Here’s why women voters are so important in the Illinois governor’s race

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With less than two weeks to go before election day, the candidates in the tight race for Illinois governor are going after the women's vote.

A Chicago Tribune poll suggests women could be the tipping point.

Gloria Steinem, the founder of the women's liberation movement of the late 60's and early 70's, is a social and political activist who still resonates with women.

"It's always very clear that Governor Quinn is the most pro-woman, pro-child governor in the country," Steinem said.

She's in Chicago Friday because Gov. Pat Quinn needs to get more women behind him if he's going to win this election, especially white suburban women who are coming out in support of Republican candidate Bruce Rauner.

"I don't know. I'm not a politician and don't know much about polls. I do know a lot about Bruce and what he's doing and trying to accomplish is resonating with voters, especially women," Bruce's wife Diana told WGN.

In the Tribune poll, 57 percent of white suburban women, traditionally socially moderate and fiscally conservative, say they will vote for Rauner. Thirty-five percent say they'll vote for Quinn.

Rauner's wife, Diana, actually sees herself as a feminist.

"I think Gloria Steinem would be thrilled to know that we have a pro-choice Republican candidate because Gloria Steinem believes, as I do, that women's reproductive rights is a bipartisan issue that doesn't have to be an issue in this election and that's a great thing for women."

"I realize that Rauner presents himself, to some extent, as pro-choice, but as long as he puts with it reasonable restrictions, we know what he's really saying. And we have only to look at where his money, his effort has gone to know that when some people pretend to be on your side, you know you're winning," Steinem said.

Paul Green, political science professor at Roosevelt University, says the reason women are leaning towards Rauner is simple.

"The liberation of his wife, not seen during the primary, has become a very effective spokesperson for her husband," he said.

Green says Diana Rauner has been able to soften her husband's image to show female voters he's not an ogre.

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4 comments

  • silent_screamer

    Bruce Rauner isn’t running his campaign on social issues, He’s looking at the last 10 years of financial ruin in Illinois. Rauner is talking jobs , loss of sales tax., small business closing ,corporations leaving , and fiscal budget. If you want to vote with your ovaries instead of your brain than listen to Ms. Steinem. Be prepared to keep the status quo
    going .

  • Rachel

    POLLS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING AND IS NEVER USEFUL SO I BEG TO EVERY NEWSPAPER IN CHICAGO AND ILLINOIS TO STOP WITH THE POLLS. ITS EMBARRASSING THAT MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT POLLS HAVE SOME TRUTH TO THEM. BY THE END OF THE ELECTION WE WILL FIND THE REAL RESULTS.