DAN RUTHERFORD, 9-5: There’s been good news and bad news for Rutherford recently. The good news is, Rep. Aaron Schock isn’t running for governor. Schock was a fellow moderate from Central Illinois, so now Rutherford has that vote to himself. The bad news is, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady stepped down because of his support for gay marriage. As a state senator, Rutherford voted for the civil unions bill, and believes that gay rights should not be a defining issue for Republicans. Most Republicans seem to believe it should be, so Rutherford will have to win over right-wingers.
LISA MADIGAN, 2-1: Last month, a poll found Madigan leading Gov. Pat Quinn in a primary matchup, 30 percent to 15 percent, with 39 percent undecided. When Democrats were given a choice between just Madigan and Quinn, they chose Madigan, 64 percent to 20 percent. Madigan vs. Rutherford would be a great contest between two articulate candidates with experience in statewide office. Here’s a prediction: if Madigan wins the primary, her father will step down as a candidate and hand his state representative seat to a Machine flunky, because that’s how they do it on the Southwest Side.
PAT QUINN, 6-1: Quinn’s re-election prospects look hopeless, but this isn’t the first time Quinn’s career has looked hopeless. His best hope is a three-way primary between himself, Madigan and Bill Daley, and another conservative Republican opponent.
BILL BRADY, 12-1: Brady blew a sure thing in 2010, but never underestimate the stubbornness of the Illinois Republican electorate in demanding a “real conservative,” despite years of evidence that this deeply blue state won’t elect one. Brady could beat Quinn this time, if he stopped bashing Chicago and campaigned there. He couldn’t beat Madigan, though.
KIRK DILLARD, 20-1: Likes to remind people he was Jim Edgar’s chief of staff. Will need to remind people who Jim Edgar was.
BILL DALEY, 25-1: This generation of Daleys seems to have run its course. In a three-way Democratic primary, could not compete with Madigan as the alternative to Quinn.
BRUCE RAUNER, 33-1: Rauner proved he was not, in fact, a political novice when Crain’s Chicago Business revealed that he had used his relationship with then-Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan to clout his daughter into Walter Payton College Prep. Meanwhile, Rauner attacks the public employee unions who represent the teachers there. Will be seen as a millionaire who believes in one set of rules for the rich and another for the middle class.
DAN PROFT, 100-1: Should keep his day job as a talk show host for WLS, even though it requires him to start work at 5 a.m.