By John Dodge

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — For months, the polls have predicted a tight race, and political pundits were preparing for a very long night before Illinois would learn who will be its next governor.

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Nate Silver, who rose to prominence with his political statistical analysis at the New York Times, is favoring the race for Pat Quinn, despite his miserable approval rating and an aggressive (and expensive) campaign by Bruce Rauner.

Silver, writing for his FiveThirtyEight blog, is giving Quinn a 66 percent probability of victory. Although that actual margin of victory is just over 1 percent.

Earlier in the year, Silver wrote, Quinn was in grave danger of losing. However, the strength of the Democratic machine and tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash closed the gap.

“This year, Quinn’s approval rating is again between 35 percent and 40 percent. And again, he looks like he may win,” Silver wrote.

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“His campaign has somewhat successfully painted Rauner as an out-of-touch millionaire.

“The fight between an incumbent people don’t approve of and a challenger with his own flaws has resulted in a close race, but one in which Quinn is a favorite. The FiveThirtyEight model gives him a 66 percent chance of winning.”

That said, the race is one of the closest in the country, based on Silver’s analysis.

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