Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The GOP and Tea in Illinois

Here it is the morning after the primary election in Illinois and there are some very close races for both parties. So how did the Tea Party candidates do? Well, not so good.

Let’s take the race for governor. There were six GOP candidates, with the totals looking like this at the moment:

Bill Brady is a pretty solid conservative, but has shied away from the Tea Party movement.

Kirk Dillard is a RINO, backed by the teachers union and too willing to increase taxes. He once did a commercial endorsing Obama.

Andy McKenna was the Illinois GOP leader until he resigned to run for governor. He’s a Bush republican. He was unable to make hay for the GOP over the Blago scandal. Does that tell you anything about his leadership?

Jim Ryan is an old GOP figure in Illinois. Sort of like Roland Burris; an elder statesman who is steeped in the old party politics.

Adam Andrzejewski is a Tea Party candidate. Lech Walesa came to town to endorse him and received almost zero coverage. Adam was also endorsed by Rush and Beck. All three of these milestones came very late in the campaign and resulted in very little money. Coulda-woulda says he would have done better with more money.

Dan Proft tried to be another Tea Party candidate, but he’s too connected as a politician and campaign manager to be considered a reformer.

Bob Schillerstrom dropped out late in the campaign and gave his vote to Jim Ryan. Pretty similar profile to Ryan.

Playing with a calculator you can visualize the Proft votes going to Andrzejewski as the Tea Party candidate and beating the old guard Republicans if they had joined forces rather than split the effort. But that is quite a stretch for a new political entity like the Tea Party Movement.

At this point the best we can hope for is a Brady win, followed by Brady courting the Tea Party. If he doesn’t do that, Quinn will surely win simply by courting the entitlement crowd in Cook County.

If Dillard wins, it is hard to imagine the Tea Party getting behind him.