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Illinois primary day viewer's guide

Illinois politics are not for the weak of heart -- or knee. The primary fights in the Prairie State this winter have more than lived up to the state's reputation for rock 'em, sock 'em politics.

The stakes are high.

In the governor's race, voters are deciding whether to give Gov. Pat Quinn (D) a chance to step out of the long shadow left by the man he replaced -- disgraced former chief executive Rod Blagojevich (D) -- or to replace him with state Comptroller Dan Hynes.

The Republican gubernatorial primary -- overshadowed by the fight on the Democratic side -- looks like a three-way jumpball (is that even possible?) between former state party chair Andy McKenna, former state Attorney General Jim Ryan and state Sen. Kirk Dillard.

On the Senate side, the Democratic race to claim President Obama's old seat has come down to state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman. Republicans seem set to nominate Rep. Mark Kirk.

Here's a look at a few critical thing to watch as we wait for the results:

* African Americans (Governors race -- Democratic primary): Neither Quinn nor Hynes has an obvious "in" with the black community and both men have been working to demonize the other in the eyes of this critical voting bloc. Hynes has run ads featuring footage of the late Mayor Harold Washington, an African American, slamming Quinn for his alleged incompetence while serving in Washington's administration. Quinn has pushed back by questioning Hynes handling of a grave-robbing scandal at a predominantly African-American cemetery. With black voters likely to comprise approximately 25 percent of all votes cast in the primary today, whichever candidate can win a majority of their votes has a major leg-up.

* Madison County (Senate race): Madison is the quintessential "downstate" county, covered by the St. Louis media market and with far more in common with that city than Chicago. (It's a four plus hour drive from Madison County to Chicago and under an hour from Madison to St. Louis.) This is territory where Giannoulias must clean up with his superior organizational strength. If Hoffman is competitive in Madison County -- and he has recently gone on television in the downstate markets -- it suggests that Giannoulias could be in serious trouble statewide.

*The Suburbs (Gov. -- D): The Chicago suburban vote is both large and critically important to the hopes of both Quinn and Hynes. The suburban portions of Cook County, which also contains the city of Chicago, as well as places like Dupage, Lake and Will counties are population-rich and swing areas in Democratic statewide primaries.

*The 10th district (Senate): A contested primaries between 2006/2008 nominee Dan Seals and state Rep. Julie Hamos in the Democratic race to replace Kirk should drive turnout in this affluent North Shore seat. Hoffman's campaign believes the higher turnout goes in the 10th, the better for him as he is overperforming Giannoulias about well-to-do, highly educated voters.

*Sangamon County (Gov. -- Republican): Sangamon County contains Springfield, the downstate power center for Dillard whose name might ring a bell as he was prominently featured in ads for Obama -- he crossed party lines to endorse the then Illinois Senator -- during the primary and caucus season. (Dillard has come under attack from his Republican opponents in this race as a result of that endorsement.) The larger Dillard's margin in Sangamon, the more he can afford to give ground to McKenna and Ryan in the Chicago area.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 2, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , Senate  
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Next: Alexi Giannoulias, Mark Kirk set for November Senate showdown in Illinois

Comments

37th&0

Why don't you go to the employment office and peruse the labor listings? Maybe you could GET A JOB!!

Posted by: Noacoler | February 3, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe


Why don't you go to the Continental divide and find out which way your tears will go.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 3, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I believe they will grow up to be indepdendent individuals. Anyone who would judge their children based on their political affiliations has my pity.

BB

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Posted by: ytrueujuyrhdtrhyhjyu | February 2, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Any news?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 2, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I believe that when all is said and written, Obama will be a one-term President - and he sealed his own fate when Obama sent the airplane bomber a lawyer.


First, Obama has not been making announcements about these policy changes, it has been underhanded.


I think this incident is a tangible thing - Obama can have soldiers read rights in Afghanistan, but ordinary Americans don't see it until they take a guy off a plane and he is not getting questioned properly.


Obama's wacky left-wing policies have been crystalized in people's minds.


What a disaster - Let's just hope that no one dies from Obama's "soft on terror" policies - at this point Obama is rolling the dice with YOUR LIFE.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


Are you crazy -

Nice Governors race on the democratic side in Illinois - really showed how much the democrats really care about blacks -

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Jerzy, but if you voted in the Republican primary, you're a Republican. As has been noted in this space and elsewhere, most folks who call themselves independent are anything but. Not registered with a particular party, but reliable vote that way (See D, Jake.)

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 2, 2010 7:33 PM


Blade, are you the one that has twins? I'll bet they're beautiful. Do you think they will grow up to be liberals or conservatives.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 2, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

In light of 3_'s unhinged carpet posts, maybe this will help:

"The way you walked was thorny, through no fault of your own. But as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Your suffering is over. Now you, 3__, will find peace for eternity."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 2, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

If MA which is one of the most educated states can have so many brain dead people in it to vote for Republican lunatics, then what can you expect off of IL???

Which really bodes badly for this country.
I mean at what point are people going to realize that Republicans are utter complete lunatics, to be more exact that they are totally owned by Big corporations (Big pharma, Big Insurance, Big Military, etc.) and to serve their masters they will say any non-sense and lie such as Universal Nationalized health care that they have in all European countries, Canada, Israel, etc. is "Socialism.." or waste $2Trillion of our money on the totally unnecessary Iraq war., etc.


U can read more here:
http://anoox.com/blog/Real_News.38034

Posted by: RealNews1 | February 2, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

dove369


Why dont you want to vote for Cheryle Jackson?

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Jerzy, but if you voted in the Republican primary, you're a Republican. As has been noted in this space and elsewhere, most folks who call themselves independent are anything but. Not registered with a particular party, but reliable vote that way (See D, Jake.)

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 2, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

37thand0street:

Thank you. My fault.

Posted by: am1968 | February 2, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The Republican primaries for IL Governor and U.S. Senate were more complicated than how this opinion column depicted it. There were more like at least 6 fellows each running for those 2 offices, not to mention all the Lt. Gov. candidates (who in IL do not have to run in the primary as the running mate of a gubernatorial candidate). (F.ex.,) I voted for Andrewjewski (probably botching the spelling of his name) for Governor; he received the endorsements of both Lech Walesa and Rush Limbaugh, and is solidly pro-life, but wasn't even mentioned in this article.

Posted by: CatherineMcClarey | February 2, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler


You have been banned from this blog at least 4 times


Everyone asks you to leave


PLEASE LEAVE IMMEDIATELY AND DO NOT COME BACK

EVER.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

am1968

You forgot Grant


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

1) thrice
2) no
3) GET A JOB!!

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler


You have been banned from this blog at least 4 times


Everyone asks you to leave

PLEASE LEAVE IMMEDIATELY AND DO NOT COME BACK


EVER.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey 37th

GET A JOB!!

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I believe that when all is said and written, Obama will be a one-term President - and he sealed his own fate when Obama sent the airplane bomber a lawyer.

First, Obama has not been making announcements about these policy changes, it has been underhanded.


I think this incident is a tangible thing - Obama can have soldiers read rights in Afghanistan, but ordinary Americans don't see it until they take a guy off a plane and he is not getting questioned properly.

Obama's wacky left-wing policies have been crystalized in people's minds.

What a disaster - Let's just hope that no one dies from Obama's "soft on terror" policies - at this point Obama is rolling the dice with YOUR LIFE.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

As an Illinoian I woke up today ready to do my civil duty as a U. S citizen....but by time noon came around...I was like

Aaaahhh to hell with it! Blacks in Chicago don't turnout for votes because we know we are the "forgotten"...and as much as I try telling my friends not to come complaining to me about the way they see the city is racially divided and unfair, but yet they lazy butts won't take responsibility and vote....I tell them....S..T..F..U!

However today...I founded I really just wanted to go vote for Hoffman

I wanted too see him in Obama seats...But I see Rahm is sticking his hands in where they don't belong....

RAHM YOUR WAY WORKED FOR 2006 - NOT ANYMORE STOP TRYING TO FORCE LIBERALS AND PROGRESSIVE OUT OF OUR PARTY BY REPLACING THEM WITH BLUEDOGS...

THIS BANK GUY...I HOPE HE DOES A BETTER JOB THAN MARTHA COAKLEY...BUT I DO NOT LIKE RAHM EMMANUEL ANYMORE...I WISH HE WOULD HAD TURNED DOWN OBAMA REQUEST TO BE CHIEF-OF-STAFF....

BUT I DO FEEL BETTER WE GETTING HEAVYWEIGHT BACK IN - - BIDEN IS WAAAY MORE EFFECTIVE THAN AXEROD!!!

I LIKE THAT GUY BERSTEIN WHO WORKS FOR BIDEN....BIDEN CAN BRING THE HEAVYWEIGHT

OBAMA YOUR STAFF IS TOO SOFT...I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO HAVE ALL KINDS AROUND YOU

WE NEED TO HEAR FROM JIM JONES JOE BIDEN AND ANY OTHER HEAVYWEIGHTS YOU HAVE...

WE CAN NO LONGER TAKE PRISONERS THIS IS AN ALL OUT ASSUALT ON THE PEOPLE RIGHTS!!!

Posted by: dove369 | February 2, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

As an Illinoisan I get a kick out of reading all of these posts, especially people claiming tolerance, etc. Look, we're middle of the road out here-Midwest-get it? Yeah, we have our pundits and demagogues, etc., but we pay them no mind. It's the realistic moderate that will seize the day be they Dem or Repub. A few placed around the state are a bit more conservative or liberal depending on where you are, but they're the exception.

We are the state that gave you Reagan, Lincoln and Obama. The great ones. Now shut up, work with it, and stop acting like a bunch of babies.

Posted by: am1968 | February 2, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"Non-Illinoisians please just read this comment board and don't feel like your input is necessary here. Most of you haven't been paying enough attention to "fly over" America to offer anything useful anyway."


At least I know the AG's name isn't AMY Madigan...

Posted by: DDAWD | February 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I think the most important issue today is at some point the quest for tolerance became intolerant.


Think about that for a moment.

The liberals - who really want tolerance for blacks, gays, whatever it is this week - have become intolerant of anyone who may have a different position from them.


The intolerance has become rampant.

Obama's version of bipartisanship is "you must agree with him" - there is no compromise - there is no tolerance.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

jameschirico


The Governor's race is going to drag down any democrat running for the Senate - people are so sick of everything

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

jameschirico


The Governor's race is going to drag down any democrat running for the Senate - people are so sick of everything

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't get your hopes too high for a Republican Senator Jerzy, it depends on the opposition. Kirk will beat Giannoulias the former banker handily, Hoffman the D.A. that put many crooked politicians away will beat Kirk handily.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 2, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler

Stop with your homosexual remarks.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The Ped is on a rant again.

waht's the matter, your "date" deflate again?

Posted by: drivl | February 2, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Be polite! Jerzy's post was about the kindest, most unassuming statement I have seen from a GOP supporter in sometime, despite the fact he used "Republican" and "integrity" in the same sentence!
Posted by: joeboe1"

Actually I will admit that there is only a loose connection between "Republican" and "integrity" but there is NONE between "Democrat" and "integrity"

Posted by: paulnashtn | February 2, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey 37th

GET A JOB!!

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Non-Illinoisians please just read this comment board and don't feel like your input is necessary here. Most of you haven't been paying enough attention to "fly over" America to offer anything useful anyway. And all the right wing trolls have too short a memory to recollect our jailbird governor before Blago (a Ryan btw, and not good news for the sexually indelicate retread by the same sir name running again this time). He sold the entire nation's safety with fake 18-wheeler driver's liscences, not just an attempted sale of a senate seat with a fairly high price tag built in.

As for Amy Madigan, yes she is a well respected and well connected up and comer in IL and Dem politics, but she has already made her interest in Mayor Daly's seat known, so the national spotlight may not be in her near future regardless of today's love meter reading for PRESIDENT Obama (that still sounds so good!). And Mayor of Chicago comes with a bigger budget and larger population base than many Republican governors can boast these days.

We're not Massachusetts, and this is only a primary, so keep your hair on and enjoy the view from the outside. We've already given the country its best hope for the near future in the White House. However this vote goes, there is certain to be more fun to follow from Prairie State politics.

Posted by: took1 | February 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


JohnGalt9

Obama does not simply distort facts, he lies outright.


It is an outrage to America.

And democracy itself.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

12Bar: don't bother, drivl/zouk is a severely disturbed patient in a mental institution. Save your energies for sane people.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

East St. Louis is not in Madison County, it is in St. Clair County, close, but not the same. There is no bridge from Madison County to St. Louis city. There is one from Madison County to St. Louis County, but not the city, (which in a strange twist of Missouri law is its own county), again close but not correct.

Posted by: GBurke1 | February 2, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Illinois campaigns may have been "rock 'em, sock 'em" but, for voters, this has been just a big yawn. This is probably why (along with the snow), almost no one is bothering to vote today. (My suburban precinct was averaging 10 voters an hour today.)

In more than 30 years of voting, I've never seen a worse crop of candidates.

Hopefully, Illinois voters will come to their senses by November.

Posted by: chi-town | February 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey John Galt: dd you skip grade school? You capitalize like you're writing in German.

And if you have any expectation of being taken seriously you shouldn't name yourself after a character in a comic book.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@ damnedgentleman--

Be polite! Jerzy's post was about the kindest, most unassuming statement I have seen from a GOP supporter in sometime, despite the fact he used "Republican" and "integrity" in the same sentence!

Posted by: joeboe1 | February 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Election truths!

Obama has - in the State of the Union and the Budget Proposal - overwhelmed the system with doubtful claims, flimsy premises, and assertions that are doubtful, to say the least, or outright lies, to be blunt.

The President is charging ahead as if Massachusetts never happened.

Is he right about the American people buying his rethoric?

A site has found the solution. Just ask the American people one simple and fair question:
What Recent American President Has The Most Capacity and Ability to Distort the Facts?
Reagan; Clinton; W. Bush; Obama.

Vote at: http://www.robbingamerica.blogspot.com

This will tell you who will win in November. And the winner is?

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | February 2, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Jerzy- I think you have the words "Independent" and "Ideologue" mixed up. Either that, or you're on drugs.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | February 2, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The GDP is up again today...car sales going through the roof WITHOUT benefit of Cash for Clunkers or a full moon on Tuesday or whatever Neocons are using as an excuse today. Better pray to your Jesus that the good news doesn't keep flowing, Righties. Because as it does, your whining and complaining is going to seem even shriller to the majority of Americans than it does now. And once the People realize that you have no interest in ANY Healthcare or Financial Reform, the ridiculous 'No no no' attitude is going to get you a one way ticket back to the ever-shrinking GOP Big (circus) Tent.
Don't look back, Righties, the Recovery Train is about to run you down.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | February 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I love living in Illinois -- a great state for oodles of political hoohaa! Nobody does it better, and the entertainment value is high. Couple of thoughts:

"The upcoming election will pit Republican integrity against Democratic corruption and incompetence." Don't know what Republican party is being referred to in this statement -- they have less integrity and competence in this state than the Democrats, which is probably why they have barely survived as a party over the past few years. Don't bet on a Massachusetts repeat here; just not gonna' happen.

Lisa Madigan -- ah, sweet Lisa, an incredibly capable and popular AG. Revisionist history is not needed to explain why she turned down the opportunity to run for Senate -- had nothing to do with being seen with Obama (whom she strongly supported in 2008, along with her papa Speaker Madigan) but rather she just had her second child and wanted to have more of a family life while still being the AG which she says she really, really likes doing. And does a bang-up job, too. I love Lisa, and her future is very bright for whatever office she seeks -- and I'll be the first in line to vote for her.


Posted by: JPDupre | February 2, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Vote for anyone that is not a Democrat.

Support Massachusetts...

Republicans have newer and cleaner choices. Let's begin to change the reputation of Illinois Politics. I no longer want to be considered a part of the Democratic Machine any longer. We have a chance...We have a vote.......

Let's change Illinois into a State we
and the Nation will respect and support...once again.

Posted by: Intuition1010 | February 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Madison County is a quintessential Downstate county? Has the writer ever visited Illinois?
Madison County is Chicago once-removed, the home of trial lawyers and grinding poverty.
It is the county of East St. Louis, and it is not an hour away from St. Louis, it is five minutes away, ACROSS THE BRIDGE!!!!!
There are quintessential Downstate counties, but Madison isn't one of them.
Walk over and ask brother Broder.

Posted by: ChuckView | February 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It is odd that Cillizza did not identify Hynes by party affiliation.

Posted by: query0 | February 2, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The referendum on Obama in his home state has already taken place: Lisa Madigan turned him down. Lisa Madigan is an extraordinarily beautiful and ambitious woman. She would not have passed up the opportunity to run for senator or governor if there was a good chance of success.

Lisa Madigan is enormously popular in Illinois. She is the attorney general and in 2006 she was re-elected with 72.4% of the vote. She doesn't need help from Obama to be elected to a higher office. But if she runs, she has to be seen with him, and he would bring her down. She said no.

Obama was rebuffed by Lisa Madigan. Here is the president offering his support in his home state and for his own seat in the Senate and he gets rebuffed. What an embarrassment for Obama. She dissed him.

It seems that Lisa Madigan and the good people of Illinois have known for some time what the rest of us are just beginning to understand: Obama is not nearly as popular as he once was. To be seen with him on the campaign trail is not necessarily a plus. It may be a negative, not a positive.

We must listen to Lisa Madigan. We must listen to what her heart is telling her, and what it is telling us.

Posted by: Arshad_Sherif_MA_MEd | February 2, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

As an independent, I voted in the Illinois primary for Republican candidates.

The Republicans have an excellent choice for U. S. Senator and six excellent choices for Governor and fine candidates for all other positions. It was refreshing.

By contrast, the Chicago Democratic machine offered two corrupt and incompetent choices for Governor and two corrupt and incompetent choices for U. S. Senator.

The upcoming election will pit Republican integrity against Democratic corruption and incompetence.

Don't know how it will turn out, but I hope that we follow the lead of Massachusetts.

Posted by: Jerzy | February 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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