CHICAGO - Matt Custardo, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner's North Shore Field Manager wrote in an email to supporters that the Rauner campaign was "unprecedented for Republicans, not only in Illinois, but nationally," and claimed that "the Republican victory in the Illinois Governor's race was the biggest in America."
How so? According to Custardo:
- This was the first time the president's governor lost a re-election since 1892.
- Rauner won by 5% in a state President Obama won by 25% -- a 30 point swing.
- This may have been one of the top 5 most expensive non-presidential races in American history.
- Quinn not only had the structural advantage of running for re-election in a blue state, he outspent Rauner on advertising in the final 3 months of the campaign.
- Conventional wisdom held that a Republican needed to be ahead in the polls heading into Election Day because democrat turnout would boost their numbers. The opposite happened. The day before the election, Nate Silver predicted a Rauner lose. Public Policy Polling 48 hours before the polls closed said Rauner would lose by 2%. Instead he won.
How did Rauner do it? According to Custardo: