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Madigan proposes moving primary

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007

House Speaker Madigan has just proposed moving the 2008 IL primary to Feb. 5 to help Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy.

More tomorrow.

[Comments closed. Go here for updated stories and discusssion.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

46 Comments
  1. - The Guy - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 1:41 pm:

    I believe this requires a constitutional amendment. MJM proposed moving the election to a Sunday in a past Inauguration about 10 years ago.


  2. - grand old partisan - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 1:49 pm:

    I believe only the general election date is specifically set by the Constitution….not the primary.

    He could do it.

    The questio is….what’s in it for him?


  3. - beowulf - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 1:59 pm:

    Mike Madigan knows that Barack has no where else to go from this point on but “down” in the polls. It is time to strike while the iron is hot. It is good political strategy if he can pull it off. Barack’s past mistakes and character flaws will slowly leak into the media while we wait until the Primary.

    Mike Madigan reminds me of one of my friends from high school. He told me that he was going to propose to his new girlfriend of 3 months. I asked him “Why so sudden? Why not take longer to get to know each other?”

    My friend replied, “I am afraid that if I wait much longer to marry her, then she will have more time to find out about the real me. Then, she will drop me like a hot rock. I can’t keep up this charade much longer of being on my best behaviour.”


  4. Trackback Taegan Goddard's Political Wire - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    Illinois to Move Primary?…

    According to Capitol Fax, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan “has just proposed moving the 2008 IL primary to Feb. 5 to help Barack ObamaÂ’s presidential candidacy.”……


  5. - Cal Skinner - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:12 pm:

    The earlier the primary the harder it is for challengers.


  6. - www.iowansforromney.com - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:13 pm:

    Thanks for the interesting article on the Illinois primary.

    www.iowansforromney.com


  7. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:30 pm:

    It is good for the Democratic Party and good for Illinois. Currently, Illinois has zero say in presidential elections. This will give us a voice.

    Also, its good for the Democratic Party. Illinois has an interesting mix between downstate conservative Dems, the Chicago conservative Dems like Daley, and the real liberals like Danny K. Davis. It will be interesting to see where Daley lines up (Obama this time of course, but who in eight years?) when his support will really make a difference.


  8. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:48 pm:

    This could kill turnout. Turnout in our primaries is already poor, and moving it back during a time when weather is sketchy could easily result in even worse turnout. Leave it to our fearless leaders to somehow try and drive turnout even lower.


  9. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    I’m not sure it really helps. Does anyone compete against a guy with a nearly 70 percent approval in his homestate? My guess is the other candidates take a pass and downplay any expectations in Illinois if it’s moved up.


  10. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    The primary date is statutorily set. See 10 ILCS 5/2A-1.1.

    You have got to believe Madigan’s staff would have exercised that due diligence before coming out with this.


  11. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 2:56 pm:

    “This could kill turnout. Turnout in our primaries is already poor,”

    Part of the reason it is poor in presidential years is because a vote in the Illinois presidential primary does not matter. Casting a vote would mean more in Feb. and I think that more people would do so.


  12. - Scoot - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:00 pm:

    Please, move the primary to a warmer month so there will be more voter turnout…like early June.


  13. - DemoCat - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:03 pm:

    Barack is down about 3rd or 4th on my list whenever they stage the primary.


  14. - Bill C. - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:08 pm:

    I wonder if that mean Hillary will start saying she was a Cubs fan before she was always a Yankees fan?


  15. - Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:09 pm:

    I agree with ArchPundit that in the long run it really won’t matter much for Obama when the Illinois primary is held. MJM and other pols should be more concerned about taking care of other priorities and impending problems such as the states huge debt liability. Just another reason why elected officials are not highly thought of.


  16. - Anonymouser - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:09 pm:

    I’m all for anything that shortens the election cycle. Adding another month to the general election negative campaigning season will just create even more voter exhaustion. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.


  17. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:12 pm:

    helping the Big O

    Well, it certainly gives Mr. M some brownie points in the black community. No cost, good publicity, lets him maybe ask for favors in return?

    One must admire the Master at work.


  18. - Pat Collins - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:15 pm:

    because a vote in the Illinois presidential primary does not matter

    Well, if you want elections like 1968, where a candidate could jump in AFTER New Hampshire, and when the CA primary late was key to a win, you just MIGHT want to jettision 100% of campaign finance reform laws.


  19. - Bluefish - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:16 pm:

    If the primary is Feb. 5 we’ll start getting political commercials before Christmas. Ho. Ho. No.


  20. - ZC - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    Agreed about Obama, but what about the Republicans? That could be a major strategic deal.


  21. Pingback eyeon08.com » Illinois moving up too? - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:36 pm:

    […] Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Bunches ofendorsements […]


  22. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 3:48 pm:

    BTW, most states have separate dates for the presidential primary and the primary that determines the party nominees for other offices.

    I’m not crazy about the March primary.

    But I’m even less enthusiastic about changing the primary date based on a single case.

    We should create a primary system that works best for the state irrespective of who the candidates are.

    That said, changing the date would hardly be the most heinous thing done by the legislature.


  23. - Ellinoyed - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:03 pm:

    Didn’t this come up before, and from the Speaker, when the DNC was discussing changing the primary schedule? It’s not just Obama, tho that helps, but an effort to get a diverse state like IL to have an impact nationally.


  24. - Ed at ICJL - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:15 pm:

    That’s likely to be the Tuesday following the 2008 Super Bowl and Bear fans are likely to be (a) still recovering or (b) still partying — so low turnout.


  25. - B Hicks - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:28 pm:

    Now he wants to help. How sweet.


  26. Trackback Votelaw - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:35 pm:

    Illinois: Speaker proposes early February primary to help Obama…

    Capitol Fax Blog reports: [Illinois] House Speaker Madigan has just proposed moving the 2008 IL primary to Feb. 5 to help Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy. — The Capitol Fax Blog » Madigan proposes moving primary Thanks to Political Wire for……


  27. - Tom - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    You know what. Hurray for Madigan. As for those people who want to increase turnout by moving to a warmer month, do you really think those idiots who can’t brave the cold for 45 minutes will vote anyway?


  28. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    Several notes. First, the change can be done by a simple act of the General Assembly (of course, after watching Mike Madigan and Emil Jones act like a couple of spoiled infants in the electric rate mess this week, any definitive action is up in the air as to whether it can become law).

    Second, the proposed February 5 date would also be the primary for every other office on the ballot. That means nearly all of the 2008 legislative session will be held AFTER the primary. That may have an impact on legislative races, but at this point I couldn’t guess as to what it would be. It will depend on what gets done in the General Assembly this spring.

    Third, barring a change in the law as to the number of days before the primary that filing is to be held, the filing deadlines get moved back to early November of THIS YEAR for all offices. That means that petition circulation for legislative races begins in early August! On second thought, this will make it easier on most legislative incumbents, because this would force challengers to give up 17 months of their lives to run and win a legislative seat.

    This is why I hate the idea of early primaries, and why I think Howard Dean and the national Democrats are complete idiots for starting the delegate selection process as early as they plan to.


  29. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    I wonder how his current “boss” feels about MJM trying to smooth the way for Obama? Pretty pi–ed off, I would suspect. Quite an ego blow for Mr. Blow-Dry.


  30. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 5:43 pm:

    I imagine Madigan envision a world with Lisa as governor and Obambi as Prez. He wants to get in on the ground floor as an uber supporter. An apple for Obambi from Mike (and Lisa).

    Hope Tony R or Blago isn’t on trial though. The national media who would flock to Illinois in the boring early winter days of 2008 with Hill, Bill, Obambi, Edwards, Dodd, Gore, et al will be looking for stuff to write about. The ethical challenges of Illinois politicians might not add quite the luster Obambi is seeking.

    Huge entertainment for Illinois, though.


  31. - Shelbyville - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 5:43 pm:

    OK But allow mail in ballots.


  32. - louisgatsaves - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 6:06 pm:

    For the Democrats it would help Obama. For Republicans the national party would for a long time pay attention to Illinois. We will have GOP candidates swooping in and out of here like clockwork, instead of like, not at all, such as in recent years!

    Maybe this will galvanize the GOP in Illinois!


  33. - tough guy - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 6:26 pm:

    Hope I see more muscle flexing by the democrat party. Let’s put back straight party voting for the general election too! With Obama and Durbin at the top of the ticket in the general election it would make a huge difference in congressional and state rep./senator races. Having Frank Watson help decide who to run in these races will only be icing on the cake.


  34. - Napoleon Dynamite - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 7:22 pm:

    When would nominating petitions be due for offices further down the ticket?


  35. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 7:55 pm:

    If nothing else it will make our primary for interesting for the Republicans.


  36. - Citizen A - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 8:27 pm:

    Barry is toast - pot smoker, cocaine snorter, and now we find out he smokes cigarrettes. My goodness, what next? OH! I forgot, he’s a democrat and that stuff doesn’t matter. Sorry.


  37. - 105th Blues - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 9:08 pm:

    I think it’d be cool to have one of the early attention getting primaries and have Presidential candidates coming around the State charming and wooing us for our votes. We’ve allowed Iowa to soak up and garner all the attention in the Midwest concerning Presidential politics for too long and Illinois should be (and is) much more important because it is a much bigger and more diverse state in many respects and needs to position itself as such. We’ve got everything Iowa has and then some and we’re a “microcosm” of the U.S. (i.e. ethanol, big ag, a metropolis, the Mississippi AND Ohio River, Lake Michigan, lots of rich political history and importance from the 19th century). I think it’s time for a revival folks.

    I also think Wikipedia hits the nail on the head as to why:

    “Illinois is the most populous in the Midwest, and the fifth most populous in the nation. Illinois is known for its large and diverse population; its balance of rural areas, small industrial cities, vast suburbs and a great metropolis; its highly diverse economic base; and its central location that has made it a transportation hub for 150 years. It is this mixture of factory and farm, of urban and rural that makes Illinois a microcosm of the United States.”

    Thus an IDEAL proving ground for candidates.


  38. - Impending Disaster - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 9:31 pm:

    The primary date overshadows the main message of his speech today. Here is what I heard:

    Due to the wasteful and shortsided way the Democrats have approached the budgeting process the last four years, the State faces a financial disaster.

    We have to make tough choices. Now, for the last four years, the Deomocrats have shorted the pensions and grown the debt to pay for new programs and pork projects. Now, its time to pay for the party.

    How long before you think the Speaker asks for some votes from the other side of the aisle to help bail the state out?

    I’m not saying that Republicans governed any different, but I sure would hope that the Speaker steps up to the plate and his members that were slopping in the pork put the votes on the board to fix the problem.


  39. - Long Time Reader; First Time Poster - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 9:49 pm:

    Perhaps I’m way off base here, but I thought Madigan and Obama were not the best of friends. Both were competing to be the more powerful Democrat in the State. Could Madigan just be setting Obama up somehow to look foolish?

    I’ve always thought there was no way Obama would run for President so soon, there are still too many skeletons in his closet from his days in the Illinois Senate/Chicago Machine. Perhaps Madigan knows that this ‘Presidential Ambition’ is just a way for Obama to sell more books, so when Obama decides not to run, it is Obama that looks like the fool after Madigan tried to “help” him out.


  40. - I'm Just Asking - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 10:56 pm:

    Why would the Speaker suddenly want to help the man he derisively calls ‘the Messiah’?

    How about to then engineer the replacement of the Senate seat in the case of an Obama victory?

    Maybe put his daughter in the seat?

    Move Hynes to AG?

    Or put Hynes in and avert a potential challenge to his daughter by Hynes for gov?


  41. Pingback The View From The Left » Blog Archive » Presidential Political Games - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 11:27 pm:

    […] Capitol Fax is reporting that Illinois Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan, is proposing moving up the 2008 Illinois primary to February 5, in order to help out Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy for President. […]


  42. - Republicana - Wednesday, Jan 10, 07 @ 11:51 pm:

    As a Republican I strongly support moving it up. As a blue state we don’t matter in the fall and with a late primary we don’t matter in the primary. Madigan’s proposal would make Illinois important for the Republican prez nomination. If Obama is the excuse so be it. I think Madigan wants national dems fighting for support in Illinois and lavishing attention on the state’s top dems, including himself and his daughter. If Obama doesn’t stay in, which national dem candidate will want Blago as his or her state campaign chair?…with the possibility of an indictment during the primaries??

    Overall the Speaker is doing his job–advocating for Illinois. This would make IL more important. Far better a big state in the middle of the country with the biggest urban there is and the most rural it comes and everything in between. New Hamp and Iowa are not in the US Constitution as the divinely chosen states to determine who everyone else gets to vote for in November. They’ve had quite a ride but the self annointed president makers need real competition. Thank you Mr. Speaker.


  43. - Randall Sherman - Thursday, Jan 11, 07 @ 12:22 am:

    Assuming Madigan’s proposal is enacted into law as stated and assuming the petition filing deadline (for most offices) remains at 92 days before the primary election, then the filing period for candidates for the General Assembly (which I suspect is Madigan’s true interest) would be from October 29 thru November 5 of this year. That would force challengers to Madigan’s legislative allies to start circulating petitions in early August! I suspect that would reduce the number of primary challenges, which would prove crucial if the feds indicted Blagojevich.

    i believe that is Madigan’s true goal, to protect his supporters and avert any major damage to his support base if Blagojevich goes down. Obama is just a smaokescreen.


  44. - Cynic - Thursday, Jan 11, 07 @ 12:30 am:

    Well, if there were an early primary, I’m sure Madigan wouldn’t know ANYONE who might stand to benefit… like all those Dem consultants who know Illinois and, thus, might be that much more valuable if Illinois is in play AND relevant in the presidential campaign.


  45. - Angie - Thursday, Jan 11, 07 @ 1:17 am:

    Oh my, but I think I’m catching a wee bit of Obama-mania, too, because I saw the cover of Ebony (at least I think that was the mag) with a picture of Barack and Michelle on it, and I’m thinking what a good looking couple they are. I mean, both of them are extremely photogenic. Dapper and chic.

    Not enough to elect someone on (on looks alone), but they’ve sure got the image down, that’s for sure. Cute couple.


  46. - 'Lainer - Thursday, Jan 11, 07 @ 6:40 am:

    If Madigan and Co. go through with this, it ought to be a permanent move, not just done once to benefit Obama. It is unfortunate that presidential primaries are pretty much decided long before they get to Illinois. The real solution, IMHO, ought to be regional primaries (Midwest, Northeast, South and West) spaced about 3-4 weeks apart. Have all the states in each region vote on the same day, and (if possible) try to make each region roughly equal or comparable in the number of potential electoral votes.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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