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A long, steady GOP decline

Friday, Nov 9, 2012 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sometimes, a graph is easier than reading. My Sun-Times column today is based on a graph I made yesterday afternoon to help myself understand Tuesday’s election. I was so blown away by the chart that I had to write about it. Using exit polling data, here is the partisan makeup of self-identified election day voters since 1992. Click for a better view

* My column

For the first time in at least 20 years, more independents voted in Illinois last Tuesday than Republicans.

I spent part of Thursday afternoon going through some exit polling data to see if I could find anything to cheer up my Republican friends. I really couldn’t.

Way back in 1992, when Republican Jim Edgar was governor and George H.W. Bush was running for re-election against Bill Clinton, 39 percent of Illinois voters told the exit pollsters they were Democrats; 34 percent said they were Republicans, and 27 percent said they were independents.

Two years later, when the country turned against Clinton and the Republicans swept just about everything here and nationally, the two parties were tied at 36 percent each in Illinois, with 28 percent saying they were independents.

The Republicans dropped down to 32 percent two years later, while the Democrats surged to 42 percent. Things stayed more or less the same until 2006, George W. Bush’s second midterm election, when Democrats vaulted to 46 percent, Republicans dropped to 31 percent and independents plummeted to a 20-year low of 23 percent.

Obviously, the Democrats won over independents, and the Republicans lost them. Republicans continued losing more independent-minded folks in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president. Democrats made up 47 percent of the Illinois electoral pool, but Republicans dropped to 28 percent and independents moved up to 28 percent.

And despite a national Republican landslide in 2010, people who said they were Democrats dropped just 3 percentage points, to 44 percent. Republicans moved up only three points to 31 percent, and independents dropped a couple of points to 24 percent.

Believe it or not, the percentage of voters who said they were Democrats was the same in this year’s election as it was in 2008: 44 percent. But Republicans tumbled to 27 percent and independents rose to 28 percent.

The number of people who say they’re independent really hasn’t moved a whole lot over the past two decades. It has been within a five-point range for more than 20 years.

The Republican Party’s problem is that it has been on the decline overall since its 1994 high. Part of the reason is that a triple whammy hit the GOP: George Ryan, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Ryan’s corruption turned voters away from their favored state governing party; Bush turned Illinoisans off altogether, and Obama is the home-state guy.

So, it’s possible that with both Georges long gone and Obama having won his final election, Republicans might start returning to a more reasonable level of support. But they probably can’t turn around numbers like this on a dime.

For starters, women have left the party in droves. In 1994, 61 percent of Illinois women voted for the pro-choice Edgar’s re-election bid. By 2010, just 44 percent of women voted for the pro-life Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. And this year, a mere 35 percent of women here voted for Mitt Romney, according to the exit polls.

If the Republicans don’t do something differently, and soon, they’ll hurt their brand so much that most women will eventually refuse to vote for any GOP candidate.

Latinos, the fastest-growing ethnic group in Illinois, also have trended more Democratic. In 2004, 53 percent of Latinos voted for John Kerry. Two years ago, 63 percent of Latinos voted for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. This year, 81 percent went with Obama.

The bottom line here is that the GOP has to stop alienating women and Latinos. Now. Today. There is simply no other path back to relevance in Illinois.

* Here’s another graph. This one shows how women have voted over the years

When Republicans do well with women, they win. End of story.

* Exit polling data…

* 1992

* 1994

* 1996

* 1998

* There was no available exit polling data for 2000 and 2002, but here’s 2004

* 2006

* 2008

* 2010

* And 2012



  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:18 am:

    You can’t blame a map for a 44-27 gap in self-identification and a 63-35 blowout among women.

  2. - Stones - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    Excellent analysis. I would add that 2010 redistricting - which effectively have given the Democrats solid control of both houses - have made them the only choice for those who wish to have a say on the state level.

  3. - Downstater - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    All of this, while the state of Illinois get closer and closer to the financial abyss.
    I would suspect the next constituional amendment we will is a change to a progressive income tax.

  4. - Loop Lady - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    Is it time for a third party in politics? I would say yes…I like choices at the ballot booth when I vote, and the GOP is self extinguishing. I am a hard core Dem that likes a relevant opposition party and thinks it is necessary for a healthy democracy.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    LL, Greens are still around. They were on the ballot for Metro Water District.

  6. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    1) The IL-GOP’s problem is obvious: Republican candidates are insufficiently conservative. Illinois Republicans need to embrace the Reagan/Tea Party/Confederate Revolution in order to return to dominance in the state.

    2) And please, please, please don’t throw me into that brier patch.

    – MrJM

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    Only the ILGOP can unite the entire Latino community here …

    “The ILGOP - Uniting the Entire Latino Community, at our OWN Expense.”

    Now, it backfired, because their Unity … seems to be focused against the ILGOP … at a 81 percent clip!

    By the way …”P” … George Prescott Bush filed prelim docs getting ready to do something politcal in Texas. I think he is a Republican, but I dunno, I am from IL and we make sure 4 of 5 Latinos vote Dem, so I am going to guess GOP for “P”, but please …understand my confusion.

    Now … what I am waiting for is the response to Rich’s graph … that may look something like this …

    “The Democratic identification has gone down over 7% from 2008. The “Fire Madigan” and the Phone Banking has INCREASED the Independents nearly 13% putting us, in the ILGOP, poised to turn move voters towards the ILGOP, from the ever growing independents, and against Madigan. Lots of “Positive” in those numbers too.”

    You’re Welcome!

  8. - Lil Enchilada - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    What’s interesting is that most Latinos I know are Catholic, which is so Pro-Life, and yet the majority vote Democrat, which leans more Pro-Choice.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:42 am:

    ===You can’t blame a map for a 44-27 gap in self-identification and a 63-35 blowout among women.===

    Look, - wordslinger - we in the ILGOP … CAN … blame the map … because we still want Cross and Radogno as our leaders and if we can “sell” the Map bit, they might get to save THEIR hides, becasue Cross and Radogno’s postions are more important than leadership that might take on “real” numbers …

    It’s the Map … not the Leadership …

    Saturday, High in the 60s …I would post a “map” to local golf courses in Oswego … but we in the ILGOP hate maps … so I suggest “The Google” Key.

  10. - Lobo y Olla - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    Looking ahead, I anticipate some GOP’s to be hard headed about the data presented here. That said, I forsee a mean spirited GOP primary between (Perhaps) A new-form of GOP moderate, and the GOP of the old guard. Their campaigns will be defined well before they need to focus on DEM rivals in the general election.

  11. - zatoichi - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    I am with Loop Lady. Would the Dems do as well if a viable third party existed? If the Repubs can’t pull themselves out of the severe right turn they are on, the only other significant choice is the Dems. And the Dems shouldn’t gloat since they will wear the coat of the tough choices required by any fiscal cliff problems.

  12. - Sir Reel - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    Unfortunately the national Republican primaries weed out moderate pro choice Republicans like Edgar. Given the rise of single issue primary voters, I don’t know the answer.

  13. - shore - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    Next 24 months
    conservatives blame the moderate establishment

    moderate establishment blames conservatives

    party pledges to do more “outreach” which does nothing and goes nowhere .

    Jim Edgar weighs in because he’s been out of office for 14 years and used all his “political brilliance”to put the party in the “great shape that it’s currently in”.

    3 moderates, a conservative and 2 fringe candidates businessmen/activists run and the conservative (loved by the base)/moderate (hated by the base) wins.

    the party trashes chicago and expects Democratic corruption, bad economic numbers and fiscal mismanagement to just give them a win.

    some unspectacular democrat wins the election and we go back to square 1.

    how is this cycle going to be any different than the last several?

  14. - cassandra - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    Amid all the cheering and self-congratulation, I wonder if Illinois Democrats aren’t quietly wishing at least a few viable Republicans would start surfacing in Illinois. It’s no fun when all you have to fight with is yourself. In fact, it’s dangerous. A Tammany Hall-like resurgence, in the absence of a credible opposition? Greed plus bad management, and nobody with a political incentive to object? Plus, the Democrats really, really are responsible for the state of the state now and in the foreseeable future. Going to have to put those blame the Repubs media statements away. But how to replace them?

  15. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    “Would the Dems do as well if a viable third party existed?”

    Wouldn’t a viable third party exist if Dems weren’t doing so well at the polls?

    If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a Merry Christmas?

    – MrJM

  16. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 9:56 am:

    Oddly enough, Lil Enchilada, most of the Catholics I know, Latino or otherwise, limit the size of their families by artificial means. In other words, they don’t let their church do *all* of their thinking for them.

  17. - SAP - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    Why has’t Blago turned people away from the Dems the way G. Ryan did for the Repubs?

  18. - Madison - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    Historically relevant term?

  19. - Votecounter - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    1992 is the last time the GOP drew the Map. The Democrats won this week does that mean the voters agree with them? Or does it mean the map is drawn well? 2 years ago the GOP won 4 congressional seats on a map Madigan drew. Would the results be the same if the last map was used for this election? I think it’s obvious no.

  20. - Votecounter - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    I meant “would this elections results be the same”?

  21. - Madison - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    That’s a real possibility. As moderates begin to head for the boats, the remaining base will become farther out of touch. Clueless candidates such as Akin, Plummer, Walsh believe that the problem is their own volume, versus content. There has to be a wake-up call here or the party could be in for a partyasaurus Rex style disintegration. I believe that if we see another purity purge, that’s the path they will follow.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    ===Why has’t Blago turned people away from the Dems the way G. Ryan did for the Repubs?===

    Because MJM is an utter Genius by seperating as many Dems from Rod as possible, including MJM and how he handled rod as Speaker, ….even after MJM was Rod’s Co-Chair …

    MJM made it ridiculously obvious he (MJM) did not like and respect Rod in the end, and THAT “image” overshadowed all the cooperation and connection that existed between them before MJM “turned his back” on Rod.

    That Madigan, you try and try and try to hang something on him … and all MJM does is win.

    Checkers … to Chess.

  23. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    The really sad part is that Pat Brady is walking around today truly shocked that selling “Fire Madigan” t-shirts for dogs didn’t provide a GOP landslide.

  24. - Bigtwich - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:14 am:

    The chart on how women have voted over the year is very interesting but what happened to the year 2000?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    ===1992 is the last time the GOP drew the Map.===

    Michael. J. Madigan.

    MJM won 4 times in a ROW …4 times …under the GOP IL House map, and the Super IL Senate map.


    Enough with the map. We lost the map, yes, but Leaders overcome that. We lost the map, you have to move on … or Golf, which led to us getting this map and this shellacking, but i digress.

    This is the Map, these are the numbers, which had more of an impact when you can’t work your precincts, you can’t work the demographics, and you literally get outworked.

  26. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    Because MJM is an utter Genius by seperating as many Dems from Rod as possible

    Impeachment will do that.

    – MrJM

  27. - western illinois - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:22 am:

    It is not the state republican brand alone the national impage plays very poorly here as well.
    The downstate counties in western Illinois that all went Obama were exposed to all the Iowa spillover ads with teh ex of Peoria and Fulton so more of that brillant GOP spending at work
    It blows Roves argument that wo his ads the GOP would have done worse.

  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:22 am:

    FWIW, Hannity has done a 180 on immigration. He’s now supporting amnesty. Go figure.

    Rich, he must be reading your column.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    ===Impeachment will do that.===

    Well said.

  30. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:30 am:

    Sorry, 10:22 was me.

  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    Votecounter, when all the precinct numbers come in you could figure that one out. But, really, why go for a sophomoric argument like that? The US Constitution requires decennial reapportionment. It’s not something you can just wish away. Also, keep in mind that this was litigated in the federal courts and GWB judges approved the map. It’s a fact of life.

  32. - too obvious - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    The Illinois media, which with the notable exceptions of Rich Miller and a few others, is laregly clueless about politics, will now revert to the same old moderate v. conservative “problem” within the gop. This “debate” by the one trick ponies will be aided by their favorite “expert” from the last century, the some-time resident of Illinois, Jim Edgar.

    All I ask is that the Democrats who want to tell the gop it must be more “moderate” like Jim Edgar, at least have the intellectual honesty to note that all of the “leaders” in the IL GOP right now are “moderates”: Cross, Radogno, Topinka, Mark Kirk, and I would include Dan Rutherford too. So how’s that working for ya?

    The IL GOP’s problems run much, much deeper than simple ideology. But yes, it requires more than rehashing the same old columns and tv segments from the last 20 yrs. (Carol Marin, yes I’m looking at you. And I like you, but raise your game.)

  33. - JT11505 - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    I think that at least part of the increase in independents is simply due to the fact that some Tea Party people who previously identified as Republican no longer do.

  34. - too obvious - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    btw, before any Republican here whines about redistricting, take a look at what Republicans did in some other states, like Pennsylvania. GOP’ers there make Madigan look like Gandhi.

  35. - east central - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    The Internet may be a factor. The strategy of running to the right for the primary and running to the middle for the general has been around since Nixon. Once upon a time it was easier to get voters in the general to forget about the prior “to the right” positions. Nowadays those primary stances are readily available, sometimes in high-def, and the opposition has become relatively sophisticated at publicizing and exploiting the discrepancies between positions taken during the primary and general.

    Of course demographics is probably an even more powerful influence.

    Together these factors suggest that a true change in positions is needed if the underlying trend is going to change.

  36. - Flat-footed - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    It’s a conspiracy.

  37. - Midstate Indy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    ILGOP: Electing democrats as republicans since 1857. although it makes a decent punch line, republicans have been promoting a mottled bunch of candidates for years because the party has no self-identity. Without direction, the viability falls to candidates like Plummer that want to run under the GOP flag and can fund their own campaigns. The ILGOP list the map because they lost the GA, they lost the GA because they don’t have a strategy to win elections based on any form of substance. It is also apparent that the present leadership is not coming to the understanding that it takes more than crying in the corner to be a player in this game. That said, Christine, Pat, and Tom come out strong, resign before Thanksgiving, and at last salvage the respect for knowing when to quit.

  38. - Brendan - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    Comparing the registrations of registered voters to actual voters gives a much more precise idea of how people identify than “exit polling.”

  39. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    Etch-a-sketch, anyone?

  40. - western illinois - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    Maybe the GOP needs to study how Gary Forby separtes himself from BOTH his state and local parties in the deep red south.
    Thye could go back to a Big Jim type party but I wont hold my breath

  41. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Are you recommending a Radogno/Biggert ticket in 2014?

    Now that Joe Walsh has paid his child support, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t have crossover appeal to women.

  42. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    ===The ILGOP list the map because they lost the GA,===

    If they’d have won the governor’s race, they would’ve had a 50-50 shot at drawing the map.

  43. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    During the Bush administration the GOP doubled-down on the Military-Industrial Complex economy with a healthy dose of petroleum.

    If the Republicans are going to shift federal policy to subsidizing military contractors and petroleum companies….

    What plays well in Texas, Alaska and Louisiana is not going to play well in states that have much less military presence than average and where petroleum is not as big a part of the economy.

  44. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    One problem, the IL GOP doesn’t run on anything and stands for zip. Purely a cult of personality party. It’s every man/woman for himself/herself.

  45. - walkinfool - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    If reformers want to improve the mapping process, the time is right now, eight years before the next census.

    Please don’t wait for 8 or 9 years until its potential impact will be frightening to legislators.

  46. - Ms. Reasonable - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:08 am:

    I concur with the above in its entirety. The GOP must develop strategies that move people to the them, by closer communication and involvement with women and minorities. I am a person who enjoys visuals. Great Job!

  47. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:09 am:

    Fire Madigan “onesies” don’t appeal to woman? Come on! They’re so cute! [GOP mentality]

  48. - Midstate Indy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Very true, Rich. Maybe next time you catch up with Oswego Willy you guys could scratch out a decent gubernatorial campaign strategy on a cocktail napkin. That would be exponentially more of a plan than the ILGOP has formulated in years, as they usually rely on the tried & true 35-way primary concept.

  49. - Lay Person - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    I fully belive the above is true. Also, it now may push democrats into more conservative financial compromises to maintain their voting block. It could be positive for all?

  50. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:14 am:

    I think there is some good news for us GOPers buried in the results. There are virtually no blacks left to alienate, and far fewer women than 10 or 20 years ago.

  51. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    === ===The ILGOP list the map because they lost the GA,===

    If they’d have won the governor’s race, they would’ve had a 50-50 shot at drawing the map.===

    “We showed those conservatives …when we moderates in the GOP stay away it hurts.”

    And will keep on hurting for 10 years, because instead of overcoming the map (see MJM…), or changing how the H&SGOP runs and recruits candidates to win the seats needed to gain first relevence than control.

    I will let the ILGOP use the “30/60/mansion” Mantra if I get a free T-shirt, mug, and mouse pad with the logo.

    Since I, too, am irrelevent, this and the $4.50 I have in my pocket will get me 3 Cannoli at Caputo’s in Plainfield.

    Sorry for the rant, Rich.

  52. - Jimbo - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    It’s not a map,it’s a very complicated jigsaw puzzle

  53. - Eilean left - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    Lay Person

    I wouldn’t count on that one!!!

  54. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Schnorf, don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  55. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    As long as GOP pundits like Bill O’Reilly keep saying that Obama supporters reelected him because they “want stuff,” the GOP will continue to do poorly with Latinos and African-Americans. People understand what the pundits are saying between the lines: certain segments of the population voted for Obama to get welfare.

  56. - Freeman - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    === how is this cycle going to be any different than the last several? ===

    It does feel as though the GOP has been having this discussion in Illinois since just about forever, doesn’t it?

  57. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    Grandson–There are polls that show that Latinos and blacks do favor a safety net at a significantly higher rate than do whites. Both groups are very socially conservative, but they won’t vote GOP. The GOP is not in the business of promising free stuff. We’re in a quandry. I guess we could give up the Founders’ idea of limited government…

  58. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    I think I have seen a very perceptiblelurch to the center in the past 48 hours by a number of the conservative talking heads

  59. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    Rich, your column is right on when you say that the GOP has to change to appeal to women and latinos, but the implication is that women didn’t vote republican because of the GOP pro-life stand, and latinos didn’t vote for republicans because of the GOP anti-immigrant stand. While that may be true for some, the vast majority of both groups work, and they work for wages. They’re not “job creators”, they’re middle class wage earners whose jobs, homes and economic vitality has been crushed by the “great recession”, and in my opinion while the GOP does have to change its stance on immigration and women’s choice, the main reason so many didn’t vote for them is because the GOP is now identified as the party of the rich, for the rich and by the rich. They don’t identify with the GOP for economic reasons and didn’t by the GOP line about the bad economy being Obama’s fault.

  60. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    at least part of the increase in independents is simply due to the fact that some Tea Party people who previously identified as Republican no longer do.

    Perhaps the rise of the Tea Party also explains why the long-time Republican stronghold of DuPage County has, by my count, more than eight times as many Democratic elected officials as it did just four years ago.

    In the immortal words of John Hughes: “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!”

    – MrJM

  61. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    –The GOP is not in the business of promising free stuff.–

    What’s all this free stuff I hear so much about. Could I get a list and where to sign up?

  62. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:18 pm:

    Err, buy, not by. Sorry about that.

  63. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===The GOP is not in the business of promising free stuff===

    Tax cuts are “free stuff” in a way.

  64. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:23 pm:


    Tax cuts are our own money remaining in our pockets. But, yes both parties play games w/the tax code.

  65. - reformer - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    == You can’t blame a map for a 44-27 gap in self-identification and a 63-35 blowout among women.=

    Or for an 81-19 percent debacle among Latinos.

  66. - Midstate Indy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===I will let the ILGOP use the “30/60/mansion” Mantra if I get a free T-shirt, mug, and mouse pad with the logo.===

    Do they have the mouse pads for sale already? Maybe they will feature Plummer with an “Jason for Something Important - 2014″ theme.

  67. - reformer - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    == Only the ILGOP can unite the entire Latino community here. ==

    A bill providing driver’s licenses or certificates for undocumented residents is likely to come up in 2013. It will be instructive to see if any Republicans vote for it. All of those who voted for it the last time it came up will be gone (e.g. Saviano, Beaubien, Mulligan, Munson…)

    The House GOP used that vote in the 2008 election against Democrats in an inflamatory way designed to arouse fear and resentment.

    Will the GOP change its tune and stop marching to the Minuteman’s beat? My guess is the majority from south of 1-80 won’t budge.

  68. - Midstate Indy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===In the immortal words of John Hughes: “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!”===

    The immortality of that scene comes from the parallel that the ILGOP has to John Candy just driving along, honking, waving, thinking the other guy is a moron until it wedges its crappy vehicle into a situation that it barely makes it out of, only to eventually come to a complete stop & burn to the ground…

    If only it were so easy to demonstrate that the guy driving is really the devil underneath…

  69. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==Amid all the cheering and self-congratulation, I wonder if Illinois Democrats aren’t quietly wishing at least a few viable Republicans would start surfacing in Illinois.==

    I agree with Rachel Maddow on this.

    “Because in this country, we have a two-party system in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides, both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate about competing feasible ideas about real problems.”

  70. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===Very true, Rich. Maybe next time you catch up with Oswego Willy you guys could scratch out a decent gubernatorial campaign strategy on a cocktail napkin. That would be exponentially more of a plan than the ILGOP has formulated in years, as they usually rely on the tried & true 35-way primary concept. ===

    worked for a White Sox stadium …

    They may listen to Rich. He has the juice.

  71. - ArchPundit - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    ====1992 is the last time the GOP drew the Map. The Democrats won this week does that mean the voters agree with them? Or does it mean the map is drawn well? 2 years ago the GOP won 4 congressional seats on a map Madigan drew. Would the results be the same if the last map was used for this election? I think it’s obvious no.

    Look at the graph. Now think about the graph. Does that graph suggest a better map would fix the GOP’s problems? No, it does not. Could a map more friendly to the GOP? Sure.

    With the old map you had a 9-8 Republican majority in a Blue state. Now you have a 12-6 map which over represents Democrats. What would a fair map be? Probably 10-8 with 55% to Dems and 45% to Republicans. You could make a case for 11-7, but let’s go with 10-8.

    But what about the last map? Old IL-8 stays Republicans though Walsh would be vulnerable in any race. Old IL-11 would likely go back to Democratic in a Presidential at least. Old IL-17 is at least a tossup and perhaps a slight Dem lead with a Presidential race. IL-10 leaned Dem, but was always a battleground. Yes, it would change the outcome, but Rs wouldn’t keep all four seats and may have lost 3 in a Presidential year.

    2010 was a large wave election which had lower Dem Turnout in areas that were swing districts (as Rich pointed out, in non-swing areas some Dem turnout was up).

    But so what? Redistricting has to take place–IL lost a seat even so something had to be changed. At best you can argue for a +2 advantage for Dems and maybe only a +1 if you look at the Presidential vote of 57%.

    Is that the central problem of the IL GOP? No, and it’s not even close to being the big problem. The big problem for the ILGOP is that they exist in a blue state and are being pulled to the right by the national trends. If the ILGOP wants to reverse that, being more conservative or more true to right wing nonsense isn’t going to work.

  72. - Fiscal Cliff Clavin - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    The remap is a single asset in an arsenal of political weapons that Democrats have the luxury of enjoying and they earn it almost every election cycle. They control the message, the legislative agenda, the veto, they have a superior ground game, the organizational advantages of a major metropolitan area and social policy positions that are widely accepted in the 21st century…among many others.

    It’s a war of position vs a war of maneuver. The only problem is that the GOP isn’t maneuvering, they just stand there in the same position like they have the tactical advantage. Heck, even when they do move, General Madigan has them spotted from a 1000 yards out.

    This coming from a Republican.

  73. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:02 pm:


    But if the GOP abandons its positions and adopts the Dem positions as many are advocating today, where’s the competition for ideas? There is much discussion of this at NRO for example today.

    Where do the citizens go who do hold the views that the GOP is supposed to abandon? They don’t count anymore? They don’t have a right to be heard at the ballot box? [And actually, the base would say the GOP is not conservative enough, or talks out of both sides of its mouth, which is why many are said to have stayed home again.]

  74. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Peggy So-IL -,


    Your GOP ideals are now Veto-Proofed for this entire GA session.

    Got get the Chambers and the Mansion, then we can agree on 80% and try to work to get GOP agendas passed.

    Good Question … but you can invite Christine Radogno’s “19″ to your dinner table.

    That is OUR Reality.

    30/60/Mansion - Seriously, ILGOP, I just want a T-Shirt, Mug, and Mouse Pad …

  75. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    OW–My opinion on IL legislative session is merely academic as I am in Southern IL. Don’t mind me. I am free to stand by my principles with no impact on anything.

  76. - In_The_Middle - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    Dear Republican Party…take your neo-con, anti-abortionist, homophobic, hypocrites who think marriage is Gods gift to them, and sweep them under the rug. THEN I will vote for your candidates.

  77. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    - Peggy So-IL -,

    We all got to buy in, and a ILGOP should not exclude you, and I hope you don’t feel I dismissed you. I am sure we agree the 80% Ronald Reagan had mentioned.

    We as a party have to start somewhere, and I don’t want you feeling alienated already, becasue hopefully, the ILGOP will want to “add” not “subtract” and I don;t want to be a part of that either.


    Oswego Willy

  78. - ArchPundit - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:23 pm:

    ===But if the GOP abandons its positions and adopts the Dem positions as many are advocating today, where’s the competition for ideas?

    Well, if you think LGBT citizens should be second class citizens, think that contraception is evil, or think that Latino kids who are undocumented should be returned to a country they didn’t grow up in, then by all means keep at it. I’m happy to keep beating you at the polls.

    However, if you want to advocate for a smaller state government than Democrats and a more efficient government, you have an argument that will get some traction.

    It’s really the choice of Republicans to choose. Stand by principles on social issues especially that most Illinoisans reject or work towards something doable keeping a state government from expanding too much. Do you want some of what you believe in or is all the only choice to try for?

  79. - whetstone - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    “Why has’t Blago turned people away from the Dems the way G. Ryan did for the Repubs?”

    He almost did, insofar as as Quinn only beat Brady by 32k votes (allegedly the 7th closest gov race in history) and only won four counties.

    Running a downstate conservative was a big risk, IMO, compared to a collar-county moderate like Kirk Dillard; perhaps Dillard could have tipped the balance where Quinn was strongest.

    I don’t exactly blame the state GOP, since they got the guy who represented what they wanted, and almost won. But they could have made a different compromise between electability in less friendly regions and ideology.

  80. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    For my part, I’m not saying the GOP needs to adopt the Democrats’ policy positions. I just want to have a shared universe of facts. Global warming isn’t a myth promoted by a conspiracy of leftist scientists to destroy free enterprise. Lower tax rates on the wealthy are not correlated with economic growth. There are no death panels. We don’t have to agree on how to deal with the facts, but we new to agree on the facts.

  81. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    *need to agree.

  82. - Oswego Joe - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    I am truly at a loss as to why the GOP lost so bad in Illinois. The Dems have sent this state into a death spiral for the last decade. There were excellant candidates out there.

    Romney and McCain were both very moderate candidates. Would a conservative, a core conservative fair better?

    What steps does the GOP need to take to bring in the Latino vote? They immigrate because they want better opportunity for their families, just like all of us and our ancestors and many have strong family values. They dont come here for high taxes and government programs.

    What steps does the GOP need to take to cut that gap back to 53%? I dont believe the DREAM Act is what would do it. There has to be other appeal.

  83. - Oswego Joe - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    To follow up, if a Edgar and Thompson made it through a primary today, could they win in IL? Could Pate win the senate on this map?

  84. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===Would a conservative, a core conservative fair better?===

    You had one in Bill Brady and he lost during the biggest GOP landslide since 1994, and maybe 1946.

  85. - Five Percenter - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    Being a Younger Gen X Republican is like being a Blackhawks fan in the Bill Wirtz era. Great team, great legacy, great traditions but they always fell short to the Penguins, to the Rockies and everytime the circle firing squad ensued. It wasn’t until the ‘old guard’ died and let the younger Hawk Management team (Rocky , et al) step up and implement their new ideas. 2 years later- Stanly Cup Champs. There are many like myself that would like to take leadership roles but because we might be too young or too what ever- the same old mistakes keep being made. This will continue in 2014 and beyond until the grey hairs and Far right stop scaring voters away.

  86. - Five Percenter - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:31 pm:

    As to attracting the Latino vote- Values are one thing- but that is a failed alignment without relationships with the community. The only time the GOP shows up in the Hispanic community is when they need votes. Then they find someone who can shill for them and they fall flat. Add to that foolish comments that have nothing to do with getting the state or country back on track and you have a simple explanation for the failures of 2010 and 2012. Continued alienation of the largest and fastest growing demographic will yield similiar results in the future.

  87. - Oswego Joe - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    If the House or Senate GOP proposed their own budget would that have helped? They always would vote against the dem budget, but never saw that they actually had a plan of their own.

  88. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    To imply that African-Americans and Latinos voted for Obama to get welfare is insulting and simplistic. It’s bitter and repulsive. AA’s and Latinos are judges, cops, teachers, attorneys, truck drivers, business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, etc. These people voted for Obama for diverse reasons. When they hear the dog whistles they understand them.

    The GOP can continue down that path at its own peril. Plus, sixty million Americans who voted for Obama don’t fundamentally hate government welfare programs.

  89. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:56 pm:

    Archpundit & Jens,

    Mocking beliefs and defensible viewpoints doesn’t really help. Yes, they are defensible. I don’t see any point in debating each item here. There are things such as liberty, limited government, property rights, & social and economic stability. We all believe what we believe and have reasons for such core beliefs. I used to be a liberal feminist.

  90. - ArchPundit - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    —Would a conservative, a core conservative fair better?

    How many core conservatives have won statewide in Illinois? I can name one: Peter Fitzgerald and that ended up being very close. The next closest would be Jim Ryan. I have posts that run through the failures of core conservatives in Illinois statewide races many times and the only answer from those calling for more core conservatives is that purity of essence explains it all or something.

    Who are the last moderates to win? Judy and Rutherford.

    The national party positions probably limits the ILGOP to being a minority party, but it can be an effective or an ineffective minority party depending on how it acts (and a minority party can elect a governor).

  91. - ArchPundit - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 3:07 pm:

    —Mocking beliefs and defensible viewpoints doesn’t really help.

    It doesn’t help to pretend to be a victim. You aren’t.

  92. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    Peggy, you are going to fill us in on all that “free stuff” we can get now, right, specifically? We’ve been hearing so much about it.

    40 acres and a mule, perhaps?

  93. - jerry 101 - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 5:13 pm:

    I think the whole conservative ideology is just eating itself now, and conservativism, and the Republican party that owns it, is, at least in its current form, dying.

    Not dead yet, of course, not by a long shot. But suffering. What’s happened in Illinois since 2000 is spreading nationally. Yes, the Republicans do control the House, but the Republicans failed to gain the Senate during the ‘monsterous’ 2010 wave. They failed again this year. In fact, they actually lost a net of 2 seats. They failed to beat a President that never should have stood a chance. They had a bad economy and more money than God, and a supposedly overwhelmingly excited base.

    It’s not the demographics - it’s the ideology.

    The conservative ideology is eating itself alive. I’m not even sure what the right description for what it’s become - at the same time, it’s a self-parody, it’s rank, bloated, and rotten, it’s pure, it’s so inward looking that conservatives literally see a different reality from the rest of us. It’s become a worldview that has a lot in common with what the leaders of the 1984-world push out there.

    Rush Limbaugh, George Bush, Goldwater, Reagan, Rove, Fox, Graham, Falwell, etc, etc, etc are the shades that are destroying the ability of conservatives to win elections.

    Conservative base voters expect such a high level of purity, and a growing high level of purity, that it totally turns off many outsiders.

    You all deny reality with pride - climate change, evolution, simple math (I heard a radio interview with a conservative who was campaigning against a Missouri ballot iniative to increase their cigarette tax from 17 cents (!) to like 98 cents. He is so steeped in conservative ideology that he actually said that the tax increase would cause tax revenues to fall! This isn’t raising the tax in a state like Illinois or New York where prices are already so high that it’s actually realistic that another 10 or 20% (increase of $0.50 to $1, basically) tax hike could cause revenues to fall (due to people quitting). This is a 5 fold tax hike in a state with one of the lowest taxes in the nation. What, are St. Louis smokers gonna cross the border to buy cigarettes in Illinois? Is another 80 cents going to break the bank of a dedicated smoker and cause him or her to quit? No freaking way - but this was a true believer).

    Anyway, its not the demographics that are against the republicans. It’s their refusal to face reality. It’s their lock step opposition to reasonable policy solutions, including policy solutions once advocated by large numbers of Republicans (like Cap and Trade). It’s their refusal to realize that, well, being racist, homophobic, and anti-woman turns off a lot of voters of color, young voters, women, and gays, and a lot of other people to boot. It’s their refusal to see the reality that many of them are bigots and their desire to say “no! its the democrats who are actually the bigots!” Nobody’s buying it guys.

    The world is a-changing, and the Republicans are trying harder than ever to return us to a lily-white Leave It To Beaver utopia that never existed anyway.

    Until conservatives can find a new ideology to follow and really reform themselves, they’ll continue sliding into oblivion.

    Now that all that bleakness is done with, you Republicans can take heart. LIke I said, you’re not dead yet. You have all the money, especially in this citizens united world. You did succeed in turning wall street against the democrats (despite Obama’s fervent efforts to support wall street over the people - the joke that was HAMP, the ongoing bailouts from the Fed, Geithner, the giant sucking sound that TARP continues to be, the failure to prosecute anyone associated with the financial crisis (sorry, bernie madoff wasn’t part of the financial crisis. he was just a good ole’ fashioned ponzi schemer), the 50 state mortgage settlement fraud, etc), so that’s a huge plus for your fundraising. One of the democrats big 4 fundraising teams are on your side now. Unfortunately for you, tech is emerging, and seems to be going Blue. You still have a media that is obsessed with emulating NewsCorp and largely leans to the right (yes, even NPR leans right. I guess it may not seem that way when you’re as far to the right as Rush limbaugh, but there is little in the way of left of center political news and opinion on NPR or in the media in general, for that matter). Plus, most states are so severly gerrymandered in your favor, it’s gonna be really hard for Democrats to win the House for the next 10 years. Unless more Texas style mid-decade redistrictings happen. The door is open to that now.

    And, the biggest thing in your favor, is that your opponents are Democrats! I see a lot of sad-sack jokes about Republicans being inept, but come on now. No one can hold a candle to the Democrats when it comes to being inept. What other party could win as spectacularly as the Democrats in 2008 and then get steamrolled by the opposition for the next 2 years, and then lose their huge House majorities? What other party would have a large minority of it’s own caucus basically walking around all the time declaring “Hey, we’re basically Republicans! We don’t like Obama either!” (the blue dogs).

    Democrats can always figure out how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sucky feeling though, huh?

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