"The polling before the 2014 Republican Primary for Governor was pretty consistent. All the polls had Bruce Rauner with a comfortable double-digit lead. The unions made a strong late push for Dillard, but their efforts did not gain traction with Republican voters," a press release said.
A significant 65,000 Democrat crossover vote made an impact by narrowing Rauner's victory to only 4%, Ogden & Fry said in an election review analysis.
"The expected turnout of 750,000 voters jumped to a noticeably higher 815,000. If the 65,000 crossover votes are removed from Dillard, the actual Republican turnout was pretty close to the pre-election polls," they said.
In general, crossover voting is difficult to implement, but with no contested statewide or most local offices, and union member's pensions at stake, significant crossover voting took place Tuesday. The single-most motivating factor for most voters is generally personal financial impact.
"The frenetic energy at the top of the ticket portends a nasty and bitter General Election between Rauner and Quinn," Ogden & Fry says. "Whether the pension reform is deemed constitutional or not; the unions have demonstrated they are willing to do what it takes to save their pensions. Illinois politics is about to see an epic and well-funded battle between labor and business."