Governor debates Round 2: Are voters tired of sniping?
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner meet for their second televised debate in Chicago tonight.
If last week's first round was an indicator, each candidate could work during the 6 p.m. debate on CBS 2 to persuade voters the other would be a nightmare governor.
Paired with a slew of negative ads from both sides, attacks in the debate will add to an already harsh campaign that could be turning voters off altogether.
A group of suburban residents interviewed at the Palatine Metra stop Monday didn't have kind words for either man.
"I understand you have to advertise your campaign, but the negative ads are just on so much," said Jacque Donahue of Palatine. "With all of this negative stuff, I don't like anyone anymore. It just makes me not want to vote."
Quinn has tried to highlight bankruptcies and lawsuits among the companies Rauner has invested in to try to sully the Winnetka Republican's reputation as a successful businessman. Rauner has pointed to allegations of political hiring under Quinn to try to tie the Democrat to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Rauner says Quinn is bad for the economy because he wants to raise taxes. Quinn says Rauner has no budget plan and floats numbers that don't add up.
Those themes and more are ripe for debate Tuesday, the first one in the Chicago area. The two candidates will meet again Monday on ABC 7.
But will voters care? Pascal Colletier of Inverness says he might catch one if he's flipping channels.
"It's just a bunch of name calling," Colletier said. "They can never play a straight game, but I guess you have to fight fire with fire."
"I think the ads are just terrible. It makes you not trust either party," said Katie Blair of Hoffman Estates. "They are just destroying each other. Why don't they say what they will do instead of attacking the other person?"
How each candidate fares in the suburbs is critical to their eventual chances as voters here have a history of independent choices. And the degree to which Chicagoans turn out for their favored candidate could make or break a campaign, too.
The first debate on public television focused on taxes, leadership and economic issues. More of the same could come up tonight, but Quinn and Rauner differ on other issues, too, that could be ripe for argument.