DAN RUTHERFORD, 2-1: If Rutherford wins this, he will have earned it: last Saturday, he spoke at Republican dinners in Effingham, Cumberland and Shelby counties, and did an interview with an Effingham radio station. Rutherford is single, so he has the free time to out-campaign anyone. Also, four treasurers have been elected governor in the last century.
LISA MADIGAN, 3-1: Madigan recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to enlist support from women’s and environmental groups. The same factors that brought her to power -- her father’s influence, and the Democratic wave of 2002, when she was elected attorney general -- may be a drag on her gubernatorial ambition, because the state is getting sick of both Speaker Mike Madigan and one-party Democratic rule. No attorney general has ever been elected governor.
AARON SCHOCK, 9-2: If Schock is running for governor, he’d better start running, because, as noted, Rutherford is spending every weekend on the campaign trail. Schock is always impatient to move up -- he spent four years on the Peoria Board of Education, then four years in the state House -- but he would be better off just sitting his ass in the House until Mark Kirk or Dick Durbin retires. At 32, he has plenty of time to become a senator.
PAT QUINN, 5-1: Never has incumbency meant less than it has for Pat Quinn, whose own party wants him to go away. His best hope is that former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley enters the Democratic primary, splitting the sick-of-Quinn vote. As Nadig Newspapers’ Russ Stewart noted, Quinn “expertly panders to the Democratic base. A solid 35 to 40 percent of that base, which includes liberals, blacks, gays, Hispanics, those dependent on state government and public sector unions, would be enough to enable Quinn to win a three-candidate primary.”
KIRK DILLARD, 15-1: In alternate universe, Dillard won the 2010 Republican primary and is governor of Illinois. That’s as close as he’ll get.
BILL DALEY, 20-1: It’s easy to see how Lisa Madigan or Pat Quinn wins a three-way primary, but not Bill Daley. The second generation of Daleys has a great past, but no future.
BILL BRADY, 25-1: The Democrats wish his odds were better, at least of winning the primary.
BRUCE RAUNER, 33-1: A new entrant, Rauner is a millionaire financier making his first run for public office. That would be an unprecedented feat in Illinois, which has never elected a governor without political experience. Rauner is a strident critic of public employee unions. While Illinoisans are concerned about the state’s pension gap, it doesn’t follow that they hate unions. Democrats would make Rauner wear the same out-of-touch rich guy label that hurt Mitt Romney.
JOE WALSH, 100-1: Walsh just started a new right-wing talk radio show on WIND. I think he’s found his niche. With the chance to build a national audience of similarly disgruntled Tea Partiers, why would he give that up to run for governor of Illinois? Walsh is much better suited to talking than politics.