Rauner / Pritzker to go head-to-head

Rauner / Pritzker to go head-to-head

Rauner / Pritzker to go head-to-head

There are fewer than two months left before Election Day and Democratic gubernatorial contender JB Pritzker continues to pummel Governor Bruce Rauner in the polls.

The Illinois Broadcasters Association shows Pritzker leading by 17 points.

Next week, the two take part in a highly-anticipated, first televised debate. It could be a pivotal moment in the election, especially for Rauner.

Polls continue showing him trailing by double digits so he'll need to come ready to defend his record.

Pritzker is expected to be in full attack mode. At a speech in Chicago, he continued his "Rauner failed" theme, railing against the governor and blaming him for the budget crisis which blocked access to mental health resources.

Thursday, Rauner took a new tone, apologizing for the chaos caused under his watch. He blamed his "courage to do the right thing" and House Speaker Michael Madignan. But, will that defense work on the debate stage?

Friday, both were invited to a public forum with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. Rauner showed up; Pritzker skipped out. Rauner says the move shows a lack of integrity.

At the meeting, he warned voters of Pritzker's progressive income tax. So far, Pritzker's been unable to explain, in detail, how his progressive income tax proposal would work, so it's expected Rauner will push that issue at the debate.

Attacks could heat up in the coming week. A lot is at stake as Election Day approaches. Early voting kicks off at the end of the month in some areas.

Polls also show Rauner's approval numbers at 23%; Pritzker's at 32%. Still, voters are eager to cast ballots.

90% of those surveyed say they will likely vote in this election. The poll was done this week. 45% of those surveyed registered as Democratic; only one-third live downstate. The debate is Thursday. 

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