Turn out the lights – the party’s over!

It’s amazing – and bleepin’ hilarious – to watch all the Republican rats flee the sinking ship.

Conservatives, who put Rauner over the primary top and proceeded to hold their breath as they fervently prayed that he actually had a shot, are now taking shots at him for shifting towards the center left as his electoral fortunes furiously fade.

Blue dog Democrats, the very folks upon whom the Rauner campaign has pinned all their hopes, aren’t buying his brand new “regular guy” persona either. That commercial with blowhard Mike Ditka was as unmitigated a disaster as the Bears season opener. Way to appear wishy washy Bruce!

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To add insult to injury, Libertarians, those nerdy voters who think they’re cooler than everyone else, wouldn’t even consider casting their lot with Rauner.

So despite a Democratic opponent who’s raised taxes, completely failed to resolve the pension crisis, regularly cowers in the shadow of Mike Madigan, couldn’t effectively lead a girl scout troop, and has the all the charisma of a German Catholic nun, Bruce Rauner – the man with more money than God – is about to go down in the kind of flames that will make Bill Brady look like a genius by comparison.

But don’t listen to me! Go ahead and ignore my prescient June prediction, because all you really have to do is consider two recent polls to come to the same Bruce Rauner end is near conclusion.

The first, a telephone survey conducted September 4th through 7th by Early and Often, showed Quinn and Rauner in an essentially a margin of error dead heat. The second was a September 3 to 12 poll performed by the Chicago Tribune in which Quinn trounced Rauner by 9 points.

Of course, Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller, who managed to get up off his sick bed (translated – he’s recovering from another two week bender) to claims the Trib erred by hitting only registered voters – not those most likely to vote – and skewed the results by polling a lopsided 43 percent Democrats, 24 percent Republicans, and 28 percent independents.

Perhaps Rich should avail himself of the latest 2014 Gallup research which shows, though it certainly has slipped, Illinois Democratic voters maintain a 17 point advantage over their GOP counterparts. And if you add 17 to those 24 percent Republicans, you come up with 41 percent Democrats which is eminently close enough to that Tribune Democratic number.

But the truth is, none of that statistical squabbling really matters. Let’s throw standard deviational caution into the wind by saying Miller was sober long enough to get it right (I know that’s a stretch) and, correcting for that bias, the second poll is also dead even. That still relegates Rauner to runner up status because, for any Illinois GOP challenger to beat a sitting statewide Democrat, they have to be up by at least 10 points with a scant two months left to go.

Unless you’ve hired Eric Cantor’s campaign crew, you can count on all statewide races narrowing in favor of the incumbent as election day looms large. This is why incumbents tend to get reelected and Bruce’s latest mailer is all about early voting.

Thus, in order for a statewide challenger to prevail, they have to build a reasonable lead before that homestretch phenomenon takes hold. And this kind of untimely tie really is just like kissing your sister.

What’s so much worse is, without a commanding lead to rally the troops, all those conservative Republican factions who make a sport out of turning on their own party, now fearing a loss, will try to save face by claiming they never supported this mope to begin with.

And then they will savage him.

I suppose it’s possible that Quinn could still go all Dan Rutherford on us, but given past history, the far better bet is Rauner will be the one to stick his foot in his mouth. Oh! I don’t know, something like barring 12 Columbia College journalism students from your latest press conference because they weren’t “working journalists.”

Yeah Bruce! “Regular guys” do that kind of thing all the time. (Though there is something to be said for the probability that, anyone who willingly chooses to be a journalism student right now is probably completely out of their fucking mind anyway.)

Of course, in the face of those dire poll numbers, Bruce is lending himself yet more money and desperately trying to get some scandal to stick to Quinn. So now he’s blasting patronage at IDOT. Patronage at IDOT??!!. Be still my beating heart – that almost always happens.

Meanwhile the Guv hasn’t begun to break a sweat. Just wait till he brings out the big guns like the GTCR nursing home fiasco. Old folks actually vote and they will not be amused.

Even Miller put the bottle down long enough to cite a current federal lawsuit claiming Rauner’s company sold APS Health Care, a $223 million “lemon,” after engaging in a “deliberate campaign to conceal the truth.”

Meanwhile, while Bruce was at the GTCR helm, that same subsidiary “incorrectly” invoiced the Georgia Medicaid program and, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, who hit them with a $13 million fine, APS “Took Medicaid’s money for itself and left some of our most vulnerable citizens without the aid they deserved.”

Nice! Women, who also tend to vote more often, won’t soon forget that one.

So folks! It really is all over but the shouting. Once again, instead of nominating a candidate who could actually win, conservative Republicans went with the wacky flavor du jour and, thanks to them, we’re about to end with four more years of Pat Quinn.

Kirk Dillard would have run away with this race. Does anyone have his number? Is it too late for a write-in candidate?

One thought on “Turn out the lights – the party’s over!

  1. I got a kick out of Rauner’s mailing about early voting. I almost sent it in so I could vote for Quinn (well, really against Rauner), but I just feel better going into the booth.

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