd Ricketts and Illinois Republican Party Committeeman Richard Porter the chance to replace him on the ticket, with the promise that he would continue to fully fund the campaign using his personal wealth.[211] Ultimately, Rauner remained on the ballot, and lost in the most lopsided gubernatorial election since Jim Edgar was reelected in 1994.

Endorsements[edit]

Bruce Rauner (R)
U.S. Governors
Illinois State Senators
Illinois State Representatives
County officials
Local officials
Organizations
Newspapers
J. B. Pritzker (D)
Former U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Statewide officials
State Senators
State Representatives
Local officials
Individuals
  • Karamo Brown, television personality and activist[260]
  • Paul "Snow" Herkert, Chair of the Calhoun County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Jimmy Naville, Chair of the Greene County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Dennis Fisher, Chair of the Shelby County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Brenda Britton, Chair of the Richland County Democratic Party[249][261]
  • John Penn, Chair of the McLean County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Shirley McCombs, Chair of the Menard County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Keith Niewohner, Chair of the Adams County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Phillip Matthews, Chair of the Alexander County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Dan Sidwell, Chair of the Bond County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Jack Mazzotti, Chair of the Christian County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Gary Johnson, Chair of the Jasper County Democratic Party[249][250]
  • Mike Barone, Chair of the Jackson County Democratic Party[249][250]
Organizations
Newspapers
Kash Jackson (L)
U.S. Governors
State Representatives
Organizations
Individuals
Withdrawn endorsements

Debates[edit]

Host
network
Date Link(s) Participants
J. B.
Pritzker (D)
Bruce
Rauner (R)
Kash
Jackson (L)
Sam
McCann (C)
WMAQ-TV September 20, 2018 [287] Participant Participant Participant Participant
WLS-TV October 3, 2018 [288] Participant Participant Non-invitee Non-invitee
WGEM-TV October 11, 2018 [289][290] Participant Participant Non-invitee Non-invitee

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[291] Likely D October 26, 2018
The Washington Post[292] Likely D November 5, 2018
FiveThirtyEight[293] Safe D November 5, 2018
Rothenberg Political Report[294] Likely D November 1, 2018
Sabato's Crystal Ball[295] Likely D November 5, 2018
Real Clear Politics[296] Likely D November 5, 2018
Daily Kos Elections[297] Likely D November 5, 2018
Governing[298] Likely D November 5, 2018
Politico[299] Likely D November 5, 2018
Fox News[300][a] Likely D November 5, 2018
Notes
  1. ^ The Fox News Midterm Power Rankings uniquely does not contain a category for Safe/Solid races

Fundraising[edit]

Campaign finance reports as of June 30, 2018
Candidate (party) Total receipts Total disbursements Cash on hand
J. B. Pritzker (D) $128,252,532.95 $88,571,672.99 $39,680,860.96
Bruce Rauner (R) $78,725,390.39 $45,101,897.60 $33,623,492.79
Sam McCann (C) $1,497,885.08 $649,634.08 $848,251.00
Kash Jackson (L) $10,783.00 $1,985.32 $8,797.68
Source: Federal Election Commission[301][not in citation given]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Bruce
Rauner (R)
J. B.
Pritzker (D)
Kash
Jackson (L)
Sam
McCann (C)
Other Undecided
Victory Research November 1–3, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 33% 49% 5% 8% 6%
Ipsos September 27 – October 5, 2018 968 ± 4.0% 30% 50% 3% 6% 2% 8%
Victory Research September 27 – October 2, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 32% 47% 6% 7% 8%
Southern Illinois University September 24–29, 2018 715 ± 3.7% 27% 49% 4% 4% 17%
ALG Research (D-Forward Illinois) September 21–25, 2018 1,007 ± 3.1% 32% 48% 3% 4%
Research America Inc. September 5–13, 2018 1,024 ± 3.1% 27% 44% 4% 6% 0% 14%
Marist College August 12–16, 2018 734 ± 4.4% 30% 46% 6% 4% 2% 13%
University of Illinois Springfield July 3 – August 15, 2018 717 ± 3.7% 23% 35% 15% 23%
Victory Research August 12–14, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 30% 41% 2% 9% 18%
Baselice & Associates (C-McCann) July 25–29, 2018 800 ± 3.5% 29% 42% 6% 11% 1% 10%
Illinois Public Opinion (D) July 12, 2018 423 ± 5.0% 26% 39% 1% 10% 23%
Victory Research June 26–28, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 30% 45% 2% 5% 18%
We Ask America June 9–11, 2018 600 ± 4.0% 27% 36% 26% 11%
Victory Research May 22–24, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 32% 47%
Victory Research April 18–21, 2018 1,208 ± 2.8% 31% 49% 19%
Ogden & Fry March 23, 2018 667 ± 3.9% 28% 46% 26%
Southern Illinois University February 19–25, 2018 1,001 ± 3.0% 35% 50% 15%
Public Policy Polling (D-Biss) February 5–6, 2018 600 ± 3.3% 35% 48% 17%
Ogden & Fry (R-Liberty Principles PAC) October 2, 2017 517 ± 4.4% 30% 47% 23%

Results[edit]

Illinois gubernatorial election, 2018[302]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic J. B. Pritzker 2,479,746 54.53% +8.18%
Republican Bruce Rauner (incumbent) 1,765,751 38.83% -11.44%
Conservative Sam McCann 192,527 4.23% N/A
Libertarian Kash Jackson 109,518 2.40% -0.95%
n/a Write-ins 115 0.01% -0.02%
Total votes 4,547,657 100.0% N/A
Democratic gain from Republican

Maps[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Official campaign websites