Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Will voters decide dumping Rahm more important than keeping Quinn?

51-39. 45-36.

Those are the latest poll results in the two big elections coming in the next few months.

THE FIRST IS the margin by which Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner leads Gov. Pat Quinn in a study by the We Ask America polling group.

The latter are poll results by the same group of the 2015 mayoral election – if it turns out to be a head-to-head race between Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

I’m sure there are those individuals who will want to view those results as evidence of a “throw the bums out” mentality at work. Although I’m not convinced. I suspect that most people who are displeased about the current political state are more focused about dumping Rahm than anything else.

It is that sense of apathy toward Illinois government that may result in the Democratic vote of Chicago not turning out in strong-enough numbers to help Quinn come Nov. 4.

SUCH A STRONG “blue” state as Illinois would not be giving a Republican an 11-point lead IF Chicago voters cared. It is the reason William Brady was able to dominate all of Illinois outside of Cook County, yet still lose the 2010 election cycle for governor.

Chicago cared enough about the thought of a Brady victory that they turned out in force for Quinn. It is the reason Quinn is engaging in so many campaign attacks to make Rauner out to be a rich guy with nothing in common with real Chicagoans.

The one about him paying ridiculously-high prices for a parking space near his Near North Side residence is something that nobody outside of that neighborhood will comprehend. But is it enough to stir up resentment and a strong voter turnout?

I think many Chicago voters are getting swept up with the sentiment of trying to find a replacement for Rahm Emanuel.

HENCE, THE LATEST poll that shows Emanuel losing not only to Lewis, but to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Which is interesting in that neither one is actually a candidate for the February mayoral election, although the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that Lewis has created an unofficial exploratory committee and is starting to take some of the other actions that a real candidate would take.

Although Emanuel has such a large financial advantage and the opposition has so little time to try to catch up that he still ought to be considered the electoral favorite. Which is why she made the political announcement Tuesday that some people are determined to disbelieve -- she's NOT running for mayor next year!

That same We Ask America poll showed that the one officially-declared challenger to Emanuel – former Alderman and county official Robert Shaw – would get his butt kicked by Rahm. 48 percent to 30 percent, to be exact.

THERE’S ALSO THE fact that the poll treats the mayoral campaign as a head-to-head race, instead of Rahm against several opponents who will cut into his opposition. That just isn’t real.

I suspect that the large leads for Lewis and Preckwinkle are based on the idea that they look better than the incumbent, at least until we start seeing them up close. Then we’ll discover their political warts and Emanuel’s money will make sure every one of them gets analyzed and exaggerated.

Just as Rauner is trying to use his personal fortune to pay for a campaign that repeatedly pumps into our heads the concept of “Pat Quinn is Evil.” That, and “Don’t Look Too Closely at My Flaws.”

Will people care about the long-term care homes owned by a Rauner-controlled company whose care was less-than-stellar? As reported by the Lee Enterprises chain of newspapers that includes the Times of Northwest Indiana? Or will it come across as too technical and cause potential voters’ eyes to glaze over?

IT JUST MAKES me wonder how will voters perceive things if Rauner winds up winning in November, then Emanuel prevails in February (or in an April run-off election)?

Why do I suspect that the combination of political friends Rahm and Rauner would wind up putting the ultimate fright into those individuals who are clamoring for radical change?!?

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