How much influence did Liz Gorman & suburbs have in Rauner victory?

How much influence did Liz Gorman & suburbs have in Rauner victory? 3.52/5 (70.33%) 91 votes

Bruce Rauner got his start and won the Republican Primary in March as a result of forming an alliance with Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman at the beginning of 2014. Gorman’s endorsement of Rauner over Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard secured Rauner’s GOP sweep. Voter turnout in Gorman’s district and the Cook County suburbs paved the way for Rauner’s victory in the General election

By Ray Hanania

Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison in March 2014

Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison in March 2014

It’s worth analyzing because the truth is that Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman was instrumental in not only helping Rauner to win the March 2014 Republican Primary, but she helped give Rauner the voter cushion in suburban Cook County that prevented Gov. Pat Quinn from winning re-election.

Gorman’s 17th Cook County District consists of 10 of suburban Cook County’s 30 Townships. In analyzing the Township vote totals, it is clear that Quinn did the best in Townships with large African American populations. That fit neatly into Rauner’s campaign strategy which focused primarily on courting the African American vote and the Union votes.

Normally, that strategy works well for Illinois Democrats who can win election by taking only four of the state’s 102 counties, including Cook County. But this election, Rauner won 100 of the 101 counties leaving Quinn to win only one, Cook County, by a far lower vote total than he won four years before.

It didn’t work this election mainly because Rauner had the backing of one of suburban Cook County’s most popular elected officials, Liz Gorman, and because Quinn took the suburban vote for granted.

After Gorman endorsed Bruce Rauner in early 2014, leading Rauner to win the primary and defeating Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, Rauner was able to focus a significant part of his campaign on wooing voters in Gorman’s 17th District which runs through the heart of suburban Cook County like a bowling alley from Wheeling Township in the north to Orland Township in the south.

An analysis of unofficial votes cast in the Nov 4, 2014 General Election shows that Rauner won nine of the 10 townships in Gorman’s 17th County District.

That’s significant. When you compare Quinn’s voter support to the support given to fellow Democrat Senator Dick Durbin and other statewide Democrats, you can see that Quinn won 50,000 fewer votes in suburban Cook County than Senator Dick Durbin, who was in a tight race against Republican Jim Oberweis.

In comparison, Rauner on 70,000 more votes than Oberweis. That’s a spread of 120,000 votes that if Democrats could have shifted would have given Quinn the election. In fact, Quinn did worse than several of the state’s Democratic candidates.

Rauner won 142,901 votes in Suburban Cook County just from Gorman’s district, compared to 114,610, a difference of 28,291 votes. That’s just from one-third of suburban Cook County. And it was enough to keep Quinn’s lead down. Quinn only beat Brady in 2010 by 32,000 total votes.

Here’s an overview of the vote totals in the nine Townships Rauner won and the one Township Rauner lost in Gorman’s District:

Elk Grove Township:  
Quinn 39.53 percent, 8,466 votes;
Rauner 58.5 percent, 12,530 votes.

Lemont Township:
Quinn 28.21 percent 2,000 votes;
Rauner 69.65 percent, 4,938 votes.

Lyden Township:  
Quinn 47.16 percent, 7,491 votes;
Rauner 50.11 percent, 7,959 votes.

Lyons Township:
Quinn, 41.86 percent, 12,258 votes;
Rauner 56,14 percent, 16, 439 votes.

Maine Township:   
Quinn 42.21 percent, 14,757 votes;
Rauner 55.77 percent, 19,497 votes.

Northfield Township:   
Quinn 37.16 percent, 10,744 votes;
Rauner 61.87 percent, 17,899 votes.

Orland Township:  
Quinn 35.13 percent, 10,681 votes;
Rauner 63.08 percent, 19,179 votes.

Palos Township:
Quinn 37.93 percent, 5, 798 votes;
Rauner 59.96 percent, 9,165 votes.

* Proviso Township:
Quinn 70.1 percent, 26,658 votes;
Rauner 28.04 percent, 10,664 votes.

Wheeling Township:   
Quinn 38.31 percent, 15,757 votes;
Rauner 59.89 percent, 24,631 votes.

Rauner also bested Brady in his turnout in the collar counties. In Lake County, Rauner received 58 percent of the vote compared to only 50 percent for Brady in 2010. In DuPage County, Rauner received 60 percent of the vote compared to Brady’s 54 percent. In McHenry County, Rauner got 66 percent of the vote while Brady only received 57 percent. And, in Kane County, Rauner received 57 percent of the vote compared to Brady’s 54 percent.

Click here to view a PDF of the 17th District Map

Cook County unofficial Election Results

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and is a columnist with the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News and The Regional News. He is the managing editor of Illinois News Network

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. He hosted a live weekend Radio Show on WLS AM radio from 1980 through 1991, and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM and shows on WSBC AM in Chicago and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate and his column is feature every Sunday in the Saudi Gazette in Saudi Arabia. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His Chicagoland political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News on several Chicagoland blogs including the and

Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is Email him at: [email protected].