Illinois ought to keep by its leanings toward having a Democratic Party-leaning government, although the Republicans will make every effort to try to claim they have made inroads toward reducing that – no matter what really happens.
FOR THE REALITY is that we in Illinois are more urban-leaning than the states where there is the possibility of seats in the U.S. Senate shifting from Democratic representation to Republican.
So we’re not going to share in the sentiment that will occur in other parts of the country that could literally give the conservative ideologues of our society complete control of Congress – which Republican officials would then use to make the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency a living hell for his supporters.
As for Illinois, we’re likely to keep our member of the Senate as Richard Durbin. The national question is more a matter of will we be a part of the new majority, or a part of a minority that ideologues will go out of their way to ignore.
Then, there’s the matter of our governor. By all rights, Gov. Pat Quinn ought to be kicking the stuffing out of Bruce Rauner – or any other official who tried challenging him as a Republican.
OUR STATE’S GOP structure is so weak that Republicans couldn’t even find token challengers to run against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle or any other county government officers.
To the degree that there is any Illinois Republican Party these days, it is because Rauner has pumped in so many millions of his own money to make it appear that the one-time “Party of Lincoln” isn’t extinct.
So can Rauner actually win the governor’s post – which Republicans would try to claim means they have retaken control of state government, rather than just one executive branch post that will have to contend with a hostile Democrat-led Legislature.
If I had to predict, I’d say that Quinn takes 49 percent of the vote, with Rauner finishing with 48 percent and Libertarian Chad Grimm snapping up the remainder.
BUT BEFORE ANYONE thinks I’m saying Grimm will cost Rauner the election, what I actually believe is that most of those 3 percent for Grimm would be people who otherwise would decide that neither major party candidate is worth their vote. They would have sat it out.
I do realize that I’m merely guessing, and that anything is possible come Tuesday. We’re going to have to see who actually bothers to show up to vote.
Will Rauner succeed in persuading a significant number of African-American voters to sit this election out – rather than giving the Democrat the usual 90-percent level of support?
Or are those poll results published last week by the Chicago Sun-Times possibly correct that Rauner’s attempts to make himself appear less conservative on issues such as increasing the minimum wage and legitimizing gay marriage could backfire because they are ticking off the rural residents who WANT a conservative ideologue as governor on those issues?
WILL THE DESIRE to dump Quinn be tampered by the fact that Rauner claims not to have a social agenda – when the very voters he is counting on to back him want exactly that? Will Quinn survive because of ideologue apathy?
Who doesn’t vote is ultimately going to decide this particular election cycle.
It is why I’m reluctant to say who will be the winner Tuesday night – other than to say that Preckwinkle WILL be chosen to serve another four-year term in the Cook County Board.
Now as to whether she’ll keep the post, or give it up to run for Chicago mayor come 2015 – probably not. But I’m not about to put any bet down on that issue.