8/13/2014: Democrats try to rally the vote during traditionally difficult non-presidential election year. NBC 5's Carol Marin reports.
The Illinois State Fair mixed in a good dose of political red meat to go along with the traditional barbeque and beer Wednesday.
Gov. Pat Quinn was front and center on the annual Governor's Day at the fair. Quinn, lagging in all polls by either a little or a lot, exuded only confidence, saying "it's always going to be a close election."
"We're never going to outspend the other side, but it's our government of the many against his government of the money, and I think the people of Illinois are going with us," Quinn said.
The sitting governor continued a familiar theme, referencing Republican opponent Bruce Rauner's billions and warning that he's out to "take away our schools."
Sen. Dick Durbin, who's in his own contested race against Republican Jim Oberweis, if this turns out to be a typical, off year, non-presidential election, it will be a tough one for Democrats.
"Our job is to energize our base and get people up and rolling," Durbin said.
Secretary of State Jesse White, was critical of some black leaders who have accepted Republican cash and accused Rauner of trying to buy the black vote.
The format of Governor's Day is different than in year's past. Quinn didn't hold the traditional rally after being booed by union members a couple of years ago, but this year, the unions appear to be united behind the Democrats.