Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Primary 2010: Tempest in a Teabag

A Tea-storm thundered thru the area on Tuesday, leaving behind a debris trail of lifeless yardsigns with nothing left to signify other than the demise of too many political careers. That Tea-storm was the primary election -- fueled by an insurrection of a merciless few voters willing to brave the elements to cast down their ballots of doom and destruction. The visible spoils of their carnage: red/white/blue Proud to Vote stickers, prominently displayed like war-scalps of vanquished enemies.

All of which means, LakeCountyEye operatives, it's time for the post-mortem -- Illinois Primary, version 2010!

There were some big Winners/Losers this time around:

Big WinnerBig LoserContest
Tom MorrisonSuzie Bassi54th Legislative
Robert DoldElizabeth Coulson10th Congress
Joe WalshMaria Rodriguez8th Congress
Ryan HigginsAnita Forte-Scott56th Legislative
Dan SugrueCynthia Hebda59th Legislative

These candidates all fit an electoral pattern of sorts your LakeCountyEye had noticed this cycle. There were a lot of primary contests that paired a conservative male outsider against a moderate female insider. For those keeping score it seems like the conservative males ran the table ...

Male + Conservative + Outsider = 5
Female + Moderate + Insider = 0

Well almost. There were some female candidates who survived their primaries:

Sandy ColePaul Mitchell62nd Legislative
Carol SenteElliott Hartstein59th Legislative

Leveling the score a bit down to ...

Male + Conservative + Outsider = 5
Female + Moderate + Insider = 2

Suzie Bassi is/was a sitting State Rep. Anita Forte-Scott and Cynthia Hebda were Republican machine picks. But two of these upsets were, well, upsets -- the two Congressional races. Your LakeCountyEye expected to see the congressional female machine recruits -- Elizabeth Coulson & Maria Rodriguez -- representing the GOP in November. These calls were slam dunks, people -- TeamAmerica even endorsed Coulson over sentimental favorite Robert Dold. Now, post election, TA is channelling his inner Glenn Beck ...
Okay, nitwit. I will be supporting Dold in the fall, despite people like you that simply want to gloat. If this blog isn't good enough for you, please go start your own.
Congratulations to Our GOP Winners: Kirk, Dold, Sugrue, Cole; Gov Still Uncertain
Tina Fey could learn a thing or two from TA!

There are theories being tossed around to explain these upset victories. But your LakeCountyEye attributes the success of Joe Walsh & Robert Dold to all the earned media they accrued from being featured on -- this blog: your LakeCountyEye
Google "joe walsh"

Google "robert dold"
And when the writein numbers are all counted, don't be surprised if LakeCountyEye favorite son Jonathan Farnick doubles, triples, quadruples, even, expectations.
Google "jonathan farnick"
According to your LakeCountyEye tally-sheet, a single mention on the LakeCountyEye is good for a hundred votes. A picture wins your candidate an additional five hundred. A feature post is worth a thousand ballots cast your way. Campaign staff may contact the LakeCountyEye sales department for a rate card.

Conventional wisdom says the record low poll turnout was a factor this primary. Most Illinois voters probably either forgot or never knew their primary is now in February. And speaking of February, who in their right mind wants to even think about voting in February? All things being equal, your LakeCountyEye would rather be in the Seyechelle Islands right about now.

So who's left to vote? Well for starters, anyone who can't afford that Seyechelle ocean condo. Tea-partiers, mostly, according to LakeCountyEye poll-watchers. Folks who say things like ...
I want my country back!
Which is code for ...
I don't have a job, the economy is in the toilet, but I can't admit I voted for the ass-clown who got us all here. Twice.
Angry and nowhere to go but to the voting booth. Anyone willing to take on the early February snows to vote in a primary is likely to be someone on a mission. And incumbents typically are not among those to inspire missionary fervor. Candidates who were able to tap into that tea-party anger did well for themselves.

The primary was moved up to February to give Obama his advantage in 2008. Sober, skeptical minds think otherwise -- pulling the primary six weeks up in the calendar was for nothing but incumbent re-election insurance. With only a month of actual time to campaign, challengers would be at a disadvantage. In theory, at least. However scheduling the primary on a snowy Feb 2 all but insured a record low turnout. And low turnouts work against incumbents -- incumbents count on their margin of victory to come from that 33% middle pool of casual uninformed voters. Challengers who can get out the vote can make a low turnout election work to their advantage.

And things didn't turn out quite a planned for Primary ver. 2010. The machine caught a monkeywrench Feb 2. And it's looking to be a long hot summer. Will cooler winds prevail in the fall or will the gales of November come early? The magic crystal ball predicts Wait and See.


IllinoisJim said...

I notice that Ms. Sente won even though Mr. Cross, Republican leader, falsely accused her of being a card-carrying member of the NRA. Did Mr. Cross pray that she would die or become incapacitated? How did Mr. Cross get his position in a grand and old party? (Years ago it was, at least when I was supporting it.) When is the next session to pray that Mr. Cross slips on a wet teabag? Is it GOP or GTP, Goofy Teabag Party?

Crazy4glf said...

TA or a loyal fan on their site, referring to someone as a nitwit?
(People are known by how they treat others whether they disagree or agree).

Surely, the distinguished gentle-people from the grand old party are better than that! Or so they'd have us believe.

Name calling, delays in consideration of legislation and nominees, and brochures that lack details do not help anyone in these United States.

During the previous Administration, excessive borrowing, bailouts without strings, tax cuts (spending) etc. were rubber-stamped by people who now want us to believe they are fiscally conservative and guardians of Medicare and their own public option.

Don't let the fact that they were against Medicare and won't recuse themselves from government-funded healthcare bother you.

Also, Mr. Brown voted for healthcare reform in MA and is not in favor of over-turning Roe. Maybe, in Rush's words, they'll have buyer's remorse (did anyone say that Rush was wrong, by the way?)

Sir Galen of Bristol said...

Great post, Barney! I was hoping that my earned media from Lake County Eye would help my race too ("The New Ride at the County Fair"), but I guess I peaked here too soon.

Thanks for your good-humored coverage of the election, I've enjoyed it.

Barney Baxter said...

hi IllinoisJim,

Tom Cross is the Illinois House Republican leader, which I believe is an elected position. I don't know what his religious beliefs are.

hi Crazy4glf,
The quote belongs to TeamAmerica. Or someone using his blogspot account.

hi Paul,
Thanks. I'm told, first-hand, you make an impression on the stump. Best of luck in the future.