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Whitney trying again

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009

* Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney got about 10 percent of the vote in 2006. He wants another shot

Whitney says now - more than ever - his party is a “viable third choice” for Illinois voters.

WHITNEY: I believe that, if anything, the frustration factor with the Democratic and Republican Party leadership, generally today, is even greater than it was in 2006.

He says the Greens’ platform could attract voters who are fed up with the state’s political establishment.

Any predictions on his percentage next time?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Speaking at Will - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:05 pm:

    I have known Rich for over 10 years. He is honest, and intelligent. I think that without the extreme uphill climb of fighting signature challenges, etc I would guess 15%

  2. - HoosierDaddy - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    Without two repulsive choices for governor again, I would guess about 5 percent.

  3. - taxmemore - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:09 pm:

    It is not safe to assume he will be on the ballot yet. The Anti-Democrat Party goons will be out in full force trying to further prevent ballot choices in Illinois, rest assured. Whitney does have a good chance of having enough sigs with all the right wording etc to make it on the ballot. Good luck.

    Predictions are hard without knowing his opponents. 38% is very possible for Whitney.

  4. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:09 pm:

    Him running would benefit Republicans greatly because it will split their liberal base. I’ll go 20%.

  5. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    Taxmemore - they can’t, the Greens have major party status in Illinois and thus the hurdles to get on the ballot are much lower.

  6. - GOP - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    He will get no more than 5% probably 3. But most of that will be from Hynes or Quinn’s total which will help Dillard win this Blue State that is fed up with Dems!!

  7. - Lou Grant - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:19 pm:

    I predict that the Greens will be talking to themselves once again. That democracy thing and going to the people to try to get your ideas across, it’s so… reactionary. Let’s have a bunch of meetings and invite ourselves. Then we can blame the media when we don’t get anyone’s attention.

  8. - taxmemore - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Segatari, the operable word being “lower”. Its still not guaranteed they will be allowed ballot access and they can not slate in case of emergency either now. But yes, much easier for them not being a “new” party. Keep your eyes on Madigan’s election law hitmen though.

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    Without Blago on the ballot, the left of center protest vote will be nil. Without Blago and Topinka on the ballot, the “none of the above” independent protest vote will be smaller. Both persuasions had an effect on Whitney’s totals last time out, and he will need to give voters a reason to vote “for” instead of “against” this time out. I see 5-7%.

    Segatari, and others…If the Greens do not break 5% this cycle, do they go back to regular “3rd party ballot access” rules? I think that is what happened to the short lived “Solidarity Party” of Adlai Stevenson III fame.

  10. - N'ville - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    Brady 46%
    Quinn 45%
    Whitney 9%

  11. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:40 pm:

    GOP Candidate 47%
    Quinn 45%
    Whitney 8%

  12. - Watching closely - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    I’m not sure what’s in the drinking water out in Naperville. With that lineup Brady gets over 50% easily!

  13. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:42 pm:


    With only one percent between Brady and Quinn will Quinn demand a recount?

  14. - N'ville - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    Deep South:

    Whoever WINS should demand a recount.

  15. - Ok, No - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    “He says the Greens’ platform could attract voters who are fed up with the state’s political establishment.”

    If the Greens can actually attract those voters, I give Whitney about %90. But as Lou Grant says, they need to do a much better job on outreach.

  16. - 815Sox - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    No idea, but at this point I will vote for him. I’m a strong progressive who often votes Democratic but who occasionally votes Green. I voted for Whitney last time.

  17. - Baines 4 Prez - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    I wouold generally agree with Six Degree’s assessment. They got 10% primarily because of the protest vote factor. Topinka & Blago were both turd sandwiches, and it’s always easy for a “new” face (from either or/both the Dems & the Pubs) to talk enough of a game for the alienation factor to be less a factor.

    Even though there won’t be the onerous task of getting on the ballot they had to go for before, they don’t have the numbers or the money to be able to get their message out effectively. There’s probably enough discontent for them to be anywhere from 5-8%.

    Oh, and to your question Six, to my knowledge that is the rule that major parties in Illinois, to retain their status, must pull 5% in a statewide election every 4 years.

  18. - Scooby - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

    I think a lot of his vote came from people who looked at Blagojevich and Topinka and thought “none of the above”. Without knowing who the two nominees will be I suspect that the pool of none of the above voters will be much smaller this time and he won’t break the 5% threashold again to attain major party status.

  19. - COPN - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    Pick any number less than 10%. The R and D candidate this year will likely be more kosher to the “independent reactionary voter.” Also, I’m not so sure Whitney’s 10% total didn’t reflect plenty of distaste with both party establishments. If I remember correctly, he was the only ballot option to Judy “what was she thinking” Topinka and Rod “I want to be a real boy” Blagojevich.

  20. - David Jenkins - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 2:53 pm:


    I couldn’t help but notice that you mentioned Brady, Quinn, and Whitney; but not Adam Andrzejewski, who’s the leading GOP candidate right now. And, frankly, the only reason I have any interest in the race for Governor right now.

    Can I ask why you picked Brady over Andrzejewski?



  21. - jake - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    I think his percentage next time is likely to be lower. Last time both the Democrats and the Republicans fielded exceptionally weak candidates. The Democratic candidate will certainly be stronger, and the Republican candidate will likely be stronger. This is assuming that the Greens continue to cast their net so narrowly. As a political party their problem is that only a very narrow spectrum of people can feel comfortable within that group.

  22. - Brennan - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:10 pm:

    It will exceed 10 percent. He might crack 15.

    The protest vote was not a one time deal. It’s going to take a plethora of successes to get soft Democrats back into the party and soft Republicans back into the party.

    Since 2006, the situation is in Illinois has not really improved. Nationally, both parties look like they’re from the same family squabbling over the same trust fund.

    Independent turnout will be the highest Illinois has ever seen.

  23. - Segatari - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    Taxmemore - Madigan would have a much higher hurdle to climb to prove the Green candidates did not fulfill their much lower requirements. The Greens could turn in the exact same number of petitioners from 2006 and Madigan would have to prove a much higher percentage of it is bogus.

  24. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    If his party can raise enough money to run TV ads showing people going into last night’s All-Star Game (and mentioning how legislators from the other two parties played hooky while Illinois waited for a budget), Whitney and his Green Party could easily increase their total to 15%.

  25. - fed up - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:19 pm:

    The green party platform is pretty good and Whitney is starting to get some name recognition so I would guess 15+%. It would be nice to see a third party become viable in Ill.

  26. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:19 pm:

    WUmpus 95
    Whitney 3
    Franks 2

    He will get 12% if I decide not to Run. He will get a lot of peeved libs.

  27. - ThreeSheets - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    I’m still waiting for Tim Nieukirk to announce he is running again.

  28. - Sinequanon - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:31 pm:

    Few will trust anyone from the Greens to have the ability within the current system to solve the State’s problems. Most will trust the solutions to come from the source of the problem. Twisted as that thinking may be, it will keep the Whitney in single digits and the fight for term limits front and center. It is the members of the GA not the two party system who have failed us.

  29. - doc - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    I would have to expect somethong over 5% (so as to stay established for 4 more years), but less than 10% (unless both main party candidates are poor so as to generate a lot of ‘none of the above’ style votes).

  30. - So. ILL - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:42 pm:


  31. - Shore - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:46 pm:

    As a college republican at an east coast university in a very blue town we used to give a lot of money to the green party in 2000 and 2002 on campus to help them take away democrat votes and discourage dems. I hope this guy runs a well funded campaign and gets his message out.

  32. - PFK - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:49 pm:

    People characterize the 10% Whitney got as a “protest” vote…well fine, but are they implying there is nothing left to protest?

    Remember, the Whitney campaign essentially started in early Sept of 2006, which is when he was cleared to be on the ballot. That is not a lot of time to get the message out around the state…this time around, he’s got as much time as everyone else. The campaign had to fight to get included in polls, so Whitney could be included in debates and in media. This stuff was a “automatic” for Topinka and Blagojevich…and I think this will be easier this time around. Say what you will about Quinn, but he is a decent human being who cares about the state and cares about democracy, and he will not run away from Whitney (and the public) the way Blagojevich did. As for my prediction, at the low end, 15% and at the high end…35%…it really depends on how he connects with voters.

    As for splitting the Quinn vote, I doubt it would be much more substantial than what he’ll take away from the Republican opponent, because essentially all candidates are fighting for moderates, independents and nonvoters, who might vote differently on any given day than they might have the day before.

  33. - Mikey Virden, IL - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:50 pm:

    GOP 42%
    DEM 38%
    Whitney 19%
    Mickey Mouse 1%

  34. - TwoOutOfThreeAintEnough - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:50 pm:

    If there were a state-wide office called “Speaker of the House” he would have a shot as a third-party candidate. I don’t think Quin is suffering the level of disgust Blago did in 2006, and the GOP will probably select someone better than Topinka. I guess 5% at the most.

  35. - state employee - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    Yay!!!!!He’s got my vote and possible help campaigning, definitely against this inept and inhumane status quo!!!!!

  36. - freddy - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:01 pm:

    I am a Democrat and I voted for him last time because I could not bring myself to vote for Blago or Topinka. This time, I will have no problem voting for Quinn, Hynes or Kennedy…. He will be lucky to get 5%.

  37. - SilverBack - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:02 pm:

    I have not missed voting for over 42 years however I was thinking about not voting in the next election. I am not sure I could (not vote) but my disgust for both parties is strong. Perhaps the Green Party will allow me to vote and not be sick to my stomach.

  38. - John Doe - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:03 pm:

    He won’t wind up with more than 5% of the vote at most. He will pick up a few independent voters at the expense of Quinn. I doubt if many Republicans will “go Green” unless they wind up with an unpalatable GOP candidate (which won’t happen).

  39. - state employee - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:09 pm:

    Mr. Madigan makes me miss Blago (at least Blago was a comic and amusing character) and I am disgusted beyond belief with the Democratic party, which I used to be a part of.

  40. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:10 pm:

    “Are you more or less disgusted than four years ago?” Whitney wins with 70% of the vote.

  41. - So. ILL - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:19 pm:

    “The GOP will probably select someone better than Topinka”

    Well they are off to a great start with what, 5, 6 candidates already declared and ready to bloody each other up and flush their campaign cash down the toilet. I will be surprised even with all the Democrat corruption, blunders, and ineptitude at running state government if a GOP candidate gets within 7 points in the General.

    Whitney still gets 4%.

  42. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:33 pm:

    I have to agree that a great deal of resources that could have been used for outreach were wasted on fighting the Chicago machine in order to get onto the ballot in 2006; and as an established party, the party is virtually guaranteed to be able to get someone onto the ballot without such an effort this time around, so I think we’ll see more outreach and a bigger campaign. I believe that will translate into a larger turnout.

    In the last election cycle, the polls were showing that the more people became familiar with Whitney, the more they liked him, and just the opposite for Blagojevich and Topinka. The problem was that Whitney couldn’t start until late in the campaign season (The Democrats and Republicans designed the state election law that way.) The trend showed that as time progressed, Whitney’s numbers were rising and BOTH Blagojevich and Topinka’s were falling. Whitney just ran out of time, which should not be a problem this time.

    I do NOT, however, believe that media treatment will automatically be fair and equal for Whitney now that the Green Party is established. He will still have to fight to get included in debates and covered in stories. There will be a good deal of resources spent there that the Democrats and Republicans don’t need to worry about.

    Regarding Madigan’s “election law hitmen” these types of goons have possibly done the Green Party one of the biggest favors that they could have–they have turned virtually every rank and file Green into an election law expert. Greens are familiar with just about every procedural tactic, and how to avoid it, because they’ve seen it all done. I think the Democratic Party will come to regret those lessons taught should any Green candidates decide to reciprocate; and trust me, there is an ongoing debate if they should do exactly that in a very systematic fashion.

    Regarding established status, the race for Governor is critical because a party that gets 5% in that race becomes established statewide AND within every political subdivision therein. Any other statewide office just establishes you statewide but NOT within any subdivisions. The flip side of this coin is that even if the Green Party candidate for Governor does not get 5% (which I think is unlikely) the party still remains established in every subdivision in which they have subsequently run a candidate and gotten more than 5%. Let’s not forget that the party ran a record number of candidates in Illinois during the last election cycle.

    As far as from who Whitney will draw votes. I don’t believe it will really be from either Democrats or Republicans in significant numbers–it will be from new voters, who will not otherwise vote, who aren’t interested or involved in politics, and whom will become energized specifically by the Whitney campaign.

    Last point: It’s not like the Greens don’t have demonstrated experience working in governing coalitions to solve state problems. Greens have been in power in several countries other than the United States, and all the party need do is point to those examples to prove their point.

  43. - publius - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 4:40 pm:

    hynes 47%

    dillard 45%

    whitney 7

  44. - Stateworker - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 5:04 pm:

    Rich… ANY update on paychecks to non-union state workers? We’re hearing nothing but “come to work tomorrow.”

  45. - fromthelandoplenty - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 5:09 pm:

    Can’t wait to vote for Rich again!!
    With Greens having established party status last time, they won’t have to battle the typical dirty tricks thet fought through in ‘06!
    GO RICH CO!!!!

  46. - Yellow Dog - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 5:19 pm:

    I’ve got Whitney at 15 - 18%, depending on the match-up. 1) There is a strong anti-incumbent wind out there; 2) Whitney WILL get an earlier start this time, and has built a network that tells me 10% is his base; 3) Topinka got just shy of 40% last time, and despite the problems Democrats have, I don’t think any Republican can break 42%.

    Hynes - 45
    Brady - 38
    Whitney - 17

    Hynes - 45
    Dillard - 40
    Whitney - 15

    Quinn - 42
    Brady - 40
    Whitney - 18

    Quinn - 42
    Dillard - 42
    Whitney - 16

  47. - David Jenkins - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 5:54 pm:

    N’ville and Publius,

    You mentioned Brady and Dillard as your picks to make it to the General Election. Can I ask why? I’m a huge supporter of Adam Andrzejewski, so I’d like to know why he didn’t make your lists? Is it because he’s not currently a Senator or House member? I really don’t think that those with Springfield experience are the best choice in this election, but that’s just me. I think an outside candidate is necessary to successfully address the corruption in Illinois.

  48. - scoot - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 6:36 pm:

    Less than 5%…more like 3%

    He already had his 5 minutes of fame (if you’d call it that in 06′).

  49. - bruiser - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 9:42 pm:

    None of you are even close to being correct! Whitney is going to WIN the governor’s race. He’ll probably get 80-85% of the vote!!
    No one can stop this political juggernaut!
    Why do you think Lisa Madigan decided to stay put as attorney general?

  50. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    6 percent. I voted for him last time, but no Blago this time.

  51. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 10:38 pm:

    If the Cubs can keep playing baseball, then I guess Whitney can keep running for governor.

    This could be their year!

    – MrJM

  52. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 15, 09 @ 11:40 pm:

    I think this one’s going to be very odd. Many Voters will have their fill of bouncing back and forth between “dull” and “brutal” by the time the big day rolls around.

    So…if they can get a bit more spark into Whitney this time around, keep the word and color Green out in front of some fairly regularly, he’ll beat his last run by a few points.

  53. - David Jenkins - Thursday, Jul 16, 09 @ 8:32 am:

    Dear Bruiser,

    Lisa Madigan decided to “stay put” as Attorney General because Joe Birkett had a straight shot at the job unopposed.

    What do you think would happen to Daddy Madigan if we had an honest AG in Illinois who fought back against corruption?



  54. - colt 45 - Thursday, Jul 16, 09 @ 8:37 am:


  55. - Lou Grant - Thursday, Jul 16, 09 @ 9:57 am:

    So many targets, so little time… Shore, I would submit that in the State of Illinois and especially in the City of Chicago, the GOP is a marginal party. Instead of working to grow your message, the tactics of the party have worked to destroy it. I think Democrats owe people like you a big THANK YOU.

    Squideshi, I follow the Greens in Europe. The US Green Party is NOT the Green Party of Germany, Italy or Britain. I do not believe that the relative success of the party in a parliamentary system has any relevance in a society with an election system of plurality winners such as the US.

    Further, political parties in Europe have a long history of working with other parties in governance. The US Greens’ are, in general, made up of true believers who will not tolerate people who are different, and will not tolerate members who propose working with others. It is this intolerance of others, as much as anything, that dooms the US Greens.

    This is an uncomfortable truth: If you want to change the system in this society you must join it. The Greens would be better advised to take over the struggling GOP than to continue this battle with windmills.

  56. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 16, 09 @ 10:01 am:

    –As a college republican at an east coast university in a very blue town we used to give a lot of money to the green party in 2000 and 2002 on campus to help them take away democrat votes and discourage dems–

    Yeah, the East Coast is just crawling with GOP officeholders these days.

  57. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 16, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    @Lou Grant: I think a lot of proportional representation/electoral reform opponents like to purposefully confuse people by claiming that we’ll have to change to the parliamentary system. See, we here in the U.S. CAN have some form of proportional representation without changing to the parliamentary system. We can still keep the presidential system and have some form of proportional representation (ex: Mexico). We can still have the three branches of government and separation of powers. The system of government (how the government is structured) is not the same as the voting system (how you elect the politicians)!

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