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Polls 2010

Illinois 2010 Elections: Anti-Incumbent Sentiment in 2010 at 1994 Levels, New Pew Poll Says


House Speaker Michael Madigan

(Chicago, IL) — November 13, 2009. Americans are pissed. Incumbents are in trouble. And Independents are breaking towards Republicans as the 2010 elections approach.

It’s morning in America–circa 1994.

Approximately 2/3rds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. At least 9 out 10 say economic conditions in the country are fair or poor and 2/3rds say the same regarding their own finances, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Uh oh.

In the 2010 mid-terms, 52% want to re-elect their own U.S. Representative and 29% do not.

In the 1994 mid-terms in November 1994, 58% wanted to re-elect their own U.S. Representative and 25% did not.

Yikes. Katie bar the door.

And Independents are all jazzed up for the GOP.

“More than half (56%) of independent voters who support a Republican in their district are very enthusiastic about voting; by contrast, just 32% of independents who plan to vote for a Democrat express high levels of enthusiasm,” according to the Pew poll.

And all this bad news just trickles down, like a leaky faucet.

Here in Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) have less than year to deter sulky Independents from punching the GOP as they move down the ballot. A tough task. And a nasty family fight between Governor Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes toughens the task.

Unlike the 1994 tidal wave, however, everyone on the Democratic side will be ready for any political tsunami. Money will be stockpiled. Volunteers marshaled. Ads purchased. Voters deluged. And 11 months and change is the proverbial political eternity. The GOP tempest and Tea Party tantrums may be a spent by force by November 2010. Or not.

But Illinois Democrats can count on the Illinois GOP’s unique talent for self-destruction. That particular gift is uniquely on display these days as “moderates” like State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and DuPage County Chairman Bob Schillerstrom (R-Naperville) make fools of themselves by denying that global warming is a man-made phenomenon to placate the Flat Earth Society wing of their party.

Devolutionists may be in the ascendancy in the Illinois GOP–but for the typical general election voter in Illinois, extremism is not, well, their cup of tea.

Stay tuned.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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David Ormsby, Editor

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