The first Republican governor in 12 years--Bruce Rauner--is feeling the pressure Monday night as polls indicate Democrat JB Pritzker is holding a sizable lead.
Rauner spends this day before Election Day in the collar counties, Pritzker heads downstate after a Chicago rally Sunday with former President Barack Obama.
Rauner says the polls are baloney and continues to hammer not only Pritzker–-but also Speaker Mike Madigan. Whether that argument makes a difference or not will be determined on Election Day.
Rauner--with his wife Diana at his side Monday-–who had promised in his first campaign to shake up Springfield and as he asks for a second term. He argues a democratic Prtizker administration will lead to higher taxes.
"This election will determine whether you have to pay higher income taxes, so you don't get to keep as much of your hard-earned money," he said.
Obama’s visit Sunday to the UIC Pavillion supported Pritzker and other democratic candidates counting on a blue wave in Illinois. Pritzker focuses on president Trump, ignoring his opponent in Tuesday’s election.
"They want us to believe that people are struggling because they're just not trying hard enough," Pritzker said. "They want us to believe that teachers are over-payed and under-worked."
Rauner is outspent by Pritzker two to one in the nation's most expensive governor’s race. Two other candidates are also on the ballot: conservative Sam McCann and Liberterian Kash Jackson.
Rauner has found running as an incumbent, with a record to defend, far different than as an outsider. He was peppered Monday with questions about how his administration handled a legionnaires outbreak at a Quincy veteran's home.
"Our administration has focused--always focused--on the safety and the health of our veterans. They're our heroes." he said. "And the issue with that particular water tank, that was discussed with the CDC immediately in 2015."
The candidates were wrapping up their election appeals Monday night. Rauner held his final campaign appearance in suburban lisle, while Pritzker headed to Peoria.