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Poll results an “indictment of the political landscape”

Monday, May 13, 2013

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady resigned last week just as a new statewide poll showed big trouble for his political party’s brand.

Brady had been under pressure to resign ever since the disastrous 2012 elections. The pressure increased publicly after Brady announced his support for a gay marriage bill. Multiple attempts to oust Brady were unsuccessful.

The way forward is unclear, to say the least. Some party leaders have a list of over 25 people to consider. This could easily turn out to be a total mess.

And this all comes at a particularly bad time for the GOP. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found that 52 percent of likely Illinois voters have a negative view of the Republican Party. Just 25 percent have a positive view, while 24 percent were neutral.

According to the poll of 1,036 likely voters taken May 6th, 54 percent of women have a negative view of the GOP (just 24 percent positive), while 48 percent of men have a negative view (just 26 percent positive). The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

And a mere 59 percent of self-identified Republicans have a positive view of the GOP, while 16 percent have a negative view and 25 percent are neutral - a combined 41 percent un-positive. Not good.

Perhaps more importantly, only 18 percent of independents have a positive view of the Republican Party, while 50 percent have a negative view.

So, it’s somewhat of a miracle that Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is still polling as well as she is. According to the survey, Topinka leads Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon 45-38. A total of 24 percent of the calls were made to cell phones.

Simon will likely run for attorney general if Lisa Madigan steps up to run for governor, but she has said she is eyeing the comptroller’s race as well. Simon is the highest profile Democrat to consider a bid against Topinka, so this may be a high water mark for the Democrats. Topinka won her last race by 13 points in a very good year for the GOP.

Topinka leads among independents by 12 big and important points. Her lead also pretty much matches Lisa Madigan’s lead over Dan Rutherford and Aaron Schock in a somewhat recent Public Policy Polling survey. So, she’s doing quite well considering the serious headwinds. Topinka and Simon are essentially tied among women, but Topinka has a 53-34 lead among men.

But the news isn’t all that great for Democrats, either.

A Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of 1,057 likely Illinois voters taken May 8th showed that 42 percent have a negative view of the Democratic Party while just 36 percent have a positive view. That’s not as bad as the GOP numbers, but it is “certainly an indictment of the political landscape,” as my pollster told me. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

According to the poll the Democratic Party is viewed positively by a plurality of women, 43-37, and negatively by men, 50-28, compared to the poll about the GOP which showed that women and men viewed the Republican Party in a negative light.

Independents tend to lean more conservative because so many of them are former Republicans who no longer want to be identified with the party. So, the GOP has to do well with them to win. There are far more Democrats in this state than Republicans, but they aren’t a majority and must still be competitive with independents.

And according to that poll, the Democrats aren’t doing so well with independents right now. A strong majority of independents, 56 percent, viewed the Democratic Party negatively, which is six points worse than the Republicans fared. Eighteen percent - the same result as the GOP - viewed the party positively.

67 percent of Democrats viewed their party in a positive light, compared to the 59 percent of Republicans who viewed their party positively. The Democrats clearly have an advantage with their base, but it’s still not all that wonderful.

Just one region, Chicago, finds a majority positive view of the Democratic Party, with 56 percent positive and 23 percent negative. A 39-29 plurality of suburban Cook County voters view the Democratic Party in a positive light, while a 52-33 majority of collar county voters and a 56-24 majority of Downstaters have a negative view of the Dems.

* Related…

* Why candidates for ILGOP chairman are saying “no”: Downstate businessman Jason Plummer said no when he spoke to State Central Committeeman Gene Dawson Friday morning. Since running for lieutenant governor in 2010 and for Congress in 2012, Plummer remains involved in building the Republican Party in the Metro East area, raising funds and recruiting candidates. Plummer said Dawson asked if he was just too busy to apply for the chairmanship, and Plummer agreed that was part of the reason he rejected the opportunity to chair the state party.

* Lyons: State GOP needs new chair and living room set

* Pfeifer: Joe Walsh for IL GOP Chairman

* Lt. Gov supports medical marijuana

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - ProblemChild21 - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 8:38 am:

    I am a conservative Independent due almost entirely to the fact that party politics these days (and maybe forever) appear to be about gaining and maintaining power instead of standing on principle and actually trying to maintain and grow the state and country we are all proud of. As long as there is a party-bound lockstep approach to politics, it really doesn’t make any difference who is elected, as the party line will make more difference than the person in office. And will any of us corporately or individually have really “won” anything in the transaction? Where are the statesmen?


  2. - x ace - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 8:38 am:

    How about a “College of Chairs” .

    Rotate all 27 into the throne for 2 weeks at a time.

    That takes 54 weeks, but should still could work, when somebody real busy don’t show.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 8:44 am:

    The Dem numbers would be viewed as pretty negative — except for the astoundingly negative GOP numbers.


  4. - RonOglesby - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 8:51 am:

    —-
    party politics these days (and maybe forever) appear to be about gaining and maintaining power instead of standing on principle and actually trying to maintain and grow the state and country we are all proud of.
    —-
    Spot on.


  5. - Keep Calm and Carry On - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 8:51 am:

    Perhaps some folks would prefer the coronation of a successor rather than an open process?


  6. - Angry Republican - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:08 am:

    ProblemChild21 +1. The only positive to take away from all this is the IL-GOP has nowhere to go but up.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:08 am:

    ===…instead of standing on principle…===

    “Must”, “Always”, “Never”, and “Only” … equal … Minority Party.

    It has nothing to do with maintaining power to the voters, the voters HATE by a wide majority the ….

    “Must”, “Always”, “Never”, and “Only”.

    If we as a Party lose sight of that, then we will have those precious principles, but be so few in number, is it going to matter?

    We are a Political Party, not the Morality Police.

    Last I checked about all this talk about staying in Power, we in the ILGOP are “out” of Power…

    “Purity” and “Principles” are luxuries if you require 100% of your membership to be 100% compliant. If you require a standard that we can gather a majority of voters, that agree 80% of the time, and not call them “princilpes” or “requirements”, then you have MY attention, and guess what, the attention of all those “Indie” voters that have left….

    Just a 1st thought.


  8. - RonOglesby - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:22 am:

    @Oswego,

    people from both parties will use those words with their base. BUT, the reality is that politics is about getting elected when all is said and done, and therefor when it is expidient lot of the “never, always, only” goes out the window.

    its easy for either party when out of power to stand on “principle”. But the reality is that pretty much everything is negotiable if it means getting and keeping power for the party.


  9. - votecounter - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:32 am:

    I assume the majority of the calls went to Cook and Chicago since thats where all of the votes are. Considering there is no Republican party in Cook co. and nobody trying to build the party there the numbers are to be expected. Most of the voters have no contact with the GOP and the party hasn’t reached out to them.There is literally no GOP in 30 of the 80 townships and wards and almost none in another 30, it is all controlled by Democrats. In that light it shouldn’t be a surprise the GOP polls that badly.


  10. - MrJM - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:37 am:

    The Dem numbers would be viewed as pretty negative — except for the astoundingly negative GOP numbers.

    Exactly so.

    – MrJM


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    –party politics these days (and maybe forever) appear to be about gaining and maintaining power instead of standing on principle and actually trying to maintain and grow the state and country we are all proud of.–

    Another victim heard from.

    If it’s been this way “forever,” — the party system emerged after Washington’s Farewell Address — then how did this state and country experience such amazing growth and prosperity in such a relatively short period of time?

    Keep in mind, for all of our history, there’s been no shortage of rascals, bamboozlers, incompetents and outright nincompoops in the public arena.

    The voters can take credit — and responsibility — for all of them. Yet the arc of progress generally points up.


  12. - Bill White - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:59 am:

    I still have the same question I asked last week:

    What new brand is being proposed for the IL-GOP?

    Big tent on social issues? Okay, move closer to the Democrats on that. I think it is the right thing to do.

    Fiscal issues? Here is what Rich Miller reported in an adjacent post:

    === In a report out today, the Civic Federation says that a bill pushed through the House by Mr. Madigan “will produce pension savings of the magnitude needed to stabilize the state’s finances.” But a competing plan by Senate President John Cullerton “doesn’t even get us back to where we were last year,” said Federation President Laurence Msall in an interview last Friday. ===

    If Madigan’s pension reform plan is indeed sufficient to stabilize state finances, how can the IL-GOP distinguish itself from the Democrats on fiscal issues?


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    - Bill White -,

    So …

    Democrats can’t have an idea that a Republican can agree with, because we must always be at loggerheads on “something”?

    I get all ‘fused sometimes… I thought good politcs was good government, and good government is good politics, and if the GA GOP can get “cover” from the Civic Federation, AND the Madigan Bill is constutional (no clue, for arguement sake) we in the GOP, and specifically the GA GOP, have to vote “no” because it’s Madigan’s Bill and to show we are “different”?

    Maybe its all about “claiming …credit”?

    Is that where we are?


  14. - Bill White - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    Oswego,

    If the plan is to ratchet down the partisan divide and focus more on good government than “winning” then I am 100% supportive. Gosh, maybe 200% supportive.

    Can Ds and Rs finally discuss Keynes, Krugman, Hayek and austerity politics in a calm, civil manner?

    Anyway, if building bridges and mending fences is the plan, maybe ask Ron Sandack how much willingness he has shown to make peace with his local political opponents in our little town of Downers Grove.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    - Bill White -

    I can’t speak to Downers Grove, and Ron Sandack, and his role in the local politics, be they, literally, local, or of a Party flavor with a local twist. Not being snarky, I am not equipped to have that discussion.

    To your former, instead of being the “Party of NO!”, whenever we in the GOP, especially the GA GOP, can find commmon ground, and we in the GA GOP did not propose it, we have a chance to break out of what polling has shown as a “negative” view of My Party.

    If Nekritz/Cross helped begat the Madigan Bill, and the Civic Federation is willing to give “cover”… and the HGOP can look at some positives as MJM tries to cobble 60 votes, some may being HGOP votes … let this evolve to its conclusion as a passenger, not as a roadblock, unless the roadblock is a better Bill, with significant support that can be seen by the Press, MJM, and the Governor.

    We in the ILGOP have got to start looking as a Party for solutions, not a Fringe Element in Government, spouting “NO!” at any given Bill, Amendment or Idea, esepcially when given “cover”.


  16. - Bill White - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    Oswego Willy,

    On this point, you have my complete and total support:

    === We in the ILGOP have got to start looking as a Party for solutions, not a Fringe Element in Government, spouting “NO!” at any given Bill, Amendment or Idea, esepcially when given “cover”. ===

    But it does takes courage to say “Yes” when the other side has a good idea. I can only hope that more Republicans start thinking as you do.

    Anyway, it’s not a good thing when:

    “All restaurants are Taco Bell”


  17. - shore - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    x-I think you mean college of clowns.

    people that still take jason plummer seriously make me rethink my faith in humanity.

    oswego you deserve a medal for sticking to your guns.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    To the Post,

    ===And this all comes at a particularly bad time for the GOP. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found that 52 percent of likely Illinois voters have a negative view of the Republican Party. Just 25 percent have a positive view, while 24 percent were neutral.===

    ===According to the poll of 1,036 likely voters taken May 6th, 54 percent of women have a negative view of the GOP (just 24 percent positive),…===

    And …

    ===And a mere 59 percent of self-identified Republicans have a positive view of the GOP, while 16 percent have a negative view and 25 percent are neutral - a combined 41 percent un-positive. Not good.

    Perhaps more importantly, only 18 percent of independents have a positive view of the Republican Party, while 50 percent have a negative view.===

    I want to just focus on the GOP’s perception for a moment, and I will get back to the “bad Democratic” numbers …

    Over 50% of those polled think “negatively” about My Party. Throw out the “base”, throw out “Party RINOs”… of those polled, when asked about the ILGOP, over 50% thought of us “negatively”.

    That is not a “Purity” problem, or a “RINO” problem, that is a PARTY/IMAGE problem festering as we in My Party are worried who looks worse.

    Well, 52% think we ALL look worse.

    Also, a majority, 54% of women think “negatively”. A majority. I know we in the ILGOP are not use to the word “majority” when its used in the context of politics, but we better start learing that and fast.

    So a majority of overall voters, and a majority of women, see My Party …”Negatively”.

    Now, all those Slythern House Republicans, take note … 50% of independents think “Negatively” about the ILGOP. The more we want to be “Right”, the higher that negativity is going to grow. So, as we “shore up the ‘Base’…” are there enough “Base” Slytherin House Republicans to offset ALL the “Indies” who view us “negatively”, and will be more likely to stay away, the farther “Right” we become? As we look more intolerant to the 50% of “Indies”, will women come back in droves as we try to be more “Always”, “Never”, “Only”, and “Must”?

    The battle is for the “middle” and guess what, as anyone who has been in a campaign for anything in the General Election phase, and what do we hear over and over …

    “It’s really a battle for the middle ground right now …”

    That Reagan Rule of 80% and convincing the “Indies” and “Women” and voters not identifying with ANY party that My Party is a choice to make the difference in government IS our challenge.

    Now, as - wordslinger - points out, the Dem numbers WOULD be viewed as pretty negative. Why aren’t they, because of the “astoundingly negative GOP numbers.”

    We are fighting ourselves so destructively, that while our opponent is seen in a bad light, and their “negatives” with “Indies” in that poll is higher than the GOP’s by 6 points, so we need to capitalize on where there is ground to be made up…

    “Indies”. The middle ground has the view of the Dems 6 points worse than of the GOP and the “Indies” view. The fight to be relevent, and to climb back is going to be in the middle.

    If we in the ILGOP make this fight about being “more pure”, “more Right”, more about “energizing the Base”, we are going to lose even more next time.

    Thanks, Rich for the Poll. My Party needs to focus where the greatest room of growth, and the largest area where there is a view of the Dems as negative …the Middle, the “Indies”, the “Moderates.”

    The rest is just “political” ice cream.


  19. - Whatever - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    The fact that someone like Jason Plummer was given the opportunity to say “no” to the Chairman position just shows how screwed up the process is, and how silly the IL GOP looks.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    ===oswego you deserve a medal for sticking to your guns.===

    Thanks, appreciate that.

    If I got a 4-Pack of Cannoli, I would be just as happy at this point.

    I hear the Plainfield ‘Caputo’s’ calling my name …


  21. - Grandson of Man - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    One conservative in my family told me yesterday that Sen. Kirk is a phony conservative, that he is just a liberal (or worse, a RINO). That kind of absolutist attitude is not helping Republicans.

    Sen. Kirk so far is my Illinois politician of the year, for his fight back from a very serious illness and for courageous stances on gay marriage and gun reform. If I recall correctly, in the past Sen. Kirk also supported closing corporate loopholes, which I support, and he may have wanted to reduce the top corporate income tax rate to 25%, which with closing loopholes might not be such a bad idea.

    Another Illinois politician I admire this year so far is my State Representative, Toni Berrios. She as a Democrat voted for the Madigan pension plan, and she voted for medical marijuana. The state’s finances are abysmal, and I can live with my representative taking a tough vote, especially because Democrats are accused of just spending.


  22. - walkinfool - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    A couple of the realities of the House that confuse some viewers: Madigan is significantly more economically and fiscally “conservative” that the majority in his caucus, and Cross is significantly more “liberal” on social issues than most in his caucus.

    This makes them both good listeners, and dealers across the aisle, (though that’s not always apparent publicly).

    Often they are constrained when acting as leaders of their caucuses, but just because one of them sponsors a bill should not require that the opposing party members vote against it.


  23. - foster brooks - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    I would love to see Joe Walsh get the top spot….life’s been good to me so far.


  24. - John Galt - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    OW:

    “My Party needs to focus where the greatest room of growth, and the largest area where there is a view of the Dems as negative …the Middle, the “Indies”, the “Moderates.””

    Maybe this is the case, but maybe not. Are we assuming that “independents” are necessarily “moderates”, when in fact that might not be the case? Maybe there are polls that drill down more, but we need to avoid the automatic assumption that the majority of people who view the ILGOP negatively view it negatively because it’s TOO conservative. How many are basically party dropouts that feel like the ILGOP has offered no stiff resistance to the Democratic machines in the past 20-30 years? How many would-be “base” Republicans (not the total fringe kooks, but people who are 80%-90% in alignment with the party) have either fled the state due to the political & fiscal disaster, or alternatively have dropped out of the political process due to frustration?

    I’d love to drill down and find out those answers. It’s entirely possible that yes, people have droopped out of the GOP because the ILGOP is hopelessly conservative in a liberal state. But I think it’s important not to assume things. How many HONESTLY potential GOP voters aren’t pulling the trigger because the ILGOP is too extreme vs. not pulling the trigger because they aren’t displaying any real fight in them?

    The real problem from an electoral standpoint is that there’s just way too much daylight between the ILGOP grassroots activists and the elected party establishment. The grassroots don’t trust the establishment because they haven’t “delivered” on anything real in decades. But the establishment really *can’t* deliver anything real unless & until they’re in political power.

    There is a lack of trust between the wings, and as a result, the conservative wing is demanding more & more purist extreme victories (or at least rhetoric) from the establishment in order for the establishment to win back their trust. It’s like an abusive codependent relationship. Mistreatment, then overly-sweet behavior to try to make up for the mistreatment. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Instead of steadily feeding the conservative base some incremental victories here & there, the base got starved out and now the ILGOP’s got a base with a voracious appetite on their hands.

    Conversely, the Democratic Party has done a superb job of keeping their left wing rowing in approximately the same direction as the more moderate business interests by thorwing the base incremental bones. Yes, it’s at a somewhat moderate pace, but it’s ever-leftward. The activist base trusts the establishment & is willing to be somewhat patient with the incrementalism–at least most of the time–becaue for the past 30-50 years it’s delivered results. There’s just a steady, incremental stream of love & attention. The plants are getting watered.

    In the GOP, there’s just a huge disconnect and zero trust between the wings. Example: if the Democratic Party here in Illinois had the same characteristics as the ILGOP, right now the entire black caucus would be bolting from the party and/or following through on threats to stay home during the general elections over gay marriage and perhaps charter schools–thus killing Democratic turnout in the city for 2014. But it won’t happen. They’re on the reservation. Same thing with conservative ethnic catholics over social issues (although catholics are starting to move into the direction of the GOP).

    For whatever reason, the ILDEMs have just done a much better job of keeping the wings of their party reasonably happy, whreas the ILGOP is in constant mutiny. And it’s not because they have “pushed back” against their base in any major way–it’s becaue they’ve actually delivered to their base–but in incremental ways so as not to spook the moderate independents. They’ve learned to tame the tiger. They don’t “ride their activists hard and put them away wet.” The ILGOP has not done this, and they either fluctuate wildy between ignoring the base and thus alienating their would-be supporters, or they become complete hostages and offer up over-heated rhetoric (to make up for past neglect of the base), which ends up spoooking the moderates & independents.

    Alright. Bad use of mixed metaphors, but that’s my 2 cents.


  25. - reformer - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    == If Madigan’s pension reform plan is indeed sufficient to stabilize state finances, how can the IL-GOP distinguish itself from the Democrats on fiscal issues? ==

    The majority of House Republicans voted NO on the Madigan pension bill that the Civic Committee touts. Poe and Bost didn’t vote NO because the bill didn’t go far enough.


  26. - reformer - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    == The more we want to be “Right”, the higher that negativity is going to grow. ==

    The moderate Republicans that were once in the House are all but gone. Mulligan, Skip, Coulson, Beaubien, Mathias, Bassi. It’s fair to say the shrunken House GOP caucus is more conservative than it was a decade ago. I can’t think of more than one moderate left in the tiny Senate GOP.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===The moderate Republicans that were once in the House are all but gone.===

    Great. Point.

    I have said that the 47 House and 19 Senate Seats being occupied…I would be hard pressed to find enough of the 66 members to form a “Caucus” of Moderates, and let us NOT forget for one minute …as both these Caucuses lean …Conservative … they are “diverse” and represent a good cross section of My Party and the state of Illinois … “Right”?

    Great point, - reformer -.


  28. - Ghost - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    The IL GOP needs to open itself to the idea o a gray world. The party seems to be moving more towards you have to hold my view or your not part of my party. It woul dbe better if they truly embraced the idea of there being internal disagreement, but overal you get laws closer to your viewpoint with your people in office. It may not be perfect, it may give up stuff you dont want, but in the end it will be closer to your viewpoint then it otherwise would be.

    THere is nothing wrong with a conservatie GOP presence in the party, or pushing hard for their agenda, BUT thediscconect seems to be in trying to kick out, silence or seperate from the party anyone who does not share those views. And thus the fail.

    The Dems have a doscordan grp of supporters, they have factions that think their memebrs are too onservative, but in the end they still support their memebrs and inclusion in the party to at least get things that ae close to their viewpoints.


  29. - Anonymous - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:54 pm:

    Ghost and his keyboard, now and forever, one and inseparable. ;)


  30. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    Ghost, you are coming closer to what ails the GOP than anyone else. Anyone holding a different view within the GOP is demonized, then villified, then attacked and run out on a rail. I can recall a day in the GOP when moderates and conservatives could debate matters intelligently during party meetings, like pro-choice vs. pro-life and other social issues. Those days are long gone, leaving behind yelling, screaming and recriminations, and actively sandbagging opponents within the party.


  31. - Ghost - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Anonymous, thats how you know its me :)

    Louis what is interesting is for a long time those where the traits which made the GOP strong and left the Dems ineffectual for a long time. Somewhere along the path the internal operations changed. I wonder if todays GOP would have supported Thompson and Edgar, or Even Reagan….


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    - John Galt -,

    While this poll does not clairfy completely as to which Republicans hav left My Party and are now independents …

    Answer this…

    Are you saying the ILGOP needs to go furhter “Right” because if those leaving the party are Conservatives, and if we look at it as though growing the Conservatives, …in Illinois… will make the Party grow LARGER, than looking, let’s say polling after polling in Illinois as to where people fall in the political spectrum, and “exit polling” done one election days, and polls similiar to this one, that seem to indicate the idea of being less inclusive is closing the party to a much larger pool of voters, then to the premise that you are saying that Conservatives are leaving, and we need to look at bringing Conservates back because that is a bigger pool to fish from than “Indies” or “Moderate Indies” … in Illinois?

    That’s your premise?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===There is nothing wrong with a conservatie GOP presence in the party, or pushing hard for their agenda, BUT the discconect seems to be in trying to kick out, silence, or seperate, from the party, anyone who does not share those views. And thus the fail.===

    Correct.

    As a Reagan Rule Republican, I need those Conservative members in the GA to win and HOLD those seats that best fit them, and to build up to the 30/60 seats needed in the General Assembly Chambers.

    My issue is quite simple.

    You can NOT make everyone else be 100% like the Conservatives and be unwelcoming to the idea that a Rosemary Mulligan, or a Skip Saviano, or a Beth Coulson, that any… of those Republicans… are not “pure” enough to be in My Party.

    We can NOT tell voters that “Only”, “Must”, “Never” and “Always” is the basis of a party, specifically My Party.

    We can NOT have Litmus Tests or Blood Oaths, or the idea that “More Republican” is the BEST way to go about identifying and building, and to go a step further, we can NOT allow “Right Wing Kooks” or “RINOs” be the talking points about our Primary winners, and those stereotypes be the basis to NOT support whomever wins in a Primary, so we ALL can win in the General Elections, be it for Governor, to General Assembly.

    My issue is quite clear.

    The Slytherin House Republicans need to understand that there is not going to be 30 Conservatives in the Illinois Seante, 60 Conservatives in the Illinois House, and building around the 80% we all agree on as Republicans will lead to more voters thinking and seeing and believing we are inclusive, and voting for Republicans, as we work an effective “Ground Game” and have Reagan Rule Candidates in competitive districts everywhere.

    Democrats learned that 30 Ultra Liberal Illinois Senators, and 60 Ultra Liberal House members. Speaker Madigan is a “Master” at understanding districts, who to run in them and how to “win” them, diversity and all (See 1996 South Suburbs and MJM getting the gavel back from Lee A. Daniels).

    We can NOT have a Slytherin House Republican dictate who is, or isn’t a “Good Republican” and look inclusive, by its definition, no matter how much “political” ice cream is served to keep pitchforks and torches at bay.


  34. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    ==so many of them are former Republicans who no longer want to be identified with the party==

    I resemble that remark. The idea of belonging to a party that Jason Plummer would walk away from the chairmanship of…talk about stinking the place up.


  35. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 5:45 pm:

    Above meant to read “…WHO the GOP nominates…!”


  36. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 6:39 pm:

    –a 56-24 majority of Downstaters have a negative view of the Dems.–

    With a lousy number like that, what contributes most to the Dems’ relative success Downstate — the gerrymanderer’s art or the Big Tent concept?

    Dems in the GA look like a cross-section of Illinois; Republicans in the GA look like a cross section of the Republican Party.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 6:53 pm:

    The bottom-line, absolute, premise as to why Michael J. Madigan and his House Democratic Staff beat the HGOP over and over is based on this “absolute” truth, and everything, be it “Ground Game”, message, candidate recruitment, any and all elements is this;

    MJM is the Paul “Bear” Bryant of Illinois Politics;

    Madigan can “take his” and “beat yours”, and in a district next door, “take yours” and “beat his”.

    The House Dem staff is ridiculously good at understanding the “playing field, the rules, the variables, and the execution” of every targeted seat, and if it means “running against ‘type’ as a Dem”, they do it, and they win.

    The goal is 60 Seats to win. “Bear” Bryant’s goal was to win as well. Understanding “how to win” is the link. Just look at 1996, those South Suburban seats from beginning to end, “Bear” Bryant would have been proud.


  38. - votecounter - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:14 pm:

    he draws the map!!! The GOP couldn’t draw a real map because it would go to the courts look at Texas, Madigan is lucky the Hispanics didn’t take him to court this time he lost 200,000 blacks in Cook and Chicago and still didn’t give the hispanics another congressional district and remove a black majority district. if the GOP had tried that there would have been a lawsuit claiming discrimination. The black districts are being used to bolster other districts that took seats back that were lost just 2 years before that.


  39. - Michael Westen - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 9:26 pm:

    Um, votecounter, nice try. Republicans drew the map in 1992 and Lee Daniels held onto the majority for all of one election cycle. To paraphrase Willy, Madigan will beat you with his map, but he can beat you with your map too.

    Try another argument.


  40. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:11 pm:

    –Madigan is lucky the Hispanics didn’t take him to court this time he lost 200,000 blacks in Cook and Chicago and still didn’t give the hispanics another congressional district and remove a black majority district. if the GOP had tried that there would have been a lawsuit claiming discrimination. –

    The GOP raised just that issue in their taxpayer-funded lawsuit on the map.


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