In a ‘We Ask America’ poll conducted yesterday, Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner is leading incumbent Pat Quinn in the Illinois gubernatorial race by 14 points. To use a boxing analogy, Rauner is winning the early rounds by being more active, but now, Quinn has apparently stopped ‘feeling out’ Rauner and is ready to throw some punches himself.
Per the poll, if the election were held today, 47 percent would vote for Rauner and 33 percent would vote for Quinn. That still left 20 percent undecided. But, in a June ‘We Ask America’ poll, Rauner was leading Quinn by 10 points. The timing of how Quinn is responding to the poll is worth noting.
To essentially counterpunch, Quinn did two things today. The first is that he launched his first television ad. Entitled ‘Comeback’, it is a positive/pro-Quinn spot that via the title, falls in with the boxing match analogy.
The other blow directed at Rauner was Quinn signing legislation for a November 4, 2014 ballot referendum on whether Illinois millionaires should pay a surcharge to fund education. This is only an advisory referendum, which is not binding. It would add a three percent tax on an individual’s annual income tax that is above $1 million. Although the Illinois Department of Revenue estimates that it would generate $1 billion, the chances of it passing are probably slim. But that isn’t the point.
It would not be a surprise that if Rauner releases his 2013 tax returns to the public, the Quinn campaign (or Quinn labor supporters) will calculate what Rauner’s surcharge would be. At minimum, even if Rauner thinks it is a good idea, it could cause some to have a negative stance against Rauner (if they don’t like rich people). It could also be used to connect Rauner to any tax code provisions he may have used to reduce his taxable income that are not available to people of lessor means.
It is early in the fight. Expect a lot more – especially during and after the state fair. That’s when the gloves come off.