Why did the election results come out the way they did? Political science professor Matt Streb at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb says Gov. Pat Quinn failed to rehabilitate his own image, leaving voters who may have been OK with policies such as raising the minimum wage to believe that the governor himself was the problem.
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“Here’s the message that voters got: It was the one guy’s rich, the other guy is incompetent. At the end of the day, when you go in to cast your vote for governor, who are you going to vote for? You’re not gonna vote for the incompetent guy. (Gov. Pat) Quinn could have done a much better job of talking about the accomplishments that he had, and that’s why I think it was just really a poorly run campaign,” said Streb, the chairman of the Political Science Department at NIU.
Streb says there was a fair amount of ticket splitting: Exit polls show 19 percent of voters for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went for Bruce Rauner for governor. Illinois voters flipped two congressional seats from Democratic to Republican while re-electing super-majorities of Democrats to the Illinois House and Senate.
The only seat in the General Assembly to change partisan hands was a Quad Cities-area Senate seat in which Republican Neil Anderson defeated Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-Moline), in an area with a hotly contested congressional race that the Democrat won.