Thank you to the Chicago Young Republicans


(That is me on the far right, where I belong!)

My thanks to the Chicago Young Republicans, who invited me to speak to them last night at their monthly meeting. It was an enjoyable and educational event.

I was on a panel with the very distinguished Dan Proft of, inter alia, 89 WLS and Jonathan Greenberg of the Illinois Policy Institute.

The topic of discussion was the upcoming election. One theme was the concern that Bruce Rauner may end up losing to Pat Quinn, despite Quinn being an unmitigated disaster. Polls show Rauner slightly ahead, but the trends are bad. Rauner has not yet closed the deal with Illinois voters, who are upset and concerned about the direction the state is going, but who are not yet convinced that Rauner is the guy who can fix the problems. I hope Rauner manages to make that connection with voters before election day.

In preparing for the event, I did a little research, as lawyers like to do before they talk about things in public. I found out something I already knew in a general way, that the Illinois governor is unusually powerful in comparison to most governors. One scholar rates the Illinois governor as tied for fourth most powerful out of 50 governors. In other words, Rauner, even facing Democrat majorities in both houses could still have an impact. Interestingly, I looked at Rauner’s website, and looked at the policies he is proposing, and they have little connection to what powers he would actually have as governor. It looks like some are achievable, some are not, all in a jumble. I may write more about this later.

In my comments, I tried to weave in some themes from America 3.0, of course. I even sold three books, which was nice.

The event was at a place called Seasons 52, which had well-presented hors d’oeuvres, including pizzas that looked like objets d’art.

One of my pals was kind enough to buy me an adult beverage, to fortify me for the presentation:

Joe and Mike at CYR

9 thoughts on “Thank you to the Chicago Young Republicans”

  1. Looking at the latest roundup of polling data from Real Clear Politics, it looks more or less like a dead heat.

    The Tribune poll is the real outlier at this point. According to the details of the poll they surveyed 43% Democrats to 24% Republicans.
    It’s not clear if there really are that many more Democrats in the state or if the polling is just targeting more Democrats. Or maybe more Republicans have been peeled off into the Independent camp.

    The YouGov poll had 37% Democrats to 27% Republicans. Independents in this poll are going for Rauner 50% to 22%.

    Rasmussen only provides the breakdown of their polls to subscribers. They’ve been accused of bias towards Republicans in the past, although that’s probably just a lot of hot air.

    But Quinn has 76% support from voters in his own party in this Democratic-leaning state. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Illinois Republicans and 12% of Democrats favor Rauner. The challenger also leads by five points among voters not affiliated with either major political party.

    Just 24% of all voters in the state think Illinois is better off than it was four years ago when Quinn was elected to his first full term after taking over as governor a year earlier when Rod Blagojevich was removed from office for corruption. Most voters (56%) feel the state is worse off now. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure.

    WeAskAmerica is a subsidiary of the National Manufacturers Association, so they have been accused of bias.

  2. Cont…

    WeAskAmerica has been accused of bias, but their latest poll has similar demographics as the others and is giving Quinn a slight lead.

    In 2010, Republican candidate Bill Brady won only 17 percent of the Chicago city vote (120,110 of 690,646 votes cast) to Quinn’s 75 percent (520,413 votes). That poor showing sank Brady, who lost the election by 31,834 votes.

    It seems Rauner’s strategy of playing to Independents and focusing on Cook County is the right one. What that means for the hope of Conservative leadership returning to Springfield is another matter.

  3. “… Conservative leadership returning to Springfield …”

    Rauner was never that.

    He is, at best, fiscally sane rather than fiscally suicidal.

    At this point, that would be a significant improvement in Illinois.

  4. Well, anything’s better than what we’ve got now.

    One area that Rauner will have an immediate impact is fracking. The fracking law was passed last year. It came about after three years of negotiations, but it instructed the Department of Natural Resources to implement specific regulations. After over a year of delays, the first draft of the regulations finally came out a couple months ago, and they pretty much ban any actual activity that will be productive. The IDNR apparently disregarded all the work and negotiations that went into the law, and, with Quinn’s tacit approval, just decided to make up their own law.

    A General Assembly committee will rule on accepting the regulations or not, but they pushed their decision until after the election in mid November, probably to see what the voters decide. A Republican victory will go a long way to convincing the committee to revise the rules.

    Fracking has the potential to be a real game changer in Illinois politically and economically, which is probably why it’s being fought against so vigorously.

  5. Rauner is neither conservative nor liberal. He is successful. He will do what works. Rauner is 57. In eight years he will be 65. Just sayin.

  6. Rauner is listening to inept advisers.

    It is very sad, but I am afraid he is going to blow this election.

  7. The early polls showing Rauner in the lead were suspect. The race has always been closer than it’s been portrayed. Considering Democrats have controlled the State House for the past decade in one of the bluest states, a dead heat at this point isn’t so bad.

    In Illinois in 2014 he can’t win without doing well in Chicago. He’s focusing on that which is the correct strategy to win. He’s made the decision not to go too negative in order to not alienate Independents and swing voters. Like it or not, the past ten years the Illinois GOP lost voters not so much to the Democrats but to people just disowning partisanship.

    Can he get them back in the fold, and will it be enough to win? It should be interesting.

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