The headliner at Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair was candidate for governor Bruce Rauner, joined by running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti, candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Oberweis and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. They greeted supporters at the rally Thursday with a clear message: vote.
Earlier Thursday, Rauner cautioned GOP leaders to not be deceived by polling that shows him with a double-digit lead over incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn. He noted that the Republicans missed retaking the governorship in 2010 by a margin that amounted to roughly three votes per precinct statewide.
"If voters come out and vote, we're going to win by a big margin," Rauner told the crowd at the state fair. "If voters stay home, the machine will run the process."
Check out video of the rally, including speeches by Rauner, Sanguinetti, Oberweis and Kirk at Reboot Illinois
Even though most polls have shown Rauner has more support among voters now, continuing improvement among Illinois' unemployment numbers can only mean good news for Quinn as the election nears. The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for a fifth consecutive month to 6.8 percent from 7.1 in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois Department of Employment Security. One year ago, the state's unemployment rate was 9.2 percent, marking the largest over-the-year decline in 30 years.