Politico Switches Illinois Governor Race to ‘Leans Republican'

The site previously labeled the Quinn/Rauner battle a "toss-up"

Too early to call this for Bruce Rauner?

Nobody who follows Illinois politics will be the least bit surprised by news that Politico switched its projected outcome of the state's gubernatorial race from "toss-up" to "leans Republican."

States the DC-based site: "In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) terrible approval rating and the state’s struggling economy threaten his reelection efforts. We are now making venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R) the favorite in Illinois, changing the rating from Toss-up to Leans Republican."

For months now, the odds have been increasingly stacked against Quinn as he contends with voter mistrust and headline-making corruption scandals over his botched anti-violence program and alleged patronage hiring within the Department of Transportation. The latter heads to court Oct. 22, thanks to a Quinn-directed lawsuit by attorney-activist Michael Shakman, and the timing could not be worse with the election slated for Nov. 4.

Meanwhile, Rauner continues to poll ahead of Quinn and gain popularity among surburbanites and downstaters as he pools more of his millions into beefing up a grassroots ground game as part of an concerted effort to grow the GOP's power in Illinois.

His own troubling controversies -- taking advantage of a corporate tax loophole, using his clout to get his daughter into an elite Chicago public school, making one bad business deal after another -- seem to be canceled out by Quinn's various dramas.

Barring a Romney-esque gaffe or two, the super-rich, nine-home-owning Rauner could certainly prevail at the ballot box come November for the simple reason that he is not Pat Quinn.

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