Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And now, for something completely different... Predict the Effect the Presidential Nominees Will Have On Illinois Races

Here's something a little different for today. The presidential primaries are really starting to heat up, as it is now one month until the Iowa caucuses. The big news recently is that Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have pulled ahead in the polling and are now the Iowa front-runners. Of course, some candidates, especially on the Republican side, it seems, appear to be planning to skip Iowa or at least not make a serious run, and place their bets on other states, including New Hampshire.

What do y'all think will be the effect of the eventual winners on the Illinois races? I suppose I am focusing on the winner of the Democratic race, as the probably winner will either be Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Both are from Illinois. Both have the potential to have coattails, but Hillary, at least, has the potential to bring Republicans to the polls en masse, if you consider her polarizing nature and high negatives.

Obama on the other hand, should he win, is likely to be a very popular candidate among Illinioians and Dems in general, but given the "blue" nature of the state and the clear "favorite son" status he would have here in Illinois, would the Dem in the street be motivated to come to the polls simply to vote for Obama, since everyone would guess he would win Illinois easily?

I suppose the effect of the Republicans should not be entirely discounted. Giuliani, for example, seems to indicate he thinks Illinois might be in play (we know former governor Jim Edgar has already signed on), particularly if Hillary is the nominee. If he wins the nomination and comes into Illinois to spend money, that might also bring Republicans to the polls, perhaps.

If I'm Mark Kirk, or any other Illinois candidate, how is this potentially going to affect my race? Kirk has endorsed McCain, but would he the best presidential candidate to really "help" his congressional race? What's my "dream slate" at the top of the ticket, depending on which candidate I am?



Bill Tracy said...

With regard to our area, the candidates for President have not had an effect on other races.

In 2000, Lauren Beth Gash (D) was convinced she was the next congresswoman, especially when Gore picked Leiberman (D) for VP. Gore won the district and so did Kirk (R). Gash lost, then was cited for a huge FEC violation - career over.

In 2002, Dems thought that when Gov-candidate Jim Ryan (R) lost for Gov, Kirk would be harmed. Blagojevich (D) won, so did Kirk. Is everyone happy Rod Blagojevich won?

In 2004, they really thought that Bush was so unpopular that Kirk would be hurt. Bush lost the district, Kirk won.

In 2006, they had the best Democratic year since 1974. In our area, Topinka (R) won, Peraica (R) won and Kirk won. Despite the hype Seals lost in the best year for Dems in 32 years. Now Seals is unemployed.

Bottom line is that Republicans can really mess things up but when they have strong, independent candidates like Kirk, Edgar, Coulson, and Peracia, they win regardless of what is happening nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Obama draws Republicans, my guess a matchup of him and romney/huckabee is Mark's worst nightmare and what Jay and Dan are banking on. The best deal for Mark is a Rudy/Edwards matchup.

I'd say obama/huckabee is worth 7 pts against Mark. I voted for W twice, and Huck scares me, big time. Also Obama could be a 1984 style electoral swamping and that would be no good.

Dems have a TON of money at the dccc level and not a lot places to spend it. They could just throw the sink at Mark and see what sticks. That would be a tougher fight than JEP ever faced.

Old Viking said...

TA, don't rule out John Edwards. Our friends in the Democratic Party love a Southern populist, and he's the only one they got.

Edwards at the top of the ticket probably helps Kirk, but as your erudite readers have noted, a true independent like Kirk is not much affected by the other candidates on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Old Viking, Kirk is independent enough to withstand tidal waves - he survived last year. But I do think Biden or Edwards would be the best for the Dems - Hillary is too polarizing and Barack, well, really, I know he's from Illinois, and folks consider him some kind of rock star, but what has he ever really spearheaded that positively impacted the lives of others? I still recall the Chicago Tribune article stating his average annual charitable contributions (prior to running for Prez) being $400. That says alot about him as an individual and his comittment to humanity. He's kind of well, an empty suit when it comes right down to it. He gives compelling speeches but the content of the speeches conflicts depending on the audience. He is political expediency at it's finest. When you remove the media hype and Oprah endorsement and just listen to the candidates and what they stand for, it is clear that Barack really does not stand for anything substantial - he has never jumped in front of any issue with a convincing passion that he will fight to make a difference. At least Biden, Richardson, Hillary and Edwards have stands. You know who they are; what they stand for; how they will lead; but with all due respect to the Obamarama fans, he claims to offer hope for tomorrow - but for what and how???