Thursday, June 23, 2011

Primary Schoolin'

Tuesday was the first day of Summer -- which, as every operative knows, means there are some 500 days remaining before the 2012 election. And while in election years, 500 days may be a trip to Mars, it also means there are only 6 months before the 2012 Primary. 6 months is a trip to the bathroom in election years -- and, as every operative knows, a trip to the bathroom is no trip to Mars.

Like every Primary election before it, the 2012 Primary will be unlike the Primary elections before it. Operatives are advised to caveat elector accordingly.

So do not expect the 2012 Primary election to be a three-peat of either the 2010 or 2008 primaries. 2010 was not a presidential year but saw Gubernatorial and Senatorial contests at the top of the primary ballot. Turnout in 2010 was hampered by lackluster candidates, and a foregone conclusion -- Mark Kirk for Republican Senator. On the other hand, 2008 broke box-office voting records, enticing voters with a George-Clooney-caliber candidate -- Barack Obama, in a nail-biter against Hillary Clinton (played by a youthful Jennifer Lopez). Your LakeCountyEye expects the 2012 primary turnout to exceed the 2010 numbers but to not approach 2008.

More interesting, 2012 Republican Primary ballots should exceed Democratic by margins not seen since before 2008. The typical simple-country-voter shows up at a primary to vote for a President or maybe (on a nice day) a Governor or a Senator. Only operatives and wingnuts show up at primaries to vote for anyone farther down on the ballot, for instance a Congressman. 2012 is a presidential year, but President Obama is already the Democratic nominee. With no state-wide or Senatorial contests, the only game in town drawing voters to the polls will be a Republican Presidential contest.

Operatives are advised to expect long lines of Republican of voters in the 2012 Primary. And shoving matches. Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman are notorious for their rabid supporters. If someone is observed asking for a Democratic ballot, a good chance they are machine muscle bused up from Cook County by Mayor Rahm. To make sure the right Democratic congressperson gets their nomination.

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