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In order for Republican candidate for Illinois Governor Judy Baar Topinka to defeat Democratic incumbent Rod Blagojevich the following three steps must happen.
Denting Dems' Cook County edge crucial to Topinka's hopes

One: Given the real possibility of a larger-than-usual Cook County vote (due to the County Board president race), Topinka must find a way to cut the governor's winning percentage in this Democratic stronghold. In 2002 Blagojevich garnered 67 percent of the Cook County vote -- a similar performance by him in 2006 could by itself doom Topinka's statewide hopes.

Two: The five collars must go overwhelmingly for Topinka and up Jim Ryan's 2002 winning percentage (58 percent) by at least 5 percentage points. Key here is whether "social conservative" Republicans will support their party's nominee or reject her because of her moderate views on abortion and gay rights.

Three: Traditional GOP north and north-central Downstate counties must have big turnouts and a huge Topinka vote. The recent Downstate bus caravan was perhaps Topinka's shrewdest political move so far in the campaign.

Simple. Republican Judy Baar Topinka must hold down Democratic vote out of Cook County and increase GOP turnout in the Conservative base.  Working in Judy Baar Topinka favor Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will be on the ballot. New stories such as Governor's babysitter to decide fate of fired workers and ethic problems in this Rod Blagojevich administration also helps Judy Baar Topinka.      

Judy Baar Topinka still faces an up hill fight in a blue state.  2006 is shaping up to be a big Democratic year.  Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich has a huge war chest and has been hitting Republican Judy Baar Topinka hard with television ads since the primary.   Recent polls have Blagojevich wit the lead.  Barring any October surprises Blagojevich will defeat Topinka, only the margin of the victory is in dispute.  It is going to be close.  

Cross-Post at my blog: A Liberal Stance on Politics

Originally posted to Eloy on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 07:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Eloy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Banana Republicans, Downtowner
    Please feel free to leave comments, tips and criticism.
  •  What do you think... (0+ / 0-)

    the impact of this Stroger mess is going to be on Cook County turnout?  There seems to be a nascent protest vote movement growing around the Republican candidate.

    Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

    by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

    •  Stroger.... (0+ / 0-)

      Well, personally, I think there is some resentment going on due to that whole thing, and there will be a larger-than-normal turnout of voters because of it.

      I've heard more than a few mumbles and grumbles over it.

      We're oft to blame--in this tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself.

      by TheBlaz on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 07:57:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: What do you think.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChicagoDem

      Democratic turn out will be high in Cook County.   Republican nominee Tony Peraica might pull in some Democratic votes but those voters will also be voting Democratic Governor.  

      It is a mess.  The best thing for Cook County was electing Claypool, but that time has past.  

      •  My fear... (0+ / 0-)

        is that a savvy Republican candidate could link the Stroger deal to the Daley and Blago hiring scandals.  I'm glad Topinka hasn't been able to get traction with that yet.

        I'm really glad the Republican bench is so thin in this state.  I was stoked when Blagojevich won in 2002, but lately it seems his only saving feature is Republican incompetence.

        Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

        by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 08:03:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Delay & Blagojevich (0+ / 0-)

          It is time for Delay to go.  The Chicago Mayor is already gearing up for 2007 races.  Someone needs to step up for the good of Chicago and the Illinois Democratic party.  

          I was never a big Blagojevich fan; only thing I like was the Democrat.   My candidate was Paul Vallas in the 2002 Democratic primary.  My fear is Blagojevich and Delay problems will continue to erupt and allow weak Illinois GOP to take advantage in future elections.    

          •  It's Daley, not Delay. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  I liked Vallas better too... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Southside

            But I was glad a Dem won.  It was basically the only big Democratic victory in 2002.

            The thing is, Chicago is Daley's as long as he wants it.  Stuff like the hiring scandals is only going to turn out lakefront liberals -- and even they're a smaller voice than they once were because so much of the lakefront has become fairly gentrified and conservative (as long as the traffic's moving and garbage is picked up, most don't care).  He has the most broad based political organization in the city, and the only one that has any sort of loyalty across racial lines.  The only significant demographic challenge would be a candidate that mobilizes the black community against the heavily gentrified development plan (eg: stuff like TIFs, the school demolition "modernization" plan, etc...) but he seems to have won some support among African-American South Side political leaders with his support of the Big Box ordinance.  I just don't see who could really stand up to Daley in any head to head match.

            Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

            by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 08:36:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  WTF are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChiGirl88, jimraff

            "For the good of the Chicago and Illinois Democratic party" someone needs to step up.  There is no Chicago or Illinois Democratic party without Daley.  Illinois is Cook County away from being a red state.  Without the massive Democratic turnout in Cook County that Daley delivers, the state is red.  Who do you think can step up and deliver what Daley delivers?  There is no one.  He will run for reelection, and win by a huge majority.  Patronage hiring in Cook County is not a scandal, it is business as usual, just like it is in every large City or national government.  Voters are not concerned about it, on the contrary they were more turned off by the prosecution of Sorich.

            •  wtf? (0+ / 0-)

              Ok.

              One person does not make up the whole Illinois Democratic Party.  When the Mayor is gone, life will still continue.  Your loyalties lie with mayor not to the Democratic Party.  I know were you stand and it is a shame.  Politics as usual.    

              •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                I am a Democrat. The leader of the Democratic party in Cook County and Illinois is Richard Daley, who also happens to be a great mayor in my opinion.  As such he delivers millions of votes for state and national democrats.  Without him and his organization the state is probably red.  Just ask Hubert Humphrey what happens when the Cook County Democratic organization does not support you.  You lose the state and you lose the presidency.  

                •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Crusty Bunker

                  I think Illinois would still be competitive without Daley.  Daley is not the city, and it's Chicago and the liberal burbs that turn the state blue, not just his organization.  It just wouldn't be as easy.  And in fact it HASN'T been so easy in the past -- Illinois was a "swing state" as late as 2000, remember?

                  Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

                  by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:01:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  As a Southern Illinoisan (0+ / 0-)

                  I appreciate the way the Daley gets out the Dem vote and helps the ticket statewide. I don't think he "is" the party but I think more of him thatn I do Blago. I only hope he can pull those votes out again this year. I have a feeling we are going to need every one of them to hold on to the governors mansion.

                  It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach. Franklin D. Roosevelt

                  by Illinois Democrat on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:02:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't think it will be close (0+ / 0-)

                    At least where I am, I see no buzz, momentum or anything toward Topinka which is really suprising because I thought she would be a good candidate.  I think her choice of that scumbag Birkett and his DuPage County sleazy baggage really hurt her.  She should become a Democrat.

                    •  We're REALLY lucky... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Banana Republicans

                      That the GOP didn't pick Oberweis.  Yes, he's crazy but he has name recognition and he'd probably be tearing Blagojevich a new one (rhetorically, if not in polling) right now.  It's hard to take Topinka seriously as a good government reformer.  Oberweis might have thrown around some 1994 style "outsider" attitude.  And he would have had a total reign of terror if he'd won.

                      Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

                      by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:13:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  There is no momentum (0+ / 0-)

                      cuase GRod started the "what was she thinking" campaign even before she accepted the nomination and has rubbed it in so hard she has nothing much to respond with.

                      If you are looking for Truth, you better be ready to change your mind.

                      by jimraff on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:24:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree that Birkett hurt her. (0+ / 0-)

                      I've said this before, but I know a lot of people who are not happy with Blagojevich and were ready to vote for Topinka until she chose Birkett as her running mate.

                      I'm in the suburbs and I don't hear much talk about Topinka here, either, which surprises me.

                      Proud to live in a Blue State!

                      by Sister Havana on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 10:38:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Topinka will win handily down here (0+ / 0-)

                      She is giving speeches on adding prison guards and saving their pensions. That works well around here becuase so many of the good paying jobs are related to prisons. Blago at least has jump started the coal industry in the area(approx. 2500 jobs in the next few years near Washington County) and is looking at jobs not tied to the state of Illinois payroll. But, JBT will win down here. So, as I said before, please help us Chicago!!!!!

                      It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach. Franklin D. Roosevelt

                      by Illinois Democrat on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 11:18:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I lived in Carbondale for 5 years (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ChiGirl88, Southside

                    and grew up on a farm west of Kankakee. The most common misconception outside the state is that Illinois is blue. It most certainly is not, especially the further you go south.

                    Without Cook County, Illinois is a very dark shade of purple.

    •  Yeah, but............. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChicagoDem, Southside

      As messy and ugly as this county thing is, Tony Persica (I think that's how you spell it) has really yet to offer anything other than typical Republican talking point bullshit (and his refusal to sign on to a fucking welcoming statement for the Gay Games left a bad taste in my mouth)  I don't know of any Dem who is that enthralled with Todd Stroger, and very few who are fans of G-Rod.  That being said, all of them will vote for the Democratic Party candidate because if we have learned nothing else in these last few years, as corrupt as Illinois Dems can be (hello Mayor Daley), Republicans can't be trusted to do anything other than give shit away to rich white people and corporations - not to mention, they are equally tainted (with former Gov. George Ryan about to be sentenced next week) on the corruption scale.

      I'm looking at the Lt Gov candidates closely, for a reason.  JBT isn't immune from taint either.  Her running mate Joe Birkett is a sloppy former DA from Uber-White DuPage County who played fast and loose with a pretty high profile capital crime case that was later overturned.  (Think Sean Hanity with an extra dose of sanctimonioum in his water supply).  As moderate as JBT can be (no doubt for reasons I've brought up here before), Birkett is anything but.  He's her in-case-of-emergency-break-glass conservative.  That being said, Pat Quinn is a fine man, and would be a great Gov should G-Rod get in trouble (which I really don't think is going to happen).

      But the real deal will be Lisa Madigan in 2010.  She's the next Dem to watch.

      •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

        I dunno -- are you really looking forward to Lisa Madigan as governor?  Why does every Democrat in this state either have to be directly related to Daley (or a Daley-connected alderman) or Mike Madigan?

        All Peraica will ever be is a protest vote, but the possibility of an even POTENTIALLY viable GOP candidate might actually get some Republicans to the polls.  I have a lurking feeling that a lot of the communities we used to associate with "lakefront liberals" now have a lot of Republicans living in them that haven't been voting b/c there didn't seem to be a point.

        Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

        by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:05:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the family function........... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Southside, jimraff

          I will admit I wasn't super-thrilled about Lisa in the beginning, and that was due to her family ties.  But I'm willing to say she has impressed the hell out of me these last few years, so much so that I think she's got what it takes to lead.

          I also had the opportunity to meet her a couple of years ago - and whatever warmth I didn't see on TV I did see in the flesh.  She's funny, articulate, and has a pretty broad grasp of the important issues at hand (as well as some of the not-as-"hot topic" issues).  She also seems to want to connect with voters.

          I'm still not a fan of her father, but count me firmly in the LM camp.

          •  What's impressed you? (0+ / 0-)

            This is a serious question -- I can't think of anything she's done in the last couple years that has really stuck out as impressive.  The biggest thing she's done that I can think of was the call for shutting down tax subsidies for charity hospitals based on a threshhold, which was a hugely negative oversimplification of the issue.

            Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

            by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 12:11:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think Amy is (0+ / 0-)

          coming to her own.  While I think she got her current job becuase of her name, she is making her own name pretty well.

          I think Pat Quinn is a much better 2010 candidate if he decides to do it.

          If you are looking for Truth, you better be ready to change your mind.

          by jimraff on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:21:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't look good here for Topinka (0+ / 0-)

    Here in Rockford, local Democrats are campaigning hard - and while I'm sure some people will split their votes because Blagojevich isn't well liked here, there really isn't any serious support for Topinka. Frankly, Alan Keyes had many more yard signs (and supporters) here than she does.
    Thanks to stuff like Dan Lewandowski running against Syverson for the state senate (and doing a very good job getting out and knocking on doors) I'd expect better than normal Democratic turnout here.

  •  Illinois is not blue (6+ / 0-)

    Illinois is naturally a dead center purple state. For over a hundred years (back to Cleveland v. Harrison), with the single exception of 1976, Illinois has gone for the winner of the presidential election every time.  Until Bush II.

    Frankly, that's part of why I suspect shenanigans in 2000 and 2004.

    But my point is that we should make hay while we can, because the state is not naturally Blue.

    RULE OF LAW. That's all the reason you need to oppose Republicans.

    by nightsweat on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 08:11:31 AM PDT

  •  My fear is that GRod (0+ / 0-)

    will get caught in a scandal before the election and that will give JBT the Gov mansion.

    If you are looking for Truth, you better be ready to change your mind.

    by jimraff on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 09:19:52 AM PDT

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