Tea Party Tantrums, Door-to-Door Campaigning Will Firmly Keep Illinois House under Democratic Control

(Skokie, IL) — September 24, 2010. Illinois Republicans are crowing that an electoral “wave” is going to sweep State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Owego) into the Speaker’s chair in the Illinois House of Representatives–and it will be crow which the GOP will be eating on November 3, 2010.

Both national and local trends will keep House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) in his post when the legislature reconvenes in January, 2011.

The negative national political headwinds have been blowing across the prairie state for months as the national economy continues to sputter and as the extremist Illinois Tea Party and national tea party movements have engaged in racially-tinged fear-mongering, outright distortions of facts, and character assassination of Democratic officials, scaring democratic and independent voters alike in the U.S. and in Illinois.

But the winds are shifting.

Nationally, the recent victories of odd-ball, fringe Tea Party candidates, like GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware who has practiced witchcraft or Republican Governor nominee Carl Paladino in New York who has suggested that welfare recipients should be housed in prisons, has finally shaken up the U.S. electorate, pushing Democrats ahead in two new national polls, thanks to gains among democratic and independent voters.

Since O’Donnell and Paladino’s win, Gallup shows Democrats have erased a six-point GOP lead in the generic congressional ballot and now lead by one-point.

Gallup’s generic ballot for Congress for the week of Sept. 13-19 shows a 46% Democratic and 45% Republican split in registered voters’ preferences for the midterm congressional elections. It is the second week out of the last three in which the two parties have been virtually tied.

Gallup’s tracking shows a shift from a 49% to 43% Republican advantage in August to a 46% to 45% GOP advantage so far in September. Both of these estimates are based on very large samples, with more than 7,000 interviews conducted in August and more than 5,600 so far in September.

In addition to Gallup, Zogby also reveals that Democrats have vaulted seven-points in the last week and now hold a one-point edge.

Democrats have taken a one percentage point lead over Republicans on which party’s candidate voters intend to choose in the Congressional election; and President Barack Obama‘s approval rating has increased to 49%.

These results from a Zogby Interactive poll conducted from Sept. 17-20 are the first since mid-May that found the Democrats ahead in the Congressional generic ballot question. In an interactive poll conducted from Sept. 10-14, Republicans held a 47%-41% lead.

On the Congressional generic ballot, support for Democrats from party members goes from 78% to 86%; and from independents, the change for Democrats increases from 33% to 35%.

Finally, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on September 19 also has the Democrats up by one-point, 46%-45%, on the generic congressional ballot.

Locally, the Illinois Republican Party’s embrace of the Tea Party Pallooza Right Nation 2010 in Hoffman Estates on September 19, featuring Fox-TV demagogue Glenn Beck, and endorsed by House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady and attended by GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady, is already causing blow-black among local democrats, independents and moderate Republican voters here in the suburbs.

As the Niles Township Democratic Committeeman, I have been fielding dozens of telephones calls in recent days from dispirited democrats and disappointed independents who have been shaken by the virulent anger, intolerance and now the cheap co-opting of religious faith by Tea Party fire-brands in their own back-yards.

Even before the Right Nation 2010 event, Illinois House Democratic polling has been showing that though some downstate candidacies have been experiencing some turbulence, most Illinois House incumbents have been strengthening their position since summer, relying on extensive door-to-door contact with their local voters.

The national economic gloom has yet to lift and it remains the most potent threat to Democrats. However, the nominations of unqualified, unhinged Tea Party-backed candidates, who are revealing to voters that they have neither the slightest agenda nor a serious clue how to restore economic growth and employment, is now breaking the GOP momentum approximately 40 days before election day.

A stalling GOP momentum and hard-working Democratic legislative candidates reaching out to voters door-to-door will help Speaker Madigan (D-Chicago) hold on to majority in the Illinois legislature.

In January, we will have full plate of hot, steaming crow on which the Republicans can munch.

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2 Responses

  1. Jan Schakowsky actually has to run a campaign in the 9th Congressional District? Maybe she’ll even, gasp, talk to her constituents and explain how she’s been representing them in Washington DC. The horror, the horror. Hubris is a dangerous thing.

    Joel Pollak is one of the most talented, creative and refreshing candidates we have ever had in Illinois – in either party. He’s brilliant, hard working, genuine and humble. Most importantly, he respects us and our opinions

    You’ll need all the special interest and lobbyist money you can find in this race, because the people are speaking. They’re for Joel Pollak.

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