Pritzker falling in Illinois Dem guv race

Posted: February 11, 2018 by John Ruberry in opinion/news, politics, Uncategorized
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By John Ruberry

“Big Daddy! Now what makes him so big? His big heart? His big belly? Or his big money?” Brick Pollitt in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

Two weeks ago at the regular Da Tech Guy site I analyzed the collapse of Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign in Illinois. In that piece I all but predicted that a member of another wealthy and powerful family, JB Pritzker, would be the Democratic nominee in the autumn general election.

But then came Rod Blagojevich.

The primary election takes place on March 20. On the Republican side, incumbent Bruce Rauner is being challenged by state legislator Jeanne Ives. I’m backing her.

Pritzker has gathered most of the key Democratic endorsements, including those from organized labor, not because of his big heart or even his big belly, as Brick Pollitt quipped in Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, but because of his big money. The Pritzkers have been a consistent and copious source of campaign contributions for Democrats. That big money has blinded Big Labor, as the Pritzkers have a checkered history with unions. Pritzker’s campaign is mostly self-funded.

JB is falling in the polls, although his plummet is not a complete collapse as it has been with Kennedy. A month ago Rauner, who at the time viewed Ives as nothing more than an annoying fly at his picnic, ran ads online and on television with FBI wiretap audio of Pritzker and Blagojevich discussing possible public office appointments for the billionaire after Barack Obama’s election to the presidency. A month later Blago was arrested. You know the rest of the story.

After a January Democratic candidates forum, a We Ask America poll showed that Pritzker’s two dozen point lead over his next rival that he enjoyed in October had been slashed in half. And in second place was Biss, a state senator who is the hero of the progressive crowd. In the latest poll, conducted by Victory Research on Monday and Tuesday–that’s important–calls the Dem race a “dead heat” between Biss and Pritzker.

There are several minor candidates running in the Democratic primary as well.

On that Monday the Chicago Tribune released additional Prizker-Blago wiretaps where Pritzker disparages several black politicians and jokes about the possibility of Blagoejevich appointing Obama’s controversial minister, Jeremiah Wright, to replace the then-president-elect in the US Senate. Pritzker, quoting Wright, even says “God d*mn America” during the recorded telephone conversation, which is something that could end up in another anti-Pritzker ad. As for the latest poll, the impact of Ptitzker’s comments hadn’t completely been digested.

Pritzker is now on an apology tour with the African American community.

Rauner, who the National Review calls “the worst Republican governor in America,” clearly has his own problems, chief among them are that none of his 44 Turnaround Agenda items have been enacted. The onetime businessman also signed into law sanctuary state and public-funding-for-abortion bills that have riled conservatives.

Ives is receiving flak for mocking Rauner’s failures in an ad where, among other things, a man wearing a dress tells Rauner, “Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girls’ bathroom,” As I noted on my own blog last week, while I don’t like the tone of the ad, her piece is factual and it may still prove to be effective, as the biggest howls against it come from Illinoisans who have no intention of ever voting for a Republican candidate for governor and GOP party hacks who have been bought off by Rauner’s big money.

There are two “Big Daddy” candidate for governor in the Land of Lincoln.

But the general election could result in being Biss against Ives, which would be something along the lines of a Donald Trump-Bernie Sanders matchup for president.

If that happens I will have a bounty of material to blog about this year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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