A new Rasmussen poll shows the Illinois Governors race nearly a tie with the state’s Democratic Governor Pat Quinn holding a two-point advantage over GOP challenger Bruce Rauner. In years’ past a libertarian or any independent party line candidate was ignored as inconsequential to the election; however, the state’s libertarian candidate for governor, Chad Grimm, could very well decide if Quinn stays in office.
Grimm, a 33 year old Golds Gym manager in Peoria, does not believe that he will best either Quinn or Rauner for the position of governor of Illinois, Chicago Magazine reported earlier in the week, but maintains the goal of his campaign is to get at least into the double digits in the polls come election day. Last election cycle four years ago Republican candidate Bill Brady lost by only one percent of the vote, around the amount of votes the Libertarian candidate Lex Green received.:
“Our goal is double digits–13 or 14 percent. And remember, in 2010, all the third party candidates collectively, including the Green Party candidate Rich Whitney and Independent Scott Lee Cohen, did make a difference. All together they got 7 percent of the vote. If we break 5 percent, we make ballot access easier in future elections. [Grimm needed 25,000 signatures–he claims to have collected 45,000–while the two major party candidates needed only 5,000. Also, in 2010 Quinn beat Brady by less than half of one percent.]”
Scott Lee Cohen, however, had more name identification than Brady, but for all the wrong reasons. Cohen was pushed off the Democratic ticket by party leaders for Lieutenant Governor after allegations of domestic abuse, steroid use, and accusations that he abused a prostitute surfaced. He went on to run as an independent.
“There was a push every four years to get the libertarian on the ballot. I think as far as the average voter is, whoever happens to be on the libertarian ticket is pretty much interchangeable. Nobody really knows that much about them other than they’re libertarian,” one former Illinois Republican Party official told Breitbart News.
Rauner, a wealthy Chicago businessman known more as a “behind the scenes donor type of guy” to the Illinois GOP base is still essentially an unknown figure to Illinois Republican Party regulars used to a household party name like George Ryan. However, the Libertarian Party in Illinois is not necessarily known for its enthusiasm either.
“If it’s not R or D, it’s another choice. I don’t see even a big Ron Paul push or anything like that. It doesn’t seem any different than any other previous libertarian endeavors,” said the former GOP official, adding, “I don’t think the Libertarian is in it to be a spoiler because the Libertarian is in it every time, and I don’t think they’re going to get more than the same number of votes they usually get.”
He explained, “The polling from four years ago, no one bothered to include Scott lee Cohen in most of the polls, so they all showed Brady probably winning. So I don’t know that the reason that we’re talking about the Libertarian this time is because this cycle, unlike last time, they’re actually counting a third party candidate, whereas in the past, last time, they had to ignore the reality.”
Grimm, a former Republican wants to eliminate the minimum wage; eliminate the state income tax; and says, “you have a right to a gun unless you’re in custody and the right to buy a gun so long as you’re more than 18 years old,” also told Chicago Magazine he would, “pardon those in prison for victimless crimes such as marijuana and non-violent gun possession” as well as legalize marijuana.
In a revealing 2011 interview with Bloomberg, Rauner ripped Obama for his anti-business policies.
“Unfortunately, I think President Obama is one of the most anti-business presidents we’ve had in the last 70 years,” he said, adding that “his policies and anti-business rhetoric have created a level of hostility and unpredictability coming out of Washington that’s damaging to our economy.”
Rauner, who recently went after Quinn over the governor’s support of Obamacare prior the president’s visit to the state told the Chicago Tribune, he would not have accepted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
“No, not at all. I would not have accepted expansion of Medicaid,” Rauner told reporters. “It’s been done now and I’m not advocating a rollback. But what I am advocating and always have and always will is we’ve got to restructure Medicaid in Illinois. It is filled with waste and fraud.”
NBC Chicago asked if his comment to Bloomberg makes him a Libertarian when he said: “I believe in limited government, low taxes, personal freedom and personal responsibility–founding principles of the nation, what’s created the greatest economy in the world. And to the degree we emphasize those principles we will thrive; to the degree we don’t, we will not thrive. We will not prosper.”
“I don’t know labels that well, but I probably am,” he responded.