The race to be Illinois’s Republican nominee for governor has tightened considerably, as conservative state representative Jeanne Ives continues to draw closer to incumbent Bruce Rauner in the polls.
Rauner has alienated the Republican base by taking moderate positions in deep-blue Illinois, signing sanctuary-state legislation and bills that allocated taxpayer funding for abortion. He is currently polling at 42 percent to Ives’s 35 percent, according to an internal poll released yesterday by Ogden & Fry.
Rauner skipped out on a televised debate with Ives on Tuesday, for which the mom and West Point graduate showed up.
“It might be that, like that knight in the Monty Python movie, he bravely ran away, away,” the Chicago Tribune‘s John Kass said wryly on Wednesday.
Rauner has been criticized as the worst Republican governor in America. His state has one of the most sluggish economies, its credit rating is barely above junk-bond status, and it has the slowest personal-income growth in the nation.
He has also been called a liar for his ads attacking Ives, which attempt to tie her to the Democratic speaker of Illinois’s House, Mike Madigan.
“Governor Rauner has lied to everybody about everything these last three years,” Ives said. “And he’s now lying about my record because he can’t talk about his, because he has nothing to talk about.”
If Ives can continue her surge in the polls ahead of the March 20 primary, it may spell trouble for Rauner.