One Political Professor Says Don’t Read Too Much Into the High Price Tag of Illinois’ Race for Governor

ILLINOIS (IRN) — One political professor says don’t read too much into the high price tag of Illinois’ race for governor.

Candidates vying to be the state’s next governor could end up spending $300 million by Nov. 6.

But don’t look too much into the spending tea leaves, said professor John Jackson with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Jackson said there’s likely not a lasting lesson from the millions that incumbent Bruce Rauner and challenger J.B. Pritzker are spending on this race.

“I don’t think you can generalize forward from this,” Jackson said. “Because the next rich guy who wants to run for president or wants to run for governor is going to think he’s different. He’s always been different. He’s always been successful.”

Jackson said there’s no way to tell how successful the two candidates are with their TV commercial heavy strategy.

As of the first of the month, Pritzker donated $146 million to his own campaign. Rauner has kicked-in $50 million of his own money in this race for governor.

“I think there are 12 multi-millionaire or billionaire governors in the U.S.,” Jackson said. “[The next candidate] will adopt that model as their model. So I doubt you can generalize forward.”

Jackson and the Simon Institute’s latest poll showed Pritzker with a 22-point lead over Rauner. The poll was conducted in the last week of September, which was 40 days from Election Day. It was before a report from a Cook County watchdog that shed more light on Pritzker’s questionable property tax savings. The report found that Pritzker and his wife “schemed to defraud” taxing authorities when they had the toilets removed from a Gold Coast mansion just days before an inspection in a move that saved them more than $330,000 in property taxes. After details of the leaked report were published, Pritzker said he would return the money amid questions about the legality of the tax dodge.