Thursday, July 30, 2015

What will ’16 election cycle turn into for GOP efforts to alter Illinois?

I understand that Bruce Rauner got himself elected as governor with the idea that he’d be able to implement an agenda of anti-organized labor measures he desired, only to find that the Democratic Party was strong enough to thwart him.

RAUNER: Will he have any friends in '16?
That pesky idea of a “veto proof” majority! Go figure.

THAT IS WHAT is behind the current government stalemate, and nothing is seriously going to change until the conditions are altered.

Either a Democratic governor in the 2018 elections, or a significant alteration of the General Assembly’s composition come 2016. I don’t know that it is possible to shift so suddenly to a Republican majority in either chamber. But I’m sure Rauner wishes he had stronger GOP support in the Legislature – where the few Republicans in place now are showing a lock-step mentality to back the governor because they appreciate the influence it gives them after years of being ignored.

That is why it makes total sense that Rauner is using his wealth to make political contributions to efforts to strengthen the Republican caucus in both legislative chambers.

He has said he plans to make contributions twice a year, to bolster the campaigns of the people who are challenging Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s strongest supporters.

IF HE GETS more Republican allies, then his claim to having some moral authority to impose his will doesn’t come across as being so ridiculous. Because now, he comes across as a spoiled child who got clothes for Christmas rather than the special toy he dreamed about.
DUCKWORTH: Opposing Rauner AND Kirk
We can think that the stalemate we’re now enduring is going to last at least through the November 2016 general elections IF Rauner can succeed in shifting the General Assembly’s composition.

But looking at some recent polling data makes me wonder if that is too big a goal for Rauner to achieve. Public Policy Polling had Rauner with a 37 percent approval rating, with 43 percent disapproving and another 20 percent not sure what to think.

There is still more than a year before Election Day, so those figures could change drastically before people cast ballots. But considering how this cycle is going to be personified as Rauner versus da Dems, it doesn’t help the cause that barely more than one-third of potential voters would back him.

KIRK: Not Rauner's strongest suit
IT’S ALSO NOT like there’s a strong Republican Party in Illinois besides Rauner. He has become the party, for better or worse!

Consider that the big election for 2016 is for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Mark Kirk, R-Ill. – who wants to seek re-election but may wind up facing off against Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., if she survives a primary challenge come March.

Public Policy Polling also had a survey saying that Duckworth would beat Kirk 42 percent to 36 percent. It also showed that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would beat just about any Republican running for president – even though he’s the Dem caucus member who began his political career calling himself a socialist.

Let alone what Hillary R. Clinton will do in Illinois against whichever of the 16 Republicans manages to succeed in gaining the GOP nomination.

SANDERS: Even he beats GOP in Ill.
IT’S NOT AN environment that’s going to be sympathetic to an anti-labor candidate. Heck, I wonder if Madigan would be in bigger trouble with Democratic partisans if he made any concessions to Rauner than he would be with Rauner himself.

Which may be the reason that Rauner ought to seriously think of making some sort of concession now so that a budget gets put in place for state government and we can revert to the usual stupidity that prevails within state government.

Because right now, he has 43 percent disapproval with 20 percent unsure – a figure that could easily become 63 percent opposition and make him so toxic that no Republican legislative candidate would want his money; no matter how broke they’d be otherwise.


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