Speaker Madigan has introduced his legislation to move the spring primary up six weeks, from March to the first Tuesday in February. Madigan said earlier this month that he wanted the state to play a larger role in the presidential election and felt the move would benefit Barack Obama’s candidacy. The Post-Dispatch has reaction. Initially, Senate President Emil Jones was skeptical, but he’s moving off the dime a bit:
Since then, Jones has endorsed the idea in concept but not Madigan’s bill in specific.
“Conceptually, it benefits the people of Illinois to have an early say in who the presidential candidate is. However, we’re still reviewing the bill,” said Jones spokeswoman Cindy Davidsmeyer.
Madigan’s bill would affect more than just the presidential races. It would move the entire primary election forward, including all federal, state and local races. States like Iowa, in contrast, hold an early presidential caucus, separate from the primary election, to vote only on the presidential races.
“While some states do have two primaries in presidential years, the notion of that kind of change is complicated,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for Madigan. “Let’s not make it too complicated for voters: Have them come to the polls once and let their voice be heard.”
Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, while in favor of a larger state role in selecting the next president, said he worried about lengthening a campaign season that he says is too long already.
The Southern Illinoisan editorialized against Madigan’s idea and against the whole frontloaded system in general.
The “problem” isn’t Illinois’ date being too late. The problem is other states being too early.
If anything, the caucuses and primaries should take place later. Many voters are sick of the pre-election hype already. Others aren’t paying attention.
Political-beat reporters don’t help with their constant badgering, asking potential candidates when they will declare their intentions like a bunch of kids on a family vacation asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, wants to move Illinois’ 2008 primary election from March 18 to Feb. 5 - in part, to boost the chances of state Sen. Barack Obama.
The primary date shouldn’t be changed to help - or hurt - a person.
But Dan Johnson-Weinberger predicts the bill will become law and he’s for it.
I predict it will be signed into law and I think for 2008, that’s a good thing. For other years (that is, when Barack isn’t running for president), I’d rather have nice weather for elections, as I don’t like walking in the cold, so if it was up to me, I’d move the primary to June or September. And I’d imagine most campaign workers would agree with that sentiment (ignoring the speculation on how cold weather might impact election results).
You can read Madigan’s bill by clicking here. Please, if you have a question about the specific legislation, try reading it first before commenting or simply asking others to do your homework for you.