Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's all about the name recognition

The Chicago Tribune gave us its traditional polls every campaign season, giving us as thorough an understanding of where the major campaigns stand in the primary elections coming up just a month from now.

RAUNER: Bought the primary?
If those polls are to be taken seriously, it will be Bruce Rauner and James Oberweis at the top of the Republican ticket, challenging Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Richard Durbin, respectively, and leading the efforts of all Republicans across Illinois trying to get elected to government office.

NOW I’M NOT terribly interested in writing about whether Rauner and Oberweis really are the best bets to seriously challenge Quinn and Durbin in the November general election. There will be plenty of time to do that in coming months.

It’s just that reading the details of those polls, it becomes quite apparent that despite all the talk amongst Republicans about how voters are energized by their candidates to clobber Dems come November, the opposite seems to be true.

I don’t think anybody in this candidate field has really captured the public’s love and affection, so to speak.

Rauner, the venture capitalist whom some GOPers think is too close and personal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is the one who has used his personal wealth to advertise his existence.

WHICH MAKES IT very likely that to many would-be voters who probably just now are starting to pay any attention to the election cycle, Rauner is the only one they may have heard of.

The other three candidates may well be unknowns – which is a blow to the 2010 campaign between Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, who don’t seem to gain anything from having run before.

OBERWEIS: On way to a win?
And as for Dan Rutherford, he’s only now starting to get public recognition – but for a subject matter that makes decent people squeamish! Something that only the sleaziest amongst us takes any pleasure in observing.

Rauner may well succeed in buying enough name recognition early on that there just isn’t enough time for the opposition to catch up. Since if the Tribune poll published earlier this week turns out to bear any resemblance to reality, nearly all the undecided voters would have to swing to Brady for him to prevail.

RUTHERFORD AND DILLARD are just too far behind to catch up to Rauner, it would seem.

Will Hardiman do worse ...
This may well become the gubernatorial race between a pair of Chicago residents – a concept that is bound to repulse many among the voters from rural parts of the state who are determined to dump Quinn because they think he’s too urban in his perspective on life.

The same seems to be holding up in the Senate primary, where Oberweis has such a large lead that he’s already the Election Day winner – provided that the poll results turn out to be real.

Then again, Oberweis is the guy who has run past campaigns for governor, senator and representative – before finally winning a seat in the Illinois state Senate.

AFTER ALL THAT, he had better be known to more voters than just about any other candidate (the Tribune poll indicates he has 88 percent name recognition). Although there are those who wonder if his recognition is for such negative past activity that it will kill him – and other Republican candidates on the ticket – come November.

What it does mean is that Doug Truax, a business executive from suburban Downers Grove, hasn’t done much in the way of getting his name out to the public. Because there are those who would like to have an alternative to vote for March 18.
... than Truax on Election Day?
Although what may become the most interesting aspect of the primary is one that will be of interest only to political geeks – will Truax become the biggest political nobody of the day? Or will he get topped (or should it be bottomed) by Tio Hardiman – who is the token challenger against Quinn.

Nobody seems to give Hardiman any chance to actually beat Quinn. Although I wonder if he winds up getting more support in that campaign than Truax does against the man whose dairy company, admittedly, does make some fine ice cream.


No comments: