"The dynamic of the race has completely changed," said Senator Kirk Dillard.
Dillard and Senator Bill Brady, as well as State Treasurer Dan Rutherford have seen their Republican primary campaigns for governor re-energized because of frontrunner Rauner's conflicting statements on the minimum wage.
"They got a tape of him saying one thing, one place and a tape of him at another place saying something different. I don't do that," Rutherford said.
"I think we're starting to see what Bruce Rauner's about and people don't like what they're hearing," said Brady.
Brady, Dillard and Rutherford attended the Small Business Advocacy Council Forum in Oakbrook. Rauner, who a recent poll indicated was leading the four-candidate race, opted to continue his downstate bus tour.
"He's unelectable in the fall as our nominee and he could take much of the republican party down with him," Dillard said.
In different video and audio recordings released since Monday Rauner opposes or supports raising the minimum wage and during an appearance last month called for Illinois' $8.25 hourly rate to be lowered.
"I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage," Rauner said.
Wealthy businessman Rauner already has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, much of it his own money, on television ads.
Dillard, who has had difficulty so far raising cash, says Rauner's new trouble has helped.
"(Thursday), I had two major business people who are prominent in Chicago call and say, 'Alright, we're on board your campaign. We're convinced Bruce Rauner's not electable.' One wrote me a large check and one will do significant fundraising for me," said Dillard.
Senator Brady also expects his fundraising to improve after the events of this week and Treasurer Rutherford says he has many smaller, individual contributions than any candidate and says money alone will not be enough for Rauner to win the nomination.