Saturday, February 3, 2018

Who will we get to pick for Illinois governor – the all- nobody campaign?

A part of me wants to believe that Gov. Bruce Rauner has dug himself so deep into a partisan hole that there’s no way he can possibly prevail come the Nov. 6 general election, and that if the Republicans could have come up with a more rational candidate he probably couldn’t even win the March 20 GOP primary.
Which of these mediocrities ...

But then I look at the assortment of mediocrities that have cropped up on the Democratic Party side of the electoral equation and I honestly can’t help but think the 2018 election for Illinois governor is truly going to be a question of which candidate offends us the least.

IT’S ALMOST AS though Rauner hand-picked his opposition to provide as weak a challenger as he could face.

That was the reaction I had to learning of the We Ask America poll that asked people who amongst the six Democrats running in the primary would they vote for.

It truly was a choice of “None of the Above,” as “undecided” was the leading choice. Some 37.95 percent of those questioned said they hadn’t made up their mind yet. Amongst the actual choices, the so-called frontrunner, J.B. Pritzker, was in the lead with 29.79 percent support.

But considering that he’s the candidate with the personal fortune that he has shown a willingness to spend in order to campaign, you’d think he’d be the one so far ahead of the pack that the other candidates would be legitimately having thoughts of dropping out.
... actually stands a chance ...

NOT QUITE. IT seems that Pritzker’s millions haven’t been enough to sew up the primary election for him before serious campaigning began.

Which was supposedly the reason that Democratic Party leadership touted the Pritzker campaign to begin with – his money was supposed to make him unbeatable.

But it seems he can’t even dominate a political party fight. Which almost makes me wonder if it is time for Pritzker to give second thoughts to dropping out, on the grounds that he could save a lot of personal wealth from being expended on an ultimately unsuccessful electoral cause.
... of taking the oath of office ...

Now I know state Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston has been crowing about this poll because it shows him in second place (third actually, behind Undecided and Pritzker). His 17.43 percent allows him to move ahead of Chris Kennedy, with 11.5 percent.
... to become Illinois' next governor?

NOT EXACTLY A high point for the Kennedy name, which I’m sure he got into this campaign thinking it alone would carry him to a Democratic primary victory. He could then step up the serious campaigning come the general election against Rauner.

Except that Rauner, during his limited appearances against GOP opponent, and state Sen. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, has shown himself to be of limited ability.
IVES: Can she compete in GOP primary?

It’s as though he thinks he can get by with the same campaigning skills that allowed him to defeat Gov. Pat Quinn back in 2014. Quinn, of course, had enough people within his own political party willing to see him get knocked about that they didn’t care much if he lost.

He even had some rural Illinois counties with so much unrest that the ’14 primary challenge of Tio Hardiman managed to get some local victories. That’s the same Hardiman whose political dreams this year get him only a 1.73 percent level of support for governor.

YES, I'LL COME out and state at this time I won’t be surprised if – in the end – the primary winners turn out to be Rauner and Pritzker, and the 2018 gubernatorial election does turn out to be a battle of two rich guys willing to spend their own money to appease their egos with a government post. With Biss already pointing out that Pritzker is spending more on himself than Donald Trump spent of his own money to win the presidential election in 2016.
HARDIMAN: Can he do encore of '14?

But we’re definitely not in for any electoral cycle where the candidates will motivate us with rhetoric for the ages that will inspire us to want to reward them with our votes.

It’s more likely to turn out to be a campaign where we eagerly away the morning of Nov. 7, 2018 – the “Day After” Election Day so we can say to ourselves “Thank God It’s Over!”

Then, we can do the countdown to the 2019 brawl for Mayor of Chicago.


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