Wealthy GOP businessman and first-time candidate Bruce Rauner is projected to defeat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the Illinois governor’s race on Tuesday, one of the more surprising outcomes of the night.
Republicans are expected to reclaim the governor's office for the first time in more than a decade.
Rauner has poured $26 million of his fortune into the race, criticizing the incumbent Quinn as a "failure." Quinn has pushed to raise the minimum wage while blasting Rauner as an out-of-touch "billionaire."
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell said on Tuesday night that Quinn's defeat is a referendum on President Barack Obama, who campaigned for Quinn in his home state of Illinois.
"There’s no way you can’t call it a blow to President Obama," she said.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews called the upset "unbelievable."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.