Illinois showdown

posted at 11:28 am on February 2, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

The shockwaves from the Massachusetts have just barely settled, and we already have another showdown in a state that’s especially close to the White House: Illinois.

Tuesday’s crowded ballot will test Gov. Pat Quinn’s popularity within his own party a year after he took over the reins from disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich, as well as pare down the field for the surprisingly up-for-grabs U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

Mix in the shadow of corruption that hangs over the state and an unemployment rate above the national average and even the political professionals aren’t sure what to expect.

“I have no freaking idea what’s going to happen Tuesday,” said Kitty Kurth, a Chicago-based Democratic consultant. “It’s going to be an election that’s going to have people scratching their heads for a week.”

The White House is paying close attention today. It’s a primary close to Obama’s heart, as it’s his former Senate seat that’s up for grabs. Roland Burris wisely decided not to seek reelection, and if a Republican wins that seat, Obama will be bound to take it even harder than Scott Brown’s win.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the frontrunner for the Democratic Party, while Representative Matt Kirk is expected to win the Republican nomination. Some conservatives think Kirk is too liberal a Republican, but he seems to be similar to Scott Brown: a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. In these times, that should be good enough for us right now, and regardless, Kirk will likely be the Republican facing Giannoulias anyways. He’s polling well against Giannoulias. There haven’t been many polls yet matching the two of them, but one October poll showed Kirk leading 42-35.

In the race for the governer’s mansion, things are a big more unclear. Rasmussen showed State Comptroller Dan Hynes leading Gov. Pat Quinn. The race is likely to be a toss-up for the Democrats, but what about for Republicans? The tea party candidate is clearly Adam Andrzejewski. A PPP poll showed him trailing State Sen. Kirk Dillard by 8 points. He’s been touting an internal poll showing him trailing by only 2 points on Sunday, though. He also scored the endorsement of Lech Walesa, former president of Poland, a big win in Chicago. Dillard is the most moderate of all the Republicans running, and ads are showing clips of him praising Obama. I’d like to believe that Andrzejewski will pull it out, but it still seems unlikely.

Today’s results won’t have the weight that the Massachusetts election did — it is only a primary, after all, but it will serve as a harbinger of what is to come in Illinois.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary or follow her on Twitter!


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I voted this morning at 7:15 for Adam and Pat Hughes. Turnout did indeed look light (I was one of two voters).

kbfntc on February 2, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Same time and candidates as me – I was #5!

Queen0fCups on February 2, 2010 at 2:12 PM

In these times, that should be good enough for us right now, and regardless, Kirk will likely be the Republican facing Giannoulias anyways.

Is this english?

thphilli on February 2, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Kirk will likely be the Republican facing Giannoulias anyways.

No such word as ‘anyways.’

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Illinois moved their primaries WAY up to help keep incumbants in office. Much less time to get in good with the public for the Newbies. Just shows you how the R’s and the D’s in this state are scumbags.

chicagotrauma on February 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Yeah, well they didn’t count on the dynamics this year. As I said in my earlier post, the timing favors the 2010 “conservative revolution” or whatever you want to call it. All the momentum right now is on the side of conservatives.

I agree that the Illinois political machine is one of the most corrupt in the nation (just an outsider’s view). I don’t think there is another state where I would LESS want to live right now. I’d rather live in the most depressed part of East Jabip County, Arkansas than anywhere in Illinois.

UltimateBob on February 2, 2010 at 2:26 PM

No such word as ‘anyways.’

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Yes and no.

It is a word. Or was a word. It’s an archaic adverb from the 13th century.

FYI if you want to avoid the national TV talking heads covering this story, Superstation WGN will interrupt their busy schedule of Beverly Hillbillies repeats to have complete coverage tonight.

Del Dolemonte on February 2, 2010 at 2:28 PM

The entire Obama and Daley machines will be out supporting Alexi Giannoulias (D-Mob Bank) in the general election. As not-so-great as Kirk is, he’s the horse we’ve got in the race after today.

pablo5108 on February 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

I wish we could combine votes for Proft and Adam. My guess is that those two are splitting the tea party vote.

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I agree. I have not voted yet because I’m still torn between those two. I think I’m leaning towards Anjee though.

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 2:54 PM

One problem we have are those idiots that won’t vote for the lesser of two evils because of principle.

tencole- please give me your address, so I can send you my version of a thank you card when Giannoulias wins the election because of the”principled” ones.

chicagotrauma on February 2, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Than I’m an “idiot”..say it loud, say it proud.
At least I know what I’m getting with Giannoulais. I know just how he’s gonna vote….as a matter of fact I can count on it. I kind of find that comforting in an absurd kind of way.
With Kirk you know not what you get. Will he vote this way or that way, is he for this or for that. He’s a wuss who votes “anyway the wind blows”.
That makes him ripe for the pickins for backroom shady dealings. No thanks…I’ve had my fill of that.
Oh, and about those “principles”….I’d rather sleep well at night.
As one of my favorite people once said…”Principles over psrty”…Sarah Palin.

tencole on February 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Any exit polling we should be watching?

PappaMac on February 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

I defected to the Dem ballot just so I could vote against Giannoulias (senate) and Quinn (gov). I am strongly averse to those two being in positions of power. My rep is Don Manzullo who’ll win in a walk come November. I’ll vote for whoever wins the republican primary come November.

Muletrain on February 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

. I think I’m leaning towards Anjee though.

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I was going to vote Proft, but I switched to Adam because his poll numbers were better. I would be very happy with either, but I felt that supporting the one that had more of chance was more important than any differences that may exists between these two.

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:00 PM

One might be tempted to ask why Obie Won might care who got his seat in the senate, since he barely kept it warm for a few months.

TimothyJ on February 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Muletrain on February 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Now you cannot run for any office as a Republican in the next election. ;-)

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM

One might be tempted to ask why Obie Won might care who got his seat in the senate, since he barely kept it warm for a few months.

TimothyJ on February 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Is it his seat if he never sat down in it?

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:02 PM

One might be tempted to ask why Obie Won might care who got his seat in the senate, since he barely kept it warm for a few months.

TimothyJ on February 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM
Is it his seat if he never sat down in it?

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Funny…very funny. 8^))

tencole on February 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Well let’s stay realistic – we are all like-minded here so a landslide for Andrzejewski and Hughes is sadly unlikely.
Sheerq on February 2, 2010 at 2:06 PM

True, even my 76yo mother-in-law with limited information will not vote for Kirk because of his cap and trade vote. I guess I would like to remain cautiously optimistic :) and hope his flip flop will help Adam.

shades of red on February 2, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I just got back from Chicago, and the ads are constant on TV. Obama is NOT helping the Dems. The ads attack him and any association with him as completely toxic.

PattyJ on February 2, 2010 at 3:42 PM

I was going to vote Proft, but I switched to Adam because his poll numbers were better. I would be very happy with either, but I felt that supporting the one that had more of chance was more important than any differences that may exists between these two.

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Just got back and I voted for Anjee for pretty much those same reasons. I almost followed what Muletrain above did though, because I really wanted to vote against Giannoulias, Quinn and Stroger, but at the last minute I decided not to. I thought it was more important to try and get a good R candidate in the running for Gov.

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM

I thought it was more important to try and get a good R candidate in the running for Gov.

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM

It truly is. If IL gets so bad that absolutely no one wants to live here, our most value asset, our house, is worth less (no demand). We need someone that is going to fix the pension problem in IL.

WashJeff on February 2, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Also, I’m on the southeast side of Chicago and they had to break open the Republican ballots for me. They were still sealed, lol. And, of course, I got plenty of puzzled looks.

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I’m in Chicago’s 11th Ward. I voted before 8 a.m. but I don’t think I was the first R ballot pulled.

Sheerq on February 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM

I’m in Chicago’s 11th Ward. I voted before 8 a.m. but I don’t think I was the first R ballot pulled.

Sheerq on February 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Oh you’re in Daleyville. Probably not many R’s there, but def more than where I am (7th).

macblanegirl on February 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I voted in the 30th ward this morning at 8. There were maybe 3 other voters there at the time. The people working actually said “Wow, a Republican!!” when I indicated that was the ballot I wanted. Then I finished voting and found they had given me an extra ballot. When I returned it the lady actually thanked me for being honest. I nearly replied, “Hey, I’m not a Democrat.” Go Adam!!

chelie on February 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Voted this morning and have a good vibe about this….the Dem-dums are all running scared and away from The One. To get a Repub Senator and Gov in the general election would be a major coup in this bastion of liberalism, I wouldn’t know what to do if it actually happened.

skitch1 on February 2, 2010 at 4:27 PM

The dhimmicraps and the lamestreamedia have spent decades telling us that our one little vote didn’t count. We have won in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Today we will win in Illinois. Hold on. Y’all ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Blacksmith8 on February 2, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Than I’m an “idiot”..say it loud, say it proud.
At least I know what I’m getting with Giannoulais.
tencole on February 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Yes, you know what you’re getting by voting for another corrupt moron, with a family that needs to be in jail for their shenanigans with Broadway Bank.

Knucklehead on February 2, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Yes, you know what you’re getting by voting for another corrupt moron, with a family that needs to be in jail for their shenanigans with Broadway Bank.

Knucklehead on February 2, 2010 at 4:48 PM

My sentiments exactly.

chicagotrauma on February 2, 2010 at 4:53 PM

I voted this morning for Adam and Patrick Hughes and turnout was moderate, but I live in a red region of Illinois. There were a number of radical Conservatives in line with me!

bperiwinkle on February 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I watched the debate last week btw the gubernatorial candidates and Andrzejewski came off as a whiny, rude little PUNK. I want nothing to do with him.

I’m pulling for Jim Ryan. I’ve followed him nearly all my politically-aware life and he is good on the issues and a stand-up guy. I also really like Proft on the issues (has a pretty hilarious ad, too) but he’s too far behind in the polls to make it. Ryan is in second place in the polls I’ve been watching, after having been in first in Dec., but he is the ONLY GOP candidate who beat both Dems (Quinn and Hynes) in a general election poll. Couldn’t help but notice that all the papers around here endorsed McKenna or Dillard — two guys who haven’t polled higher than the Dem and either love O (Dillard) or have some ethics problems (McKenns).

Go, Jim!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on February 2, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Mark Kirk is the definition of a RHINO.
The mainstream Republican party in Illinois is worse than that in California.

cjk on February 2, 2010 at 8:40 PM

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