April 6, 2006


Can Topinka Turn Illinois Red? (George Will, April 06, 2006, Real Clear Politics)

In the last four presidential elections, Republican candidates have averaged just 40 percent of the Illinois vote. In 2004, the Republican Senate candidate, a raging resident of Maryland, won just 27 percent of the vote. Judy Topinka, 62, the effervescent three-term state treasurer and Republican gubernatorial nominee against Gov. Rod Blagojevich, thinks she can put Humpty Dumpty together again. Republicans everywhere should hope a new poll is accurate in showing her three points ahead among registered voters.

In California, Republican presidential candidates have not been competitive for three elections. Since 1994, when California Republicans backed an anti-immigrant measure offensive to the Latino population that now is more than one-third of the state's population, Republicans have won an average of just 41 percent of the presidential vote.

In New York, where Republican presidential candidates in the last four elections have averaged just 35 percent, one candidate for the Senate nomination against Hillary Clinton this year has zero political experience and less than zero credibility, having inflated her resume. And if the state party chairman gets his way, the senatorial candidate will be a former Yonkers mayor, who as a married man had two children with his unmarried chief of staff, which he says was "ironically'' fine because "I didn't have to make an appointment with my chief of staff to go over everything.'' (He has now married her.)

From Illinois, California and New York, Democratic presidential nominees currently receive, without exertion, 107 electoral votes -- 40 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Can Topinka begin the process of making Republicans competitive for Illinois' 21 votes?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 6, 2006 5:25 PM

In November, IL will be a dark dark shade of blue, whether or not Topinka wins.

I sent G. an email today. How he carps about Iraq and other Bush admin. shortcomings, but writes an entire article skirting Topinka's record of corruption and stabbing conservatives in the back is a wonder.

2-4 seats per chamber lost, with a the largest tax increase in IL history by March 2007.

If Topinka wins, she signs it, strong arming stupid republicans to join her. If Blago wins, he vetos it and has the veto proof chambers d his work by overriding him. He gets to run in 2010 as a tax cutter.

Under no circumstance is Topinka "red". She's a pig. The "r" after her name stands for "Rod".

Posted by: Bruno at April 6, 2006 7:07 PM

She's the only Republican left who wins statewide and beats Blagojevich, for which you'll never forgive her.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 7:15 PM

Your Irish might get the socialist out of their blood in another couple hundred years or so, so cheer up.

Posted by: Perry at April 6, 2006 7:17 PM

Republicans lost California because the influx of immigrants legal and illegal caused Republican voters to leave.

If Bush had won 79% of the Latino vote in California he still would have lost the state to Gore in 2000. You can claim prop 187 reduced the number of Latino 'natural conservatives' who vote Republican in California, but it's absurd to claim that in the absence of prop 187 Republicans would be getting more than 79% of the Latino vote when they don't do that anywhere.

Posted by: Carter at April 6, 2006 7:51 PM

Judy is George Ryan in skirts. Previously, she was the Illinois state senator from, where else but the district of Berwyn-Cicero.

Posted by: andy at April 6, 2006 7:56 PM


You have to remember, the 'R' after the candidate's name forgives all bad policy, except for ones OJ doesn't like. That's the definition of rank opportunism, if not outright moral degeneracy.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 6, 2006 9:27 PM

I can understand voting for a Rino for congress or even president, but Ill guv? Why?

I supported Glenn Poshard in, what was it? 1998? over that weasel George Ryan on the basis of the only issue that really separated them -- abortion. Ryan's a squish, Poshard was pro-life. Game set and match.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 6, 2006 9:44 PM

The GOP lost CA because they ran against the fastest growing cohort of the population.

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2006 12:46 AM

Gore won California by 1293774 votes. 1.6 million Latinos voted in that election. Unless the GOP was getting 80% of the Latino vote prior to Prop 187, it's impossible reaction to Prop 187 was the reason Gore won California.

Posted by: Carter at April 7, 2006 1:35 AM

Being non-competitive for Latinos makes them a non-competitive party. Arnold was competitive for them so won.

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2006 7:25 AM

something more than 187 happened. i might be mistaken but i believe wilson won another term as govenor after 187 passed. and keep in mind that it did pass, so a majority of voters must have thought it ok. also, it is a proposition not a legislative diktat.

can't say what changed in california for sure, but my theory is that many of the american citizens who actually work for a living, i mean nativist scum, have cashed out and moved out, to be replaced by more liberal voters (and their house keepers).

even previously heavily republican districts are now deep purplish.

it's too bad oj has such a stultifying effect on this topic because there are some fascinating historical patterns re-emerging, so that a long cycle is now perceptible. but let's keep it at the ward churchill level of discourse, because that's so much more interesting.

Posted by: toe at April 7, 2006 11:50 AM

Topinka is a one-off. Unless the Repub party in Illinois plans on cloning glib female schmoozers, her ascendancy means zip.

Whatever Topinka does, I'll be amazed if a Repub candidate for President ever wins Illinois. The legacy of Dem corruption and control, the strength of unions, and the weakness of the Repubs here all point to the continuation of the trend. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong someday, though.

FYI, we were discussing Tammy Duckworth recently, and the question of how she got drafted into the Congressional race for Henry Hyde's seat. I found this post, on a site run by Dennis Byrne, a well-known Chicago journalist for many years, and he claims Dem power broker Rahm Emmanuel enlisted Duckworth. Shocking, I know.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at April 7, 2006 2:50 PM

1. That does not change the math.

2. The exit polls show Schwarzenegger got 31% of the Hispanic vote. How can you describe 31% as being "competitive"? Is it because you've never even bothered to look at the actual numbers?

Posted by: Carter at April 7, 2006 2:53 PM

Competitive at the margin.

If the GOP regularly drew 30% of the black vote, Dem leaders would be jumping off of bridges.

Actually, by 2040 the GOP will be getting 30% - 40% of the black vote.
It'll be interesting to see how the Dem. Party changes in response.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 9, 2006 5:45 AM

Any chance of a Republican/Conservative rebirth in IL will have to built upon a backlash.

With the state bankrupt, and a massive tax hike looming, the best scenario is something akin to the backlash against Florio (and look how well that turned out).

This can't happen if Topinka wins and gets 30%-40% of Republicans to rubberstamp a huge tax increase.

Few non-Illinoisions realize the extent to which the Republican Party in this state is a subsidiary of Democratic Machine politics.

The state needs a Reagan (we'd settle for an Arnold), but all it has are Abramoffs and Cunninghams.

Posted by: Bruno at April 9, 2006 7:04 AM

Reagan was never reticent about massive tax hikes.

Posted by: oj at April 9, 2006 7:50 AM