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Question of the day

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jim Edgar on the future of the GOP

But Edgar does see a possible bright spot in the future for the party. “The governor’s race in Illinois in two years is huge for the Republican Party. If we can win the governor’s office back, then we have a viable two party system in Illinois,” he said. “But we’ve got to make sure that we have a candidate who not only appeals to Republicans but who also appeals to independents and thoughtful Democrats because you’ve got to have those. There [are] not enough Republicans in the state to get elected dog catcher. You’ve got to go out and get people who don’t view themselves as Republican. That means that you’re going to have to make sure the candidate appeals to the center.”

Edgar warned that Republicans should not look at Quinn’s low public approval ratings and assume they have the governor’s race in the bag. “I think we have an opportunity, but it’s only an opportunity — no guarantee. We’ve got to get our act together.”

* The Question: Keeping in mind that the next gubernatorial campaign will be during President Obama’s second midterm election, which is generally not favorable to the party in power, how do you rate the Republican Party’s chances in 2014? Explain.


  1. - Fight for Chicago - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    Chances? None.

    In fact, I bet the lose a seat or two in the ILGA.

  2. - tubbfan - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    It all comes down to the eventual candidate and party unity. I’m not hopeful.

  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    Explain, please. Last warning.

  4. - Downstater - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Moderate Repulican will have difficulty getting out of the primary. Why would any Republican want to take the Governor’s job? Let the democrats carry the burden for the mess they have created.

  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    ===how do you rate the Republican Party’s chances in 2014?===

    The Party itself doesn’t have much of a chance, as Edgar said, although I do think if every Republican in the state got behind the right candidate, they could elect a dog catcher somewhere here.

    Seriously, if the ILGOP can nominate someone who can appeal to the majority of voters, with a vision and a detailed plan to right the ship of state, they can certainly win.

    It will take a good plan and a compelling vision. It will take a lot of hard work and successful organizing, not just pretend organizing. And it will take building a network in Chicago that reaches out to a diverse group of voters who aren’t terribly enamored with “the Machine.”

    Interested GOP applicants should start first by getting behind marriage equality and drivers’ licenses for undocumented residents. Those are two pieces of very low hanging fruit that could give the GOP a beachhead into Chicago.

    Dillard should sponsor both bills if he wants to win.

  6. - Meanderthal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    The first step in any potential GOP recovery in 2014 is for Jim Edgar to announce he will not under any circumstance run for governor or anything else. Then try to winnow the field for governor and fill in other slots on ticket, particularly US Senate.

  7. - The Captain - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    Above average. The election turf will be primarily on taxes as the temporary income tax increase is set to expire and it was approved during the Quinn administration’s term with Democratic votes. That’s favorable ground for Republicans.

    However it isn’t quite as favorable as the ground was in 2010 when they had a national wind at their back, the Democrats had just had a Governor arrested and impeached, the incumbent was unelected and the budget deficit was so ungodly high that a tax increase or steep, painful cuts was imminent.

    No two elections are the same and people generally spend too much time evaluating the upcoming election solely on the metrics that mattered in the last one. 2014 looks like a tossup.

  8. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    Republicans have a 50/50 chance with a great candidate. The problem is the party has a bad image and I don’ think they will be running against Quinn. I’m not sure the national issue is going to help the Republicans since if things fall apart, the House Republicans will most likely get the blame further hurting the Republican brand.

    In the end, odds are going to depend on the candidate running in November. Even if the Republicans have the best candidate they can find, I only give them 50% chance since the State party is not demonstrating the capability to win an election and the national brand is so bad. State Republican party needs a house cleaning, good leadership will improve their odds as well.

  9. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:57 am:

    As others have said, they have an opportunity but a number of things must go their way, including getting such a moderate candidate with broad appeal through the primary, getting Quinn through the primary and revamping their leadership and broadening their appeal and GOTV strategies. Lots of contingencies and lots of ways it can go wrong.

  10. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    Like every other such question, the answer is, “It depends.”

    If the economy is still in the dumps, and the Democrats have not brought the fiscal house in order, and Quinn’s personal approval is still in the dumpster, I’d give the Republicans a 75% chance of winning the office, IF the republican ground game is addressed as a major issue by the ILGOP.

  11. - Lobo y Olla - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    Are there any hispanic women of note in the GOP to run? No. What about gay men? No. Just more old, white men. When the GOP looks more like a Benetton ad, well maybe then.

  12. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    My gut instinct says that the GOPs chances to take the statehouse should be strong. It seems like a perfect storm- midterm election, low approval rating, a handful of candidates that seem like they might be strong. I’d like to say that the chances are better than 50/50.

    But then again, I keep thinking back to 2010. In a historically great Republican year with an absolutely awful Democratic opponent, the GOP couldn’t take it. If it couldn’t happen then, why now?

    In the end, I think a Republican wins the job. (unless someone absolutely unelectable like Walsh wins the nomination). I think this is especially true if someone like Schock, who hasn’t been involved in state government in a while, wins the nomination and can, with credibility, attack the way the state has been run.

  13. - CIC - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    Republicans have a less than 10% chance at Governor’s office.

    They can’t compete in Chicagoland and downstate can’t offset Chicagoland vote.

    It matters very little who the candidate is on either side.

  14. - Oh Yeah - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    Above average and possibly very good if things break right for them. The key is a moderate making it out of the primary. If there is a GOP primary for Governor loaded with candidates (like last time) and the most extreme one emerges (like last time), the GOP might as well quit the race right then even if Quinn makes it out of his primary (a huge “if”).
    What the ILGA and the Democrats do with their super-majorities over the next 2 years will also be a huge factor in the GOP’s chances for Governor.
    Whether the national GOP moderates and makes real overtures and amends with women and Latino voters in the next two years will be a big factor too especially in the suburbs (which will determine this race in the general).
    The leadership of the ILGOP will probably be the biggest factor, though. If it sees the light, helps moderate the party, and helps to keep the primary field thinned of the radicals and a strong moderate emerges as their candidate, the GOP should win it. I, for one, have no faith that Brady, et al. can do this. I think it takes moderate GOP heavyweights like Edgar effectively taking over to end up with the favorable GOP post-primary situation set out above.

  15. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    They have to give us a real choice next time.

    I like Pat Quinn but he’s not a good choice for governor. I think Blago picked him for the same reasons GHW Bush picked Dan Quayle–so we’d think about it a little more before we got rid of the guy in the big chair.

    OTOH, I voted for Pat Quinn last time. You know why? I didn’t want Bill Brady thinking I agree with him about anything. I’ll do exactly the same thing next time if it’s Brady, or Joe Walsh, or anyone who think like them.

  16. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    If the GOP can find a socially liberal, fiscally conservative candidate who can clearly articulate a reasonable plan to deal with all the State’s problems that does not blame the teachers and State employees for all the woes, then the ILGOP might have a chance. Maybe we can borrow a GOP Gov from some other state?

    If the plan includes something like Fortney’s bill on the pensions (I don’t expect pensions actually fixed before then) and changing to a progressive income tax, I’d place the odds about 50/50, assuming it is properly explained as to impact. But if it is not properly sold or if the plan includes a tax hike on most people, they will have about the same chance as the Cubs have next year.

  17. - Empty Chair - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    Say what you want about Quinn’s communication skills and approval raitings, but if you have significant job growth over the next 2 years, together with (let’s hope!!!!) pension reform, medicaid reform, deficit reduction, and substantial infrastructure investments, Quinn will have QUITE the policy resume to run on.

    Trade unions will have his back. CTU is increasingly on his side. Suburbanites will love the investments in the tollway and the fiscal prudence he’s shown in taking on AFSCME. He’s out front on women’s and lgbt issues. And construction jobs always play well in the inner city communities.

    Sorry, but this isn’t the cakewalk many on the right think it is.

  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    Not as good as in 2010, when I thought Brady would win by 2 or 3 points.

    Other than that, I think 47 nails it.

    If the GOP can show that they don’t consider vast numbers of the people to be the enemy, they have a shot folks will believe them when they say they’ll be better managers of the people’s business.

  19. - Empty Chair - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    That said, I’ll still say it’s 45/55 in favor of the GOP. History has their side with the midterms being out-of-presidential-power party years.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    The Cake for the Mansion to be won:

    The winner of the Primary must run to the left enough to get the moderates back, and make sure the conservates don’t sit on their hands and don’t show up.

    This candidate must appeal to women, but seem to be in touch with Illinois business, while being able to talk to Reagan Democrats, and understand the Reagan Rule of 80%…

    All the while, the ILGOP has a ground game to focus solely on getting the Maximum number of GOP votes out in the Fall, and the “Campaign” focus on the in-roads for Reagan Democrats, women and minorities, specifically Latinos

    A balanced ticket, with LG mirroring the Reagan Rule of 80%, but enough of an opposite of the Guv. Nominee that courting another group is genuine and honest.

    Experience in front of the camera …

    And Humor! Humor! Humor!

    We in the GOP take each other so seriously and look like such stiff shirts on on the trail, how do we connect with voters when we get them in front of our Nominee(s).

    Gotta look “real” too.

    The “the question” -

    Yes, but under these criteria, otherwise there will be lots of “measuring drapes”, and little of vote gathering.

  21. - DOWNSTATE DEM - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    Chances - ZERO The is no leadership, no understanding of the problems the state faces, no abilities to unite voters. Also the control of Cook and that vast pool of voters, would be impossible to overcome.

  22. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:21 pm:

    CIC is right. The GOP has less than a 10% chance unless economic conditions get much, much worse. Plus, how can a GOP candidate raise money in Illinois when businesses don’t want to be associated with a loser for fear of retribution?

  23. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    Zero chance if the party doesnt recognize that there are not enough Republican Primary Voters, all voting for one candidate in a general election, to have any chance of beating even a poorly supported Democrat. The GOP has to shift its platform to appeal to social moderates and to the growing Latino population. To win, they have to forge a coalition between traditional GOP primary voters and social moderates and Latinos. Recent history tells us the Republican Primary voters dont seem concerned about the electability of their too far to the right candidates.

  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    Adding … the other thing the next GOP candidate needs is the mindset they will only be a one term gov. The problems are so big and the solutions potentially so unpopular, anyone who actually fixes enough things to right the ship will probably not be re-electable.

  25. - cassandra - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    Quinn will run and he will be difficult for the Republicans to beat.

    Quinn will be the incumbent, the economy will very probably be in better shape, although not tiptop, and whatever unpleasant measures were taken to reduce the state’s fiscal woes will be receding rapidly into history as far as most voters are concerned. This is particularly true if most of the burden falls on state retirees, a small fraction of the Illinois electorate. AFSCME will stomp and howl, but they appear most interested in avoiding layoffs and getting some increases for current members, the ones who pay dues. Sorry, retirees, but I suspect you’ll be carrying a lot of the freight on fiscal reform. A combo of increased tax receipts due to an improving economy and a modest reform of medical and pension benefits (plus extra revenues from the permanent increase in the state income tax) might keep the state marginally solvent, allow the governor to claim he fixed the budget and give him flexibility in deciding whether to support a permanent extension of the temporary part of the tax increase during the campaign.

    If Quinn patches the state’s finances together, what does a Republican opponent run on? Cuts? Seems like most folks don’t want them, judging by the negative response to specific cuts. Reform? We already had the post-Blago reform we’re going to get and Quinn seems unlikely to make any mistakes in the corruption dept. Time for a change? Romney tried that, didn’t work.

  26. - Palos Park Bob - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    I think Dillard or Rutherford could win it if they can get out of the primary. the problem is that they woould split the “moderate” GOP primary vote and cancel each other out. If it’s another cattle call with a bunch of Dupage wannabees crowding the field, another unelectable candidate like Bill “Puppy Killer” Brady could sneak in and sink the party again.

    This is where Party leadership plays a key role. We need a caucus of those who know Illinois politics and know who can get a statewide majority and getthem through the primary.

    The problem is finding a group of GOP “leaders” who understand anything about winning Illinois politics……

  27. - shore - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    Not good.

    I don’t know what’s going to be different in 2014. I don’t see any kind of a new thing or plan that will change the party’s situation. Jim Edgar has said these things and lurked around for 15 years and the party has only suffered defeat after defeat during that time.

    You can say what you want about George W. Bush but the best thing he did after he left office was disappear to give the party a chance to figure itself out. Edgar should do the same.

  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    –The GOP has less than a 10% chance unless economic conditions get much, much worse. Plus, how can a GOP candidate raise money in Illinois when businesses don’t want to be associated with a loser for fear of retribution? –

    Steve, what alternate universe are you traveling in today?

    2010 Governors vote:

    Quinn: 1,745,219
    Brad: 1,713,385

    Money raised, from

    Quinn: $24,000,000
    Brady: $19,945,000

  29. - Flat-footed - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Their chances are excellent. All they have to do now is sit back and blame Dems for everything that’s wrong. It worked for them in 2010. 2012 was not a typical year.

  30. - Flat-footed - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    Johnny Q. -
    Is the public really stupid enough to elect someone like Schock, whose only real experience is knowing how to raise money and get elected?

  31. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    It depends on who they nominate. One social conservative has ever won statewide office in modern times–Peter Fitzgerald. If the GOP wants to bet on Pat Quinn, they might be able to make it two. If it’s not Quinn, that will be a bad bet to make.

  32. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    If Dillard yes. If not no way.

  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    50/50 odds. We currently have a Republican US Senator, Treasurer, and Comptroller. You can argue the latter two don’t say much in terms of chances to win the Governorship because they’re so low-profile, but the Senate seat shows its definitely possible. To a certain point, it’s more important who the candidate and their opponent is than the party label. The 2010 races are a clear example of that.

  34. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    The state GOP strikes me as being split into too many sects to be able to unite, turn the ship around, and elect a governor in only two years. That’s especially true when they will likely be running against a guy that, despite how unpopular he is, just won’t go away.

    GOP seems to need someone strong to emerge TODAY to finally provide the leadership the party has needed since Ryan’s arrest. I fear, though, that this will not happen and the party will have missed an amazing opportunity to reorganize.

  35. - Eilean left - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    To put it bluntly, you can put lipstick on a pig,but it is still a pig as so aptly put by a former VP candidate. For the state GOP to pivot on a dime and now after so many years be the great champion of womens rights,people of color,working families,LGBT,and young voters it is hard to believe that they would have a chance in 2014 to win.Whoever the candidate is will also have the explicitly layout his or her plan to get the states fiscal house in order. To just say that we can fix our problems by growing our economy,cutting spending and lowering taxes won’t work anymore.We have way too much debt to retire without raising taxes and freezing spending levels. Just be honest about our problems and maybe the voters will respond in a positive way.This goes for the Dems also.

  36. - Norseman - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    I say the chance is slim. First, the GOP has to come up with a moderate who will survive a primary with heavily funded extreme conservatives. Second, Quinn will need to survive challenges in the Democrat primay.

  37. - James - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    Cheryl44, As I recall, Blago didn’t pick PQ. PQ ran in the 2002 LG primary. Blago preferred another candidate. When both won, they became hitched in the 2002 general and thereafter, but not by their own design.

  38. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    God I just love when a voice from the last century who sometimes lives in this state tells us what we need to do. Thank you Jim Edgar!

  39. - Steve Downstate - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    How much you want to bet that Jason Plummer is looking over the ruins of his congressional campaign and figuring out that it all adds up to one thing: “I must run for governor! Daaaaad! Can you get out your checkbook thing?” Not exactly what Jim Edgar had in mind, but that won’t stop Jason. Up and onward (with tax returns still locked safely away)…

  40. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    The Republican candidate would have to move center of their base. I don’t see this happening.

  41. - Stones - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    I say 50/50. Quinn is unpopular and the GOP will do better in a non-Presidential year. The key (as Gov. Edgar put it) is to get a viable candidate. No more Bill Brady’s!

  42. - MrJM - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    how do you rate the Republican Party’s chances in 2014?


    1) The national economy will have had two more years of recovery. That will give some the impression that Illinois can just grow its way out of its problems. Better times will discourage moderate voters from making an extreme change.

    2) The GOP primary will produce either: A) a moderate who’s been portrayed as a Marxist by the party’s well-financed far-right wing, or B) a Tea Party favorite who’s views are anathema to a majority of Illinois voters. In either case, the Democrats will, with a degree of success, portray the GOP nominee as Joe Walsh’s soul-mate.

    3) The national GOP will maintain their brand as the “Know Nothing & Do Nothing” party. That will not make a Republican nominee more appealing to moderate Illinois voters.

    4) In a close race — like the last one — those things can really make a difference.

    Note: Of course other stuff could intervene making everything everyone posted today moot.

    – MrJM

  43. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Flat Footed-

    Honestly, yes. I feel like he’s the perfect candidate. Young, good looking guy, who is kind of a blank slate. No real baggage. He’ll get dinged a little for his not so moderate social stances, but I think he “feels” moderate enough to absorb some of the blows in the city and suburbs where that would be a serious issue.

  44. - Julio - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    Chances - NONE.

    The Illinois Republican Party is too extreme for Illinois voters.

  45. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    The Republican candidate must not only be electable, he must govern once elected.

    A candidate who is conservative CAN be elected in the state as long as he/she is clear that the top priorities in the state are fiscal, not social, and that social issues are best handled by the people of the state, and not a bunch of plutocrats in Springfield.

  46. - Ghost of John Brown - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    I would say 30%, but with a lot of ifs.

    If Pat Quinn is going to run again, then I think the GOP has a very good chance. The pension problem is only going to get worse unless something radical happens and I don’t give that much hope of changing.

    The other if is whether or not we have a repeat of 2010. There are already signs that way too many people are going to get in the race. Dillard sounds like he is in. Schock has been rumored to want to run. Joe Walsh is talking about it. Bruce Rauner, who no one knows, but has a lot of money might be in the race. Matt Murphy may get in. Dan Rutherford has been running for 2 years already and Bill Brady might make a 3rd run at it. I’m sure 2-3 others will start to consider it as well. If we have another Battle Royale in the GOP Primary - then I give the GOP a 20% chance.

  47. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    Huh. I feel like a bit of a contrarian, but here’s my prediction:

    If a moderate Republican wins the primary, Illinois will have a Republican governor. If not, then not. That simple.

    Well, it’s not that simple, but I’m assuming Quinn is the Democratic nominee. If it’s Lisa Madigan or someone more popular like her, then a rethink is in order.

    Kirk Dillard would have beaten Pat Quinn, there’s not much doubt about that. The demographics of the state as a whole haven’t changed that much, and there are a lot of suburbanites itching for a chance to vote against a Democrat. Can the GOP get them out to the polls? Who knows, but I’m gonna say sure, why not.

  48. - Conservative Veteran - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    The Republican chance is about 60%, if all anti-Democrat voters cooperate. In 2010, Quinn best Brady by about 20,000 votes, and Lex Green, of the Libertarian Party, got about 34,000 votes. If he didn’t run, the majority of those voters would have voted for Brady, and Brady would have won.

    Julio, you should have been more specific. The majority of Republicans, I know, think that republican politicians are too liberal, but you might have meant that the party is too conservative.

  49. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===The majority of Republicans, I know, think that republican politicians are too liberal===

    You may need to get out more. Just sayin…

  50. - reformer - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    There are two obstacles to the GOP winning the governor’s office.

    First, the winner of the GOP primary will likely be very conservative, with positions closer to Bill Brady than to Jim Edgar.

    Second, Republicans will reinforce their reputation as hostile to immigrants if GOP legislators demogogue on the bill to provide drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. The problem is the more moderate GOP legislators will be mostly gone from the General Assembly next year. Which ones are capable of changing the GOP reputation regarding immigrants?

    All of the GOP House members who voted for driver’s certificates the last time they came up are already gone or will be by January.

  51. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    If Quinn is the Dem nominee, I give the GOP a 60% chance. I don’t know many Dems that like him, much less Republicans. I doubt they turn out a second time to support him. Enthusiasm for Quinn will be low. If he’s at the top of the ticket, the Dems may also lose two seats in Congress (Dold could take his back, and Enyart would be in trouble).

    If the Dem nominee is somebody other than Quinn, odds for the GOP go down to 20%. Dems would turn out as usual. None of the Republicans being mentioned will generate much enthusiasm. Their primary reason for being would be “I’m not Quinn” and with Quinn gone, there would be no reason at all.

    The irony here is that Madigan has done far more to mess up this state than Quinn. People will dump Quinn in heartbeat, but not the Speaker.

    Finally, and not to digress, but Dold would make a great choice for Gov. He’s one of the few that would get the suburban women that the GOP has been losing. I view his loss last week as a bit of quirk. Redistricting hurt him, as did the national GOP.

  52. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    One more dynamic in play is when the Social Security tax holiday kicks in and taxpayers of ALL brackets see the true effects on their take-home pay as a result of the income tax increase.

  53. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:57 pm:

    I don’t know a single colleague on my party who didn’t curse Quinn being in the gov mansion over the course of the most recent campaign, he was that bad a drag on everything.

    So with the caveat that I have no idea if Quinn will even run to keep his job, right now Rs have it pretty good.

  54. - The Captain - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    The other odd thing to consider is that if Sen. Durbin runs for re-election it would be a benefit to the Republican gubernatorial candidate if he didn’t have to work too hard to get re-elected. Regardless of who the Democratic candidate for Governor is, if Sen. Durbin is being forced to work hard for his re-election he’ll run a competent campaign, there will be a competent coordinated campaign out of necessity for a federal race and he’ll drive up Democratic turnout. I’m sure the national Republicans would like the pipe dream of taking Sen. Durbin’s seat but I don’t think the ILGOP really wants to have a motivated Dick Durbin in 2014.

  55. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===. The majority of Republicans, I know, think that republican politicians are too liberal, but you might have meant that the party is too conservative.

    God Bless You
    The Democratic Party

  56. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    If they find a candidate that can move them to the middle, there chances are better than 50/50. Schock is in the best position to freshly define himself to the rest of the State. Rutherford is already in the middle, but I am not sure he can be elected in a GOP gubernatorial primary. Dillard has an organized base, but I am not sure about his statewide appeal. Topinka was in the middle but she had trouble with her curb appeal. A problem I continue to see among the red meat GOP voters is they do not have a good political understanding of what happened in last weeks election. Many of them continue to make comments that come across as sexist, racist, arrogant or mean spirited. Many of them have a need to be heard by others and a false belief that everyone they speak with agrees with them. The independent and cross-over voters are shunning away. Ironically, many of these voters are remnants of the the Reagan Democrats.

  57. - ElectionVoter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    @flat-footed -
    “Is the public really stupid enough to elect someone like Schock, whose only real experience is knowing how to raise money and get elected?”
    - Why not? It worked for Obama.

  58. - Votecounter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    Skeeter;You don’t nominate a loser so Dold is out; BTW he would never get out of the primary ever see his mailings?.

    Brady came within a few thousand votes and had no ground game in the North or South parts of the state. Brady spent his time in the central . He never tried to raise the vote totals in Cook and the city. The GOP needs someone new who can raise money. If that happens the others who are looking will stay out. The rules changed on January 1st 2010 so there are caps, none of the people mentioned has shown they can raise the money necessary to run. If someone with money doesn’t get in the chances of winning fall to about 30%. The primary winner will have won on name recognition alone and will have to raise money after the march primary; giving the Democrat whom ever it is time to spend money like crazy on TV downstate and Chicagoland and define the Republican negatively. Like Obama vs. Romney in Ohio Fla etc.. or Blago vs. JBT. The GOP needs someone new with the means to establish a State Wide ground game and some one who has a large Rolodex to raise money from. Hello BR?

  59. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:18 pm:

    - he was that bad a drag on everything. -

    Last I checked the Dems came out pretty well in this cycle.

    Just because they were complaining doesn’t mean they were right.

  60. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===. The majority of Republicans, I know, think that republican politicians are too liberal, but you might have meant that the party is too conservative.===

    Didn’t I read something earlier about a “media cocoon?”

  61. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Poor chance.

    First, they will need someone who is moderate. The Republican primary base has moved to the right, so it will be difficult for a moderate to make it through the primary. For the moderate to make it through, they will probably end up doing some Romney-style pandering to the far right. Unfortunately, modern technology means there will be a video record.

    Assuming a moderate candidate with not too much primary baggage gets through, there will probably be some very conservative candidates in the heavy R districts created by the remap. Some of those folks will be recorded saying dumb things which will then be used to portray the gubernatorial candidate as guilty by association.

    Labor is in defense mode. They provide a lot of the ground troops for the Dems. If they see the Republican candidate as a threat, they will do everything they can to get the Dem elected. This has a positive side for the Republicans. If Quinn & Madigan push too far (and they are getting near the line right now) AND the Republican nominee looks like less of a threat…they could help elect a Republican if only by sitting out the contest.

    It is difficult to see how the Republicans can get someone through that thicket.

  62. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    C, which they will immediately blame on Congress for not dealing with the cliff. Measured in the time frame of voter memory, the state income tax hasn’t gone up recently. Key will be whether we wear the jacket in Congress (chance: far better than 50/50 so far)

  63. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    –For the moderate to make it through, they will probably end up doing some Romney-style pandering to the far right. Unfortunately, modern technology means there will be a video record.–

    Doh! Stupid modern technology!

  64. - Responsa - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    To this end, a question that needs to be explored more fully by Republican leadership is how individual people in both parties currently understand and define Tea Party when they hear the term. And what essential core values/policies do they, and the media, believe the Tea Party is in fact espousing as a constituency within the Republican party. (My belief is that the answers to such a survey would be amazingly all over the map.) Another need to know for serious Republicans is: to what extent have the predominantly single focus grassroots localized Tea Party groups of 2009 and 2010 been co-opted and/or redefined almost beyond recognition by partisans on both on the left and right for their own electoral purposes– and how might that further negatively affect upcoming elections here? (As an example, Joe Walsh I’d be lookin’ at you.)

  65. - siriusly - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:53 pm:

    Voters may not like Quinn, but they can’t tell you why they don’t like him.

    I think the GOP has about 49.5% chance. The party itself is going to do terribly again, but Schock or Dillard could probably beat Quinn. Rutherford won’t do well. I don’t know anything about Rauner.

    I’m guessing Schock ends up going for Senate instead of Gov.

  66. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    Jim Edgar’s “only centrists can win” line has been his mantra ever since he left office in 1998, if not earlier. He was only barely right in 2010, when Republican Brady lost the governor’s race by a hair. Yes, there must be cross-over appeal, but doesn’t necessarily have to be quantified by political philosophy.

  67. - Flan - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    Jim Edgar is exactly right; as a downstate mostly-liberal, I’d vote for an Edgar over a Quinn any day of the week and twice on Friday. Run a more moderate candidate that isn’t beholding to the Tea Party/Elite types who has some intelligence and he’s got a 50/50 chance as someone else said here.

  68. - Norseman - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    Unfortunately, there are too many who think like Conservative Republican. That’s why the GOP will not win in 2014.

    Brady got beat by an inept governor.

  69. - ElectionVoter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:41 pm:

    @ all commenters stating ILGOP must be more “moderate” and appeal to women, gays, and latinos…

    The ILGOP tried that in 2006 and her name was Judy Barr Topinka. Remember her? She was the moderate, pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-gay rights Republican you voted AGAINST so you could re-elect Blago.
    Thanks for the “advice”, but no thanks!

  70. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:43 pm:


    People haven’t seen the effects of the income tax increase yet since a roughly equivalent tax holiday occurred on SS tax at the same time. That changes in January.

  71. - ElectionVoter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    @all commenters
    - Care to share with us all who you voted for Gov in 2006? The soon-to-be felon, or the moderate Republican?

  72. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===Thanks for the “advice”, but no thanks! ===

    JBT’s main problem was the two George’s, Bush and Ryan, and timing. Both men were horribly unpopular here. Consequently, 2006 was a huge Democratic year, not only in Illinois, but nationally.

    2014 will likely not be a huge Democratic year. So you can waste it again on a candidate who can’t appeal to the folks you’ve alienated, or you can try to capitalize on the moment.

    Your choice. But try to make it an informed choice. Ignorance isn’t bliss.

  73. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:50 pm:

    Care to share with us all who you voted for Gov in 2006? The soon-to-be felon, or the moderate Republican?

    I left it blank. JBT was too close to the prior convicted governor. I didn’t think she would be any better.

  74. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:59 pm:

    –Care to share with us all who you voted for Gov in 2006? The soon-to-be felon, or the moderate Republican?–

    Whitney, as a protest to the obvious corruption in sectors of both major parties at the time.

    I’m down with a lot of what the Greens espouse (as a true conservative), but I regret not voting for JBT. She got destroyed by dirty campaign money that came from all points on the political spectrum that did business with Blago.

  75. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===Care to share with us all who you voted for Gov in 2006? The soon-to-be felon, or the moderate Republican?===

    See my comment above. This is a pointless question.

  76. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:07 pm:

    I will start with the second half of the question. Held my nose and voted for JBT, thinking, “haha, canceled you out, Bill.”

    My odds would be in the 25-50% range. I don’t think that the party is capable of doing this two-year pivot some folks have talked about both for lack of consensus and for lack of agility. You know, can’t turn an elephant around in a phone booth.
    As others have noted, the odds are still dicey because the field hasn’t cleared. Maybe Quinn v. Dillard is a winner.
    OTOH, Rahm v. Walsh would cost the Captain a new fax machine.

  77. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    If home values go up and unemployment goes down significantly from fall 2010 numbers (both are likely), then the Democratic candidate for governor is going to have a better chance of winning than Quinn did in November of 2010. When he won anyway despite it being a wave year and attempts to tie him to Inmate #40892-424.

    That’s even accounting for lower turnout, and lower turnout amongst Democratic voters, in a midterm election. If turnout is higher than in 2010, the Republican candidate’s chances are less regardless of whether said person is the second coming of Jim Thompson or the second act of Bill Brady.

  78. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===The ILGOP tried that in 2006 and her name was Judy Barr Topinka. Remember her? She was the moderate, pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-gay rights Republican you voted AGAINST so you could re-elect Blago.
    —Thanks for the “advice”, but no thanks!

    So a moderate didn’t win in that election. How many statewide elections has a conservative GOP candidates won?

    1 - Peter Fitzgerald

    How many statewide elections has a moderate GOP candidate won?

    I’ll stop at 3 last cycle.

    There are different flavors of conservatives of course—I think you can rightly call Dillard a conservative socially, but moderate on fiscal issues. However, a down the line movement conservative has won once in modern Illinois history. And frankly, I’m not sure he’d be considered pure enough for some of the IL GOP today.

  79. - Votecounter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    George Ryan was pro life and a hero to conservatives because of the ERA; until he sold out But he ran and won as a conservative, the party has been in civil war ever since

  80. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===But he ran and won as a conservative===


    You mean the guy who ran to the left of Glenn Poshard and won Boys Town?


    Where were you in 1998?

  81. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 4:51 pm:

    Sorry, still laughing.

    GHR also ran way to the left of Poshard on guns and abortion. Look at his Cook County numbers, man. He did very well.

  82. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 5:06 pm:

    ===But he ran and won as a conservative===

    I thought that was snark at first …

    BTW, anyone heard from Yellow Dog Democrat?

    Would be interested in YDD’s take

  83. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 5:11 pm:

    To be generous, even looking at George Ryan in 1990 (Lt. Gov before that is a running mate and Big Jim wasn’t conservative)–that’s not what he was running as–he was denying he ever tanked the ERA in 1990 when Barbara Flynn Currie and others called him on it.

  84. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 5:16 pm:

    —I thought that was snark at first …

    I remember a debate with Poshard. George kept saying, “We need more money from the feds…”

  85. - quincy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 5:25 pm:


  86. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 5:41 pm:

    ===FIRE BRADY===

    Which one? They’re becoming like the Ryans. When it’s Dan’s turn to run statewide, he’ll just have signs that say “DAN.”

  87. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 6:06 pm:

    -we need more money from the Feds-
    Your recollection is spot on, ArchPundit. My Clintonista friends teased the R’s in our group a lot about this back in the day.

  88. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 6:15 pm:

    ===Which one? They’re becoming like the Ryans. When it’s Dan’s turn to run statewide, he’ll just have signs that say “DAN.”===

    - 47th Ward -, I am surprised at you, you know they would be …


  89. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 8:03 pm:

    George Ryan in 1998 ran as a liberal in Chicago and a conservative downstate. He always ran as pro-life, even if he wobbled on other social issues. Archpundit, the same year Fitzgerald won, pro-life without exception Jim Ryan won his third term as Attorney General. Dan Rutherford, by the way, is also pro-life. So it’s a little bit of an exaggeration to say that social conservatives have only won “one” statewide election.

  90. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 8:45 pm:

    The Democrats have a secrete candidate waiting in the wings and I’m sure this candidate not only can but, will win. Check back in a couple of years and I will let you know who that is.

  91. - JakeCP - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:34 pm:

    Unfortunately, I doubt the GOP has a strong chance in the 2014 race. As previously noted by many commenters, the GOP will need to restore its national image.

    People in Illinois are voting straight Democratic Tickets these days.

    I agree with Edgar, only a centrist Republican can win in Illinois. However, I presume that the ILGOP will once again nominate an extreme right-wing conservative like Bill Brady causing them to lost the election.

    Do you remember how close the ILGOP Primary was between JBT and Oberweis? How many of those Oberweis voters do you think came out for JBT? The ILGOP will have to continue to stumble until they learn how to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”.

  92. - reformer - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:37 pm:

    I voted for JBT in ‘06. She was running in a Democratic year against an opponent with a much bigger war chest.

    If JBT ran in 2010, she would’ve won. Wait, she DID run statewide in 2010 and she did win. The other GOP winners in ‘10 were moderate Mark Kirtk and Dan Rutherford, the only Republican senator who voted for civil unions.

  93. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:22 pm:

    –To be generous, even looking at George Ryan –

    I’ll be generous about George Ryan and say that he had the guts to empty Death Row in Illinois, when it was clear that some at the highest levels of government — Burris, Birkett, Jim Ryan — were willing to let the state kill men for crimes they didn’t commit.

    Good on you, George.

    Having said that, if the State of Illinois could ever reinstate and fulfill the execution sentence on Bobby Turner out of Macoupin County for the murder of Bridget Drobney of Downers Grove, I’ve been waiting over 20 years to hit that switch.

    I’d do it right now, and I’d sleep like a baby.

    Call me, maybe.

  94. - Bruno Behrend - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    I can’t predict the chances of the GOP nominee winning, and neither can anyone else here (at least not with any accuracy). It’s too early.

    That said, somebody needs to chide some of the absurd analysis and overstatement here.

    Bill Brady came with in 30,000 votes of winning. (49.5%) Many attribute the loss to a poorly run campaign more than any specific policy or ideology.

    If he’s “too conservative” on social issues for deep blue Illinois, how did he get so close?


    The fact is the Dem play book calls for calling ANY GOP nominee “Genghis Khan,” regardless of their positions on any issue.

    If the voters are silly enough to buy it, there isn’t any path to victory for a GOP nominee. If, OTOH, a GOP nominee can make a decent cast for center-right conservativism, and the voters have the capacity to engage in that debate, there is no reason the GOP can’t win.

    The point is this. Brady didn’t lose because he was “too conservative for Illinois.” He lost because he ran an awful campaign.

    Of course, this may or may not mean ANYTHING in 2014. Post 2012, Pat Quinn may be “too conservative” for Illinois, as voter appear to want to follow California, Greece, and Venezuela into the abyss.

  95. - Skeeter - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    Brady got so close because NOBODY — Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, people in caves, hipsters who are way too cool to vote for anybody ever — likes Quinn.

    To beat Quinn, about all that was needed was a pulse.

    Instead, the GOP went with the guy who was so far to the right that people held their noses and voted for Quinn.

    If you think that close margin was reflective of approval for Brady, then you have no hope in 2014.

  96. - Bruno Behrend - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    Lastly, the fact that anyone listens or cares what Jim Edgar thinks is clear evidence of the ILL GOP sickness.

    He’s a has been who was run out of town one step ahead of the MSI scandal. He represents the mindset that destroyed the party — pitting its productive citizen class against the class of public patronage butt-sitters who always vote to the creation of more government jobs.

    The GOP voter has to stop pining for Reagans and Edgars and look to the future.

  97. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    –He represents the mindset that destroyed the party — pitting its productive citizen class against the class of public patronage butt-sitters who always vote to the creation of more government jobs.

    The GOP voter has to stop pining for Reagans and Edgars and look to the future. –

    I’m going to take a wild guess, Bruno, and say you probably find yourself in the “productive citizen class.” What do you produce, exactly?

    And who else besides the likes of Reagan and Edgar are holding us back from the sunny Bruno future?

  98. - LawnChair - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    Aarron Schock. No one elese has a chance.

  99. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    ===The GOP voter has to stop pining for Reagans and Edgars and look to the future.===

    Dear Goodness Gracious!

    You are throwing out “the baby”, “the bath water”, “the tub”, “the soap”, “the rubber ducky & wash cloth”, and the “baby bather”

    The Reagaon 80% principal IS what the ILGOP needs to embrace so Moderates and Conservatives will get past the 20%.

    Jim Edgar - and the Edgar Model of percentages to win, and how to build that winning “cake” is important to build from the Veto-Proofed rubble and win the Mansion back and get into some districts to have minimum relevency.


    Throw me a map, Magellan! Where we going then??

  100. - TJ - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    I have zero faith in the Illinois GOP to win the gubernatorial race in 2014, even if it’s against Quinn. They’re just completely incompetent and I won’t be willing to be anything on them until they prove me wrong and actually do something meaningful electorally.

  101. - top of the state - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    The chances are good if some effort is expended by the GOP in Cook Co. I believe Gov Thompson said that it needs to be 28% for the GOP in Cook?

  102. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    Actually, GOP conservatives in Illinois always close ranks with the moderate winners of primaries. You don’t really think the right wing is going to vote for Democrats, do you? It is, generally speaking, the moderates that refuse to endorse conservatives, i.e., Kustra vs. Salvi, Didrickson vs. Fitzgerald, Churchill (and allies like George Ryan) vs. Salvi.

    Whether moderate or conservative, a well-run campaign is really the best way to win for a Republican. The vast overwhelming majority of voters are not deeply wedded to any specific policy position or inside baseball moves. They just want good representation.

  103. - Pandora - Thursday, Nov 15, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    I want desperately to vote for a Republican Governor. Of course I wanted to vote for a Republican Governor against Blago as well. The suicidal Illinois GOP will once more nominate a candidate that folks like me can’t bring outselves to support.

    So sad.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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