Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Illinois Gubernatorial Primary Wrap-Up

Bookmark and Share

Bruce Rauner becomes the 13th plurality winner in an Illinois gubernatorial primary election in state history; five have gone on to win the general election

brucerauner10.jpgWhile the end result was closer than recent polls suggested, businessman Bruce Rauner emerged from Illinois' Republican gubernatorial primary with a 2+-point victory Tuesday over State Senator Kirk Dillard in a four-candidate field.

Rauner won 40 percent of the vote with State Senator Bill Brady a distant third with 15 percent and Treasurer Dan Rutherford in last with seven percent.

Illinois Republicans opted for a fresh face to lead their party at the top of the ticket this cycle, with Dillard (2010, 2014) and Brady (2006, 2010, 2014) tallying five gubernatorial runs between them.

This marks the fourth consecutive time a plurality winner has decided a GOP gubernatorial primary in Illinois.

All three previous plurality victors went on to lose their respective general election: Jim Ryan in 2002, Judy Baar Topinka in 2006, and Brady in 2010.

Brady's loss ensured that for the 50th consecutive cycle since statehood, no losing major party gubernatorial nominee has ever come back to win the governorship.

Overall, plurality gubernatorial primary winners on the Democratic and Republican sides of the ticket have won five out of 12 general elections since selecting a nominee by convention was abandoned more than 100 years ago in the state.

Plurality winners who subsequently won general elections include:

· 1912: Democrat Edward Dunne won 43.8 percent in a four-candidate primary field and 38.1 percent in the general election against two-term incumbent Charles Deneen.

· 1920: Republican Len Small won 46.5 percent in a four-candidate primary field and 58.9 percent in the general election against James Lewis.

· 1932: Democrat Henry Horner won 48.7 percent in an eight-candidate primary field and 57.6 percent against ex-governor Len Small in the general.

· 1968: Republican Richard Ogilvie won 47.5 percent in a four-candidate primary field and 51.2 percent in the general election against incumbent Samuel Shapiro.

· 2002: Democrat Rod Blagojevich won 36.5 percent in a four-candidate primary field and 52.2 percent over Jim Ryan that November.

The remaining four plurality primary winners who subsequently lost their general election races are Democrat Adlai Stevenson in 1908, Republican Len Small in 1932, Democrat Dawn Netsch in 1994, and Democrat Glenn Poschard in 1998.

On the Democratic side Tuesday, embattled incumbent Pat Quinn coasted to a 40+-point win with approximately 72 percent of the vote over Tio Hardiman.

Incumbents have run for reelection 22 times since the primary system was introduced in the state.

Five incumbents faced no primary opposition: Democrats Adlai Stevenson II in 1952 (who exited the race to run for president), Otto Kerner in 1964, and Samuel Shapiro in 1968 and Republicans Dwight Green in 1948 and Jim Thompson in 1978.

Two incumbents were ousted in the primary: Republican Len Small in 1928 (by Louis Emmerson) and Democrat Dan Walker in 1976 (by Michael Howlett).

Among Democratic governors who have faced primary opposition over the decades, Quinn's 72 percent ranks as the highest, besting Blagojevich's 70.8 percent in 2006, Dunne's 63.6 percent in 1916, Horner's 54.4 percent in 1936, Quinn's 50.5 percent in 2010, and Walker's 46.1 percent in 1976.

The Rauner vs. Quinn November matchup in Illinois will be a closely-watched race this cycle as Quinn is considered to be one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents across the nation.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Collin Peterson By the Numbers
Next post: Edwin Edwards' Long, Winding Political Road

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting