Gov. Bruce Rauner is said to have won a major electoral victory last November when he took about 21 percent of the Chicago vote – which as I see it means that Rauner was more irrelevant to Chicagoans than 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was to Latinos.
SO WHAT SHOULD we think of the fact that mayoral hopeful Willie Wilson made an appeal to those Chicagoans whose ideology is so intense that they refuse to call themselves Democrats (you have to be dedicated to partisanship to be a Chicago Republican, since you get nothing for it in return).
I don’t know how successful a tactic it will be – although I comprehend that Wilson merely wants to get enough votes to finish in second place. He doesn’t care if he comes anywhere close to the roughly 42 percent support that various polls show Mayor Rahm Emanuel to have for the Feb. 24 municipal elections.
Republicans don’t win city elections all that often; they don’t even come close to it. The fact that Chicago is so overwhelmingly Democratic is why party officials think they can ignore the rest of Illinois when it comes to state elections or for elections to federal office.
Heck, the only time in our lifetimes that many local voters paid attention to the Republican candidate for mayor was when racial considerations were a factor and certain people just couldn’t accept black candidates as fully legitimate of the Democratic Party.
WOULD ANYONE HAVE even thought of Bernard Epton if not for racial hang-ups?
Although perhaps this is the evidence that Chicago has changed in recent decades if the real Republicans are willing to turn to a black man as a chance to take down a Democrat as Chicago mayor.
Because I don’t doubt that GOPers would love to be able to say they defeated Emanuel, even if it meant giving votes to Wilson.
Although it should be noted that the political parties have changed enough that I suspect these days, Epton (a Jewish person of liberal political leanings) could not get the Republican nomination to run for anything!
FOR THE RECORD, I’m bringing all this up because Wilson was to appear Sunday night at a Chicago Republican Party gathering held in the Greektown neighborhood.
Which means a few dozen Republicans (out of the 2.7 million city residents) got together at a restaurant and enjoyed a meal together while trying to convince themselves that they’re not miniscule and irrelevant.
Wilson told the DNAinfo.com website that he’s not seeking the GOP nomination – he still considers himself a Democrat in this officially nonpartisan election where Wilson and three other Dems are taking on Emanuel.
Perhaps Wilson thinks he can get the Republican voters to consider him because they don’t officially have a candidate – just like they didn’t have any candidates for Cook County offices in last year’s election cycle?
I’M JUST TOO convinced that there are too few Republicans to make a difference – and that this could still turn out to be an April 7 runoff election for mayor between Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
The polls have consistently shown Wilson to have about 7 percent support – usually behind everybody except for William “Dock” Walls, who will be lucky if he garners 1 percent voter support.
The key to a Wilson second place finish is for him to find some segment of the Chicago electorate that’s now being ignored by these polls; so he can have a surprise surge in support come next Tuesday. Although I don’t think there are enough Republican partisans in Chicago to do such a thing.
So excuse me for being skeptical that Wilson accomplished much of anything Sunday night – other than freezing in those 10-degree temperatures that felt much worse due to wind chill! Let’s hope for his sake the GOP at least gave him a decent meal.