Monday, February 1, 2010

Illinois Primary Implications

A couple quick thoughts on the broader implications of tomorrow's Illinois primary:

-The fact that Mark Kirk is going to steamroll Patrick Hughes shows that the Tea Party movement is only as effective as the money that's behind it. If the Club for Growth or some other big time funding mechanism doesn't get involved these candidates have no chance against more mainstream Republicans who can raise the money. At the end of the day this movement may be grassroots but it's only successful when it's well funded grassroots. Tea Party candidates can't expect to win based just on the purity of their message.

-Whether Pat Quinn survives the primary tomorrow or not, the fact that there's such a strong possibility of his losing says a lot about the unpopularity of incumbent Governors, especially in the Midwest. Yes, a lot of Quinn's issues are very specific to him and Illinois. But you can't overlook the fact that every Democratic Governor in a Big Ten State has horrid job approval numbers right now. Chet Culver and Ted Strickland can't be feeling any better about their own situations when they see how close Quinn is to getting put out by the disgruntled voters within his own party.


Christian Liberty said...

-Finally, a Democrat who admits that the Tea Party is a grassroots movement. Of course, denying this all summer long led to defeat in NJ and VA. And continuing to deny it led to defeat in MA. But Menendez still needs to get the message. Equating the GOP candidates with the Tea Party movement will only make them more popular, not less.

-"you can't overlook the fact that every DEMOCRATIC governor in a Big Ten State has horrid job approval numbers right now." Indiana's Mitch Daniels stands out as the exception that proves the rule. This disapproval is not directed at all incumbents, but specifically those who favor higher tax burdens (with special tax breaks or tax credits for favored cronies), higher government spending, and more burdensome regulations.

There is a reason that Republican job creation and retention efforts are superior to those of Democrat governors. Democratic states with higher tax rates seek to attract or retain businesses with tax breaks for specific businesses, while leaving taxes higher for everyone else. Republicans attract business by lowering tax burdens for EVERYONE. This is critically important, since it benefits not only the targeted business, but their suppliers and creditors and customers as well. Experience has show again and again and again that broad-based tax reduction (the pro-growth Reagan model) is vastly superior to higher tax rates with special tax "credits" (the redistributionist Obama model).

Christian Liberty said...

Conservative GOP challenger for governor Adam Andrzejewski(endorsed by the Tea Party movement and Polish Solidarity union leader- turned President Lech Walesa)surges in recent (internal) poll. The Tea Party movement and its abhorrence of socialism has gone international.

Anonymous said...

So. True.

I was at the New Lenox tea party protest, and the one name that was guaranteed to get you a scowl was Mark Kirk. He is despised by conservatives.

And here we are, 9 months later, and they haven't united behind anyone strongly enough to get them some name recognition. Kirk will crush Hughes, and conservatives won't vote in November. Illinois will elect yet another corrupt, ignorant, stupid, leftist Democrat.

Wasted opportunity. And a clear demonstration that the Tea Party is impotent.

S.K. said...

It's probably not wise to read too much into Pat Quinn's recent struggles. As you state, many of Quinn's troubles are unique to him and to Illinois.

With the notable exception of Illinois, every Big Ten state with an unpopular governor is a rust belt state that has been particularly hard hit by the recent recession, despite having been in economic decline for decades. But because of the dynamic economy of the Chicagoland region, Illinois has historically been able to avoid many of the problems that have plagued other Midwestern states over the last 20 years. However, Illinois' unemployment level is sky high at the moment, and under both the indicted former Gov. Blagojevich (for whom Quinn served as Lt. Gov.) and Gov Quinn, the state has enacted endless prohibitive taxes and regulatory measures that have made it increasingly difficult to do business in Illinois.

In a down economy, Blagojevich and Quinn have seemingly done everything in their power to chase business away from Illinois. And adding to Quinn's troubles is the fact that, upon replacing the deposed Blagojevich, he repeatedly stated that he did not plan to raise taxes. But then he spent much of the year ramping up spending and campaigning for a 50% tax increase.

What's more, the reality of Illinois' thoroughly slimy, spectacularly corrupt political culture has been exposed to the point that voters can no longer chose to ignore it, or to laugh it off. The haze of corruption hangs over every incumbent office holder in Springfield, particularly on the Democratic side of the aisle (largely because there aren't very many office holders on the other side). And although Pat Quinn has done his best to publicly disassociate himself from Blagojevich, his politics are 100% Democratic machine/Illinois combine.

On top of that he's a pudgy, balding, Democratic machine lifer who's about as uncharismatic and dour as is humanly possible.

Yes, Pat Quinn is eminently beatable, but his problems are largely of his own doing (or to be more exact, his and former Gov. Blagojevich's). And despite Illinois' geographic proximity to the other Midwestern Big Ten states, one would be well advised to avoid ascribing Pat Quinn's fading popularity to some political wave that's sweeping through the heartland. Pat Quinn is unpopular because of what Pat Quinn has done since he's been in office.

arte johnson said...

If Kirk takes the tea party support for granted, he'll lose...he'd better make a strong effort to assure the base that he'll be a 100% solid vote against Obama's agenda. Right now the conservative base is not sure of the guy at all.

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