Gov. Bruce Rauner eked out a victory in the primary on Tuesday against conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives to win the Republican nomination.
Rauner captured more votes than Ives did in 63 of llinois’ 102 counties in snagging the nomination by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent.
Despite winning, political observers have described the results as a failure on Rauner’s part to get traditional Republican votes.
“Some of the Ives voters won’t vote for Rauner in the general election,” said former Chicago Ald. Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor.
Tuesday’s vote came four years after Rauner unseated incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn by winning in 101 of 102 counties — all but Democratic stronghold Cook County, Quinn’s home base — and two years after President Donald Trump failed to win Illinois’ electoral votes but still outperformed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 90 counties.
The map below compares Rauner’s 2018 primary performance to the 2016 presidential vote.
Thirty-four of the 38 counties in which Ives outpolled Rauner on Tuesday also preferred Trump to Clinton in 2016. Trump’s totals in those counties topped Clinton’s by a total of nearly 150,000 votes. In 22 of those counties, Trump took at least 70 percent of the vote.
Ives also did better than Rauner in four counties that went for Clinton in 2016: DuPage, Kane, Will and Rock Island.
Rauner’s poor performance in DuPage, Kane and Will counties might prove to be key when he faces Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker in November’s general election. Those three counties were among the top five that not only favored Clinton in 2016 but also had been in the top five for Rauner in his general election victory in 2014.
That year, DuPage County provided Rauner with 68,667 of his 142,284-vote margin over Quinn.