Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Swinging in Illinois

After a while, it's easy to become somewhat numbed to the same banter going back and forth between the same local prognosticators of Illinois politics. So in the interest of expanding horizons, I decided to check out various out of state takes on Illinois politics.

Suffice it to say that I was surprised to find the following on a very pro-Democratic site. While somewhat hedging its bets, the Swing State Project expresses concern and disappointment about the latest poll numbers in the Illinois Governor's race.

IL-Gov: Yikes! Blago Looking Weak

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Rasmussen (likely voters, no trendlines):

Blagojevich: 37
Topinka: 48
(MoE: ±4.5%)
Judy Baar Topinka is the GOP's strongest candidate, but she still has to weather a primary before she takes on incumbent Dem Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Nonetheless, this poll looks very bad for Blago. Of course, it's just one survey and we don't have trendlines, so I'm not about to start wigging out. But given how devastated the IL GOP is, it's sad to think that this seat might be in any danger at all. (Empasis added)

I'm curious to see how concern about this race, and the impact that it might have on other races, affects those in D.C. and elsewhere and whether it motivates them to get involved. If the Republicans retake the Mansion in November, Illinois, by all accounts a Blue State, suddenly becomes a swing state, and that has a host of implications indeed.

The Republicans may use it to signal to their supporters that there is 'blood in the water' in Illinois and that their party is back in play in Illinois years sooner than anybody thought that they would be. Or the Governor could try to use it to his advantage by trying to appeal to Democrats around the country to rally to his (and ostensibly) their aid, while at the same time (albeit in a less than optimal situation) increasing his national visibility. It's going to be an interesting countdown to November.

15 Comments:

At February 8, 2006 at 1:38 PM, Anonymous SouthernILRepub said...

Rep. Fritchey,

How can you take pride in a Gov. like Blago. He has chosen to live in Chicago, where most of the government has relocated in the past three years as well. Sure you can throw the Thompson example around. However I dare you to say that the entire capitol moved to Chicago as well. Blago has been the worst IL governor ever. Of course your response, is likely to be look at the mess that Blago walked into. I respond with at least everyone across the State benefited from the disaster of Illinois First. When will Blago's handlers quit talking about how bad the mess was that they inherited. Blago is quite proficient with government by credit card. It is harder to imagine who is more fiscally irresponsible Blago or Bush.
Simply put Illinois can't take another 4 years of Blagojevich. Of course your response would be, Chicago would love another 4 years of Blagojevich. Just remember you are member of the Illinois General Assembly not the Chicago City Council.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 2:12 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Um, did you base your comments on anything I said in my post? Or anything else that I have written? Take a deep breath and re-read it. I think that you will see that all the post does is set forth a third-party post on the fact that the Governor's numbers are looking weak, and that both sides will try to use that to their advantage.

So with all due respect, don't say "of course your response will be...", because it is clear that you know little about me or my politics.

If you want to vent, go ahead, I completely get it and support it. But don't try to put the jacket on me.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 2:23 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Okay you win, I'll take the coat back. Still waiting for your comments on the gun issue... Your right about their being "blood in the water" Blago's blood.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 2:25 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

you simply took the quote from the polling site. a large oversight on my part

 
At February 8, 2006 at 2:27 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

I respect you for the response. And if I can get my other work done, I will try to give my take on the gun issue tomorrow.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 2:33 PM, Anonymous Navin Johnson said...

Rep. Fritchey,

You beat me to the punch in regard to southernilrepub.

In terms of the post itself, I don't believe that the national Republicans will spend too much time on Illnois, absent the "big indictment" scenario.

The main issue in regard to the Governor's race will be the culture of corruption. Given that the culture of corruption is the big theme Democrats in D.C. are using, I have a hard time seeing the D.C. Republicans making a big issue out of it in Illinois. They can't afford to concede that it is an important issue.

Illinois Republicans can use it because they don't run anything in the State so it can't burn them. You can't lose what you don't have.

D.C. Democrats could give a hoot if the culture of corruption message hurts Rod. They have their own races to run and it is hard for a D.C. Democrat to feel sorry for a guy with $15 million in the bank, a Democratic General Assembly and Democrats holding 4 of the other 5 statewide positions.

If Rod trys to rally the troops with a cry that he is endangered I think most Democrats will look at him as weak versus seeing him as a sympathetic figure.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's ZERO question that the Republicans will use the corruption issue, and while the Governor will try to push back, the fact is that he ran on the corruption issue, and rather than eliminate it, he's perfected it. I'm a Democrat, but I can't say that I will be able to vote for him in November.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 4:10 PM, Blogger Randall Sherman said...

Hey southernilrepub, just who do you think Rep. Fritchey replaced in the Illinois House? (Hint: He doesn't get along with his in-laws any more, likes Elvis, and is too chicken to debate Edwin Eisendrath.)

The weakness in Blagojevich's poll numbers are his own doing. If Eisendrath were to defeat him on March 21, a Democratic sweep in Illinois would be virtually assured. But with Blagojevich at the top of the Democratic ticket, the Republicans have a good chance to pick up a lot more than the Governor's Mansion.

Perhaps it is finally time for Mike Madigan and the rest of the state Democratic leadership to start thinking about the consequences of sticking with Rod.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 6:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Well! We certainly have good cross section of Ilinois voters here at dome-icile today, don't we.
Let's look at some of the accomplishments of our esteemed governor and try to guess how it will play out in Nov. (Forget about March, the rich kids from the north lakefront won't be able to buy their way in.)

1. Supported and signed legislation to provide the opportunity to purchase health insurance for children at reasonable sliding premuims.

2. Increased state funding for prek-12 education by over 3 billion dollars in 3 years....more than Ryan and Edgar combined.

3. Held out during budget negotiations in '03 to resist increasing sales and income taxes while balancing a $5 billion budget deficit left by Ryan.

4. Supported and signed legislation to raise the minimum wage in Illinois substantially.

5. Supported and signed legislation preserving overtime pay after the Repub federal legislation gutted it.

The list goes on and on. These are Democratic ideals that could only be dreamed of during 27 years of Repub governors.
Blago has been the best Il governor ever. He spends as much time in Springfield as his predecessors. Just because he won't subject his family to the Springpatch lifestyle deosn't make him a bad gov.
Ryan and Edgar didn't have young children to move.
It could be that the government has moved to Chicago because that is where most of the talent lives or because that is where most of the votes are or most of the money is, or because that is where a majority of Democrats are.
Whatever, when the voters begin to pay attention to the governor's record (sometime in October)they will make the right choice and vote for Rod.
No one will even remember Eddie and Alexi and the fact that Rod wouldn't waste his time debating a fringe candidate.
By the way, while there may have been ethical lapses by some state employees there is no evidence that the Gov did anything but fire the employees in question and insist that everyone play by the rules and abide by the law as written. Noone has(and noone will) uncover any EVIDENCE of any corruption in the Gov's administration. His opponents' only hope is to try to smear him and paint him with the corruption brush.
At least his employees don't have to pony up their $100 each at Christmas time.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real point is that whether or not they support what this Governor has gotten done, every Illinois Democrat should be furious that his nonstop ethical lapses may mean that Democratic control of the Governor's office may only last four years when it should have been 15-20. The only agenda that he has really cared about is his.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,

He's all but officially Public Official A; the feds had enough cause to get somebody tied into what was going on wear a wire; they seize computers from his offices; there are double-digit investigations going on relating to his administration, hiring, and contracts;and you think he wears the white hat? Come on. Even your defense sounds half-hearted. He may have done it, but you won't find any EVIDENCE. All that means is that he's good at covering up as well then.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 6:49 PM, Blogger Bill Baar said...

David Broder wrote the midwest governor races are the ones to watch for the temper of the country.

 
At February 8, 2006 at 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then that doesn't bode well for the Democratic Party.

 
At February 9, 2006 at 12:48 AM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Anon 6:07 & 14, stated the sentiment of Southern Demos. I have many friends of the donkey persuasion, who are reeling from Blago's treatment of the state.

In response to bill's comments.

1. Idea is good, but the actual implementation of it will be a disaster. Children should have access to health care, but we must move away from the social safety net that really hasn't improved the situation for the impoverished in nearly 50 years.

2. Sure the base line formula was added to, but downstate schools took huge cuts in special funds and construction.

3. The same argument that his handlers have been using for three years. What Blago did along with GA approval was the biggest bond scheme that has been pulled over the eyes of the public in a long time. The only thing worse was this years raiding of the teacher retirement fund.

4. Minimum wage laws are flawed. They should only apply to those that are solely dependent on that form of income. However the majority of people that saw an increase in pay were high school age kids that still have some parental support. Anyway, the hallmark of the Democratic party has always been for the small guy. In effect you punish the small guys who can only afford to pay minimum wage. Again most of the effects of this law were felt downstate which created a net loss in jobs.

5. Overtime pay issue will not touch, not educated enough about it.

If a parent allows the children to run his/her life what sort of children are they raising. I'm sure there are some fine private schools that are available in Springfield. More importantly the non-debate issue is weak. It shows Blagojevich is too unsure of himself. Is that he has made some bad decisions as governor and does not want to be challenged on the issues. Corruption is a serious issue in the Blago admin. However I will never give Ryan or JBT a pass on the issue of corruption.

to respond to Johnson

The Repub Gov assoc has made promises to back the candidate with several million.

Madigan will likely cut his losses before too long. He is clearly the most powerful man in the state

 
At February 12, 2006 at 3:04 PM, Blogger steve schnorf said...

Bill: #2 simply isn't true.

 

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