Six months ago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign was in trouble. Attorney General Lisa Madigan was weighing a primary challenge and declared challenger Bill Daley blasted Quinn for failing to solve the state's pension problem.
Today Quinn's prospects look much brighter, according to Northern Illinois University political scientist Matt Streb. Streb notes Quinn's fellow Democrats in the Legislature passed a pension overhaul, Madigan decided not to run, and Daley dropped out of the race in September. Only Tio Hardiman faces Quinn in the primary, and he's hardly a threat, according to Streb.
"Quinn is going to win easily on primary day," Streb says. But he warns of a "dog fight" leading up to the general election in November:
"Most of the experts who study this nationally have Illinois as one of the top battleground states at the Governor's level." Streb adds, "So it's going to be an interesting race whoever Quinn has to face."
The Republican candidates for Governor are state Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and businessman Bruce Rauner. You can hear Streb's analysis of this race by clicking the audio link above.
Tomorrow, Streb discusses the Republicans running for the right to challenge U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Listen to WNIJ during Morning Edition at 6:35 and 8:35 and then come back here for more information.
Primary Day is Tuesday, March 18.