Illinois Primary Today

Illinois primary today. Thanks goodness.

I’ve been watching the campaign from the other side of the Big Muddy, where I can see television ads run on St. Louis-area stations. Illinois, like New York, has long been weighted down by old party boss-style politics and corruptions in which both parties are complicit. The sitting Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has done a heckofa job standing in the way of doing anything that might, you know, make things better. He ought to be very vulnerable.

Rauner does nothing but run negative ads. His negative ads against his primary opponent, Jeanne Ives, featured clips of her allegedly saying nice things about the Democratic speaker of the Illinois House, Mike Madigan. (Madigan is one of those “permanent” politicians. He has been in Illinois politics for so long one suspects he was around when Illinois was still the Northwest Territory. I think they built the statehouse around him.) Rauner’s video clips of Ives were so obviously and badly edited I wondered if they were produced by Project Veritas. I’m sorry I can’t find any videos of them, but they’re really stupid ads. In any event, the ads had the effect of making Ives seem sympathetic and reasonable until I saw one of her ads against Rauner, which was downright unhinged.

What can one say but … OMG. Seriously, that is a real campaign ad. It isn’t a spoof.

Possibly afraid that Rauner’s ads against Ives were too soft and ineffectual, the Democratic Governor’s Assocation made this one:

Seem noteworthy that the Democratic Governor’s Association would take sides in a Republican primary, but there it is.

There are three men running for the Democratic nomination. Any of them would be an improvement on Rauner or Ives, but I’m guessing the least desirable one will be elected. J.B. Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, has blanketed the state with an incessant television ad campaign that’s been going on for months. And they are very good ads, well produced and positive, showing all kinds of real folks talking about how J.B. is a great guy. Pritzker has spent $70 million of his own money on those ads, it says here. He took a hit a few weeks ago when Rauner released tapes of an old phone conversation between Pritzker and former governor and current convict, Rod Blagojevich. Pritzker can be heard recommending another politician for an appointment because “it covers you on the African-American thing.” But this appears to have been smoothed over.

The other two Democratic candidates are Chris Kennedy, son of Bobby of Blessed Memory; and state Sen. Daniel Biss, who is the most progressive of the three and who is backed by Our Revolution Illinois.  But I haven’t heard a peep about either guy in all these months of campaigning. I assume they are more visible from within Illinois.

There is a surprising shortage of polling for these races, but I’m guessiing we’re looking at Rauner versus Pritzker in the fall.

Update: I forgot to mention that today Illinois has a shot at getting rid of one of the worst Blue Dogs in the House.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) spent much of his career antagonizing his own party as an outspoken pro-life advocate who has been hostile to gay rights and has voted against Democratic priorities from the DREAM Act to Obamacare to Planned Parenthood funding. After more than a decade representing a safely Democratic seat stretching from Chicago’s Southwest Side out to largely working-class suburbs, he’s facing the toughest primary challenge of his career from former ad executive Marie Newman, a staunch liberal whose campaign has gotten a major boost from a constellation of national progressive groups seeking his ouster.

Go, Marie Newman!

Update: It will be Rauner vs. Pritzker in November; Pritzker should win easily. Lipinski,  alas, won in a squeaker over Marie Newman.

10 thoughts on “Illinois Primary Today

  1. I'm not from Illinois but I'm familiar with Biss through YouTuber and author John Green, who identifies Biss as a friend. The vlogbrothers (John + younger brother Hank) don't bring up specific campaigns often, but John has made videos about Biss in the past when he ran for comptroller and later for state senate. Here's his latest on Biss in the governor's race:

    The vlogbrothers, along with their educational projects like Crash Course and SciShow, have a amassed a wide following of young progressives over the years. Fans of theirs tend to be more politically literate and active than the national average for the 18-30 age group. I can't say that their influence could have any kind of significant affect on the election, but it'll be interesting to see what happens.

    • I see that Pritzker has won the Dem gubernatorial primary by a comfortable margin. Other races are too close to call.

  2. You should see the ads run in the Chicago Market! Non-Stop every local channel, somebody is making some serious bank! I have a theory that both political and pharmaceutical ads are nothing more than money laundering fronts!

  3. I haven't seen any political ads on TV yet in NY State – and I watch MSNBC a good portion of every day.

    I hope I didn't just jinx the whole state, and we start getting a barrage of them begining tomorrow.

    Oh hell.  We'll get them eventually…

    • According to the author of the article, the anti-Ives ad is actually quite the contrary:

      I suppose if you were a right-wing moon-howling troglodyte, the anti-Ives ad would make her look appealing and not the flaming whackjob she actually is. However, in that case, you would not be a Democratic voter.

  4. Unless you read a different article, the author states the ad was directed to Republicans and was essentially a McCaskill tactic of getting voters on the other side to vote for a presumed weaker candidate in the general.

    • chris — A fanciful idea, but not credible. Rauner is already a weak candidate. He’s unpopular in Illinois. The Democrats don’t need to find a weaker candidate than he is. Anyway, *my* point is that the ad makes Ives out to be a whackjob. Which it does.

  5. The point you are making about her being a whackjob is why the author states why certain Republican voters will be drawn to vote her. In essence, birds of a feather…

    "Many Republicans watching this ad, however, will feel their heartstrings plucked.

    Ives wants to ban abortions? That sounds good!

    An “A” rating from the NRA? Pushing to stop new gun laws? Heck, yeah!

    She’s in lockstep with Trump’s effort to stop protections for those in the country illegally? Sign me up!"

    The idea of making her out to be a whack job is credible with the belief that there are enough centrist Republicans in the state who stay away from her in the general election. Personally, I'm not sure if there are enough who would avoid her in the general, but I can say with certainty that the claim in the article was to push her to victory in the primaries and had little to nothing to do with existing Democratic voters. That is, unless there was some other agenda to cross party lines to vote for a weaker opponent.

    I'm not saying Rauner doesn't have problems, but again, according to the article, he is centrist (as he had drawn some Democratic voters in the last election) and he does have money. Two criteria that helped him last time and may or may not help him again.

    I listened to Pritzker's victory speech and it was pretty liberal. Democratic governor's tend to get elected with the help of Chicago. While there may be plenty of Democratic voters in the state, I'm just not sure there are enough who may consider themselves very liberal.  I agree with the author that Ives has a better chance of repelling the centrist that exists in both parties, thus making her the weaker candidate. I can only hope that the Dems who voted for him last time have learned their lesson on him and will avoid him the second time around.

    Rauner ads tends to be negative and very few speak of his plans or accomplishments. Negative advertising tends to lower voter turnout and midterms are notorious enough for that which can work in Rauner's favor. I hope the DNC will run ads nationally to push the need to vote.


  6. Who can keep up – today's news

    Trump top lawyer out – conspiracy theory nut from Fox in/

    Tariffs on China – Dow down 725 (Wait until China retaliates)

    Omnibus passes 1.3 trillion – deficit will be uuuge. US will sell TBills to raise the money. Histrically big buyer of Us Treasury Bonds has been – China. If they boycott money borrowing money for the US will get more expensive. If US economy is in doubt – MUCH more expensive.

    Mcmasters out – OMG Bolton is in. (Stand by for new war in mideast.)

    Interview w/ prior exec of Cambridge Analytica blew my socks off. Today Trump tweeeted his pleasure with the election results due to CA. (Somebody should have sent a memo in all caps – DO NOT BRAG ABOUT CA!)

    That's just today! Mueller needs to hurry up. 

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