CHRONICLE: Would Rauner change anything from first term? “No.”

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Governor Bruce Rauner is apparently very satisfied with his performance in his first term in office, according to recent remarks. In an interview with The State Journal-Register, Rauner was asked whether he would do anything from his first term differently.

After a pause, Rauner replied, “Hmm no.”

Rauner apparently, does not regret pushing the state into a more than two-year budget impasse, that cost schools, social services, and other state entities enormously. Rauner apparently, does not regret growing the state’s backlog of unpaid bills to a record $16 billion, from $6 billion. Rauner apparently, does not regret the $1 billion in interest penalties due to late bill payment during the impasse and the $1 billion in school funding that was not paid to schools.

Rauner’s policies have led U.S. News World and Report to label Illinois worst in fiscal stability, to the Chicago Tribune saying he “failed miserably on jobs,” and even the conservative National Review to write, “This much is clear: Illinois hardly could do worse” under Rauner.

Voters do not seem to agree with Rauner’s feelings about his performance, according to his favorability ratings in a recent poll. His favorability has sunk to an epic low of just 26%, while 63% have an unfavorable view. Meanwhile President Donald Trump has a favorability of 37% of voters statewide, while 58% rated him unfavorably.

Among just Republican voters, the poll found that just 49% view Rauner favorably, while President Trump’s scores 73% favorable among those voters. Rauner will face voters again in just two weeks in the Republican primary, where he faces a challenge from State Rep. Jeanne Ives.

Businessmen J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, and Madison County schools superintendent Bob Daiber are among the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for governor.

The Primary Elections for Illinois governor will be held March 20, 2018, while the General Election will be held November 6, 2018.

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