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Gallup has Illinois solidly “blue”

Monday, Aug 3, 2009

* The numbers just naturally work against the GOP in Illinois. Gallup has this state near the top of “Blue” states…

So, despite all that happened this year with the wild-eyed moron Rod Blagojevich, the new governor’s tax hike plan, the failed spring session, the fight over ethics reform and everything else you can think of, this is, according to Gallup, a solid 56-30 Democratic state.

I’d like to see the monthly trend lines on those polls (5,383 interviews), but the end result can’t be heartening for the Republicans.

* So, Paul Merrion is rightfully bearish on the GOP’s gubernatorial chances…

A yearlong effort by big Illinois GOP donors to find and back a strong pro-business candidate for governor has failed, with no consensus in sight for the party’s first wide-open gubernatorial primary in decades.

With business support split among the half-dozen Republicans in the race, the keepers of the party’s purse strings are sitting tight. In fact, party leaders continue to look for candidates who would be widely acceptable to the business community, and two high-level Illinois executives are still pondering a jump into the race, says Chicago attorney Ty Fahner, who, as chairman of the GOP’s finance committee, has been leading efforts to vet potential candidates. […]

By failing to back a single candidate, the GOP risks a messy, expensive primary at best. At worst, some fear a fractured primary could result in a victory for the party’s conservative wing, producing a candidate with an uphill battle to win a Democratic-leaning state such as Illinois.

It’s the same refrain every year with the GOP.

* Speaking of that race, Dan Proft takes a big whack at fellow gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kirk Dillard…


* And Greg Hinz is bullish on the Republicans’ US Senate prospects…

On the Republican side, the big news is that GOP leaders were able to snag what most insiders consider to be the only horse who could carry the party to victory. That’s North Shore Congressman Mark Kirk, who mixes moderation on hot-button social issues with fiscal conservatism and a hawkish streak on military and foreign affairs.

Now, Mr. Kirk will have some primary opposition. Several little-known conservatives are preparing to challenge him, and almost every one of them is making a huge deal out of the fact that Mr. Kirk was one of only eight GOP House members to vote in favor of President Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade carbon tax.

But you don’t get to Congress, much less the Senate, without being able to emphasize and de-emphasize at the right time. So ever since that vote, Mr. Kirk has been winking and nodding about how he really likes drill-baby-drill and nuclear power, America’s security depends on energy independence and the Senate surely will amend what the House sent it. And when November rolls around, most of that dance will have been long forgotten because being pro-environment is a good general election position in Illinois.

More important, the GOP high-rollers have made their selection: Mr. Kirk. Snatching away Mr. Obama’s old Senate seat would put a smile even on Newt Gingrich’s face. And Democrats know that, too, which is why I’ve started to receive a steady stream of Democratic e-mails knocking Mr. Kirk a full 16 months before the election.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - Red Ranger - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:45 am:

    HI, VT, and MA have all elected GOP Govs in the recent past. To quote the great Jim Carey from Dumb and Dumber…”So you’re sayin’ theres a chance!”


  2. - SangamoGOP - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:49 am:

    Having the “business community” back a GOP candidate in IL is like having the “conservatives” in IL back a GOP candidate. The candidates fall over themselves to get the nod, the groups blather on and on about how they can make a candidate successful and in the end neither group has put a statewide official over the top. Ever.

    Don’t give me Peter Fitzgerald from the conservatives. He ran against a terrible Senator and worse campaigner. And, don’t give me Jim Edgar or Thompson or Ryan. The business guys were there because they were already going to win.

    Ty Fahner and the rest of the star chamber GOP finance committee will sit on their hands when it looks like the D candidate is going to win to ensure that they keep getting their slice of the pie. It would be best if all of the GOP Guv candidates turned their backs on these blowhards; raised their own money; built a true grassroots organization around 21st Cent. technology; and didn’t put up with the whining phone calls from Fahner and the rest.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:50 am:

    The Illinois GOP is a coalition that refuses to coalesce. There are plenty of reasons why the Dems should not get a pass — the GOP just won’t come together on a top few and run hard to win on them.


  4. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:50 am:

    Political reporters are usually bullish on competitive elections.

    Kirk is good at schmoozing insiders like Hinz.

    Let’s see how Kirk does when he takes questions from regular citizens (Kirk was a lying jerk to me) and reporters who aren’t so much part of the establishment.


  5. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:51 am:

    Ranger, all those states have elected GOP governors, not GOP Senators.


  6. - Segatari - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 8:54 am:

    Ahem…CHICAGO is solid blue…downstate is mostly red. CHICAGO really needs to become a seperate state.


  7. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:01 am:

    === end result can’t be heartening for the Republicans. ===

    Ultimatly, in my oppinion, this stae has a large moderate base. I consider this group to be the ones who are most lielly to vote for a canidate then for a party. They also have the cross overs, i.e. moderate dems and republicans are close enough together that party affiliaition is a selected identity more then a definition that fits there positions.

    This next election is ripe for a fiscal conservative who is willing to provide services to the social structure. The GOP would rather lose then select the lesser of two evils in its canidates. This philosophy will continue to be its doom. The GOP could win this election; butonly if the hard core memebrs reognize that they are going tohave to go with canidates they do not like, because ultimatly haveing a repub in office is betetr for them then a dem.

    Until they learn that the world is not black and white, and get behind a few grey decisions/canidates, they will continue to be the also ran party. That conservative agenda does not get any closer pushing the fanatsy a strong right repub will win in illinois if they just tap their ruby slippers fast enough.


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:05 am:

    Segatori, you’re an idiot. We all live in one state. That ain’t gonna change, and I despise that stupid, low-brow debate you’re trying to spark again.

    No more.


  9. - Rob_N - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:15 am:

    Rich says, “I’d like to see the monthly trend lines on those polls (5,383 interviews), but the end result can’t be heartening for the Republicans.”

    Hawaii is “more” blue according to that list, and they have a GOP governor.

    And, apparently, magic rainbows instead of birth certificates (but that’s another story). ;)

    Has anyone else had the sense for weeks now that Proft is only in this to whine about Dillard?


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:16 am:

    Chicago has been a Democratic city since Hoover.
    Cook County has been a Democratic county since Hoover. Illinois has been a Democratic state since the northern suburban counties of Illinois went moderate, tipping the state towards the biggest voter block, Chicagoland.

    The rest of the state is normal. With 11 of the 12 million Illinoians living north of I-80 and east of I-39, Illinois is a liberal Democrat state.

    That isn’t going to change.


  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    ===Chicago has been a Democratic city since Hoover.===

    Since after Hoover. Bill Thompson was a solid R.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:36 am:

    –The rest of the state is normal.–

    From simple minds…


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:45 am:

    FDR was president for so long, I deliberately chose Hoover so that the timeline would be between 1928-1932 instead of between 1932-1945.


  14. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 9:57 am:

    With 11 of the 12 million Illinoians living north of I-80 and east of I-39, Illinois is a liberal Democrat state.

    One, it’s more like 9 million living north of I-80 and east of I-39, going by 2008 Census county estimates, even if you throw all counties touched by I-80 and I-39 as “in”, which they aren’t. Second, you can’t assume all of NE IL is solid D, just like you can’t assume all downstate is solid R (Madison/St. Clair counties and the college towns).


  15. - John Ruberry - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 10:12 am:

    I’d like to see poll numbers from July, 2009.


  16. - DemLifer - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    The best thing Mark Kirk may have going for him in the general election is Alexi Giannoulias. Kirk will outshine Giannoulias when it comes to the issues and our voters usually get that. Besides, the treasurer has his baggage and the voters are tiring of questionable backgrounds from both parties.

    Julie Hamos, on the other hand, can stifle Kirk on the issues and gives the Democrats the best chance to retain the seat. Come on Julie, pack your carpetbag, leave the Tenth District to its citizens and serve your state. Otherwise, the Democrats may have to kiss that 60 seat majority good bye.


  17. - Shore - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 10:31 am:

    1. Good pull on gallup. Andy McKenna, you’re fired.
    2. Kirk’s district voted for obama 61-38, which means Kirk will face same situation he faced in district where his messages and vision worked, although Alexi’s campaign will probably be more comptenant than dan’s was.
    3. Small time conservatives hitting Kirk isn’t a bad thing, it can make him look moderate.
    4. What does it say about how strong that dem support is that true democrats like jan schakowsky are too afraid to take on kirk?
    5. Crain’s is very pro-Kirk, he’s their ideal politician.


  18. - TTL, III - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 10:37 am:

    DemLifer - You think Julie Hamos beats Giannoulias in a primary?? Have you ever seen Hamos work a room? Or, more appropriately, not work a room? Or give a speech?

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all morning. Thank you.


  19. - Yellow Dog - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 11:24 am:

    === Several little-known conservatives are preparing to challenge him, and almost every one of them is making a huge deal out of the fact that Mr. Kirk was one of only eight GOP House members to vote in favor of President Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade carbon tax. ===

    Expect them to make much more of the fact that Kirk has been endorsed in the past by The Sierra Club and the National Abortion Rights Action League, and supports tougher gun control laws.


  20. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Second, you can’t assume all of NE IL is solid D, just like you can’t assume all downstate is solid R (Madison/St. Clair counties and the college towns).

    I repeat - Illinois has been a Democratic state since the northern suburban counties of Illinois went moderate, tipping the state towards the biggest voter block, Chicagoland.

    I didn’t say anything about NE Illinois being politically solid either way. With the majority of voters in NE Illinois, and the suburbs no longer voting majority conservative, NE Illinois, along with it’s majority, is making Illinois trend Democrat and liberal. See? Nothing about NE Illinois being solid Democrat. Didn’t write that, did I?


  21. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    VM,

    You didn’t explicity state it, but you inferred it. However, IMHO the northern/NW burbs have been “moderate” for a long time (think John Porter, Mark Kirk, etc.) when the ILGOP was in a more successful mode, it’s just that D moderates have made inroads with these same voters, and they are not 100% political polar opposites of the people they replaced.

    I don’t think we are that much in disagreement here, except that there are more “downstate” voters than you gave credit for in your original post.


  22. - Dan Can't - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    Cicero Dan has obviously undertaken conservatorship of the Blagojevich playbook - slash, burn, ridicule. Memo to Dan - we are tired of Blagojevich methods.


  23. - Shore - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    The map is pretty clear, the gop establishment from moderates like lahood that change teams, and conservatives like hastert that betrayed the party have got to go. It sickens me that young ethan with only a dad secured gig in the white house and bereft of any ideas is running for congress. If I was a republican in that area I’d tell him to run for state rep, show me that he’s not going to be a big spender like his dad or defender of mark foleys and then run.

    I agree with merrion, it’s an awful field of gop candidates and it’s better for the party to lose again statewide next year than have what we had with hastert in congress which is awful republicans ruining it so that when good ones come along they don’t get the time of day from voters.


  24. - Thomas Westgard - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    Democratic party discipline is so lax that I am thoroughly confident in party leaders to squander any preexisting gain there might have been. I will be taking nothing for granted in this race.


  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    –The map is pretty clear, the gop establishment from moderates like lahood that change teams, and conservatives like hastert that betrayed the party have got to go.–

    Interesting strategy. How does that get one to a winning plurality?


  26. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    You didn’t explicity state it, but you inferred it.

    No, you assumed what I didn’t write. I believe that voters are capable of making their own decisions, regardless where they live. I believe that just because a political party wins an election, they didn’t win all the votes. Chicagoland isn’t Cuba.

    So, I won’t infer what I don’t believe.


  27. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    mmm this just begs a lede a like: “Illinois blue up!”


  28. - John Bambenek - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    We have what, 6 months to the primary?? We don’t need to press the panic button on not having the one single candidate BEFORE petitions start to be circulating.

    Hell, what is the primary for if not for the party to figure out its nominee? You know, if its such an issue, stop having primaries that have to be paid for by taxpayers who aren’t part of either party and could care less about the internecine squabbling.


  29. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    VM,

    OK, more correctly, as a reader digesting your comments, I took away that “11 of 12 million IL voters living north of I-80 and east of I-39″ are, on balance, a little left of “liberal Democratic”, being only washed out by the smidgen of 1 million downstate voters who are, on balance, more conservative, making IL a “liberal Democratic state.

    Which I find a tad bit simplistic, even if the overall trend is toward the left.


  30. - I'm Just Saying - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    Well John, If you want to see Poll Numbers from July 2009, I suggest you pay for them…… Call your buddy Rod McCollugh, I’m sure he’s not too busy…….


  31. - Red - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    More data needs to be provided. I’d like to see it broken down more - a specific number for Lean Democratic and Lean Republican. Also would nice to see trends over the next several months as we lead up to the primary. And it wouldn’t hurt to show how the President’s approval ratting in the states they select.


  32. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 3:08 pm:

    Sigh!


  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 5:48 pm:

    ===============
    Has anyone else had the sense for weeks now that Proft is only in this to whine about Dillard?
    ===============

    No. I’m pretty certain that he’s in it to win–unless there’s someone coming up from behind that we don’t know about yet.

    And, Crain’s is probably right.


  34. - Bubs - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 5:50 pm:

    These numbers reflect the fact that the Illinois GOP has not given the electorate (meaning that part of the electorate that will even listen to them) a whole lot to like in the last few elections, crowded by the fiscally conservative image of the Speaker’s Democratic Party (well sold to the public, but check the actual numbers), and the grossly, not to say criminally overfunded telegenics of Blagojevich.

    But things are so bad today in Springfield and across Illinois that voters just might be willing to take another look. A unified campaign behind a common set of policies aimed at sound fiscal government, aimed at capturing votes in the Center, might make deep inroads into these numbers.

    Of course, that could be quite a hurdle in the current Illinois GOP. Many in the Conservative wing find greater power in destruction rather than construction, and will follow their need for self-importance right over the electoral cliff.

    What worries me is that people keep saying this, keep warning that some bend on each side is required or all will lose, but nothing is changing . . . at all.


  35. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 6:02 pm:

    =============
    What worries me is that people keep saying this, keep warning that some bend on each side is required or all will lose, but nothing is changing…at all.
    =============

    I’d argue that people are looking at this from the wrong perspective.


  36. - Blind Faith - Monday, Aug 3, 09 @ 6:29 pm:

    Voters who follow politicians vote Blue. The voters who follow policies and economics will vote Red.

    But then Rod was elected twice.


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