Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why the cavalry didn't come to save Quinn/Vallas

If Gov. Quinn is still waiting for cavalry from inner-city Chicago to arrive and pull out the election for him, he's going to be waiting a long, long time. From here it looks like there was little in the Quinn/Vallas campaign that excited either the black community, young voters, teachers or much of the union rank-and-file even while running against the worst person in the world. The Rauner scare just wasn't enough.

That's understandable given Quinn's self-description of "born for pension reform" and Vallas' practically single-handed elimination of New Orleans' public schools. The barrage of negative T.V. ads by both sides had little popular appeal and Quinn/Vallas ads spoke not a word of hope or offered anything in the way of programs or policies for black or Latino neighborhoods or for the state's poor and working people.

From an early look at things, most either held their noses and voted after standing in long lines in poorly-run polling places or stayed home. It's also pretty clear that Gov.-elect Rauner's wine-drinking pal and erstwhile Quinn supporter, Rahm Emanuel had little if any interest in gearing up the machine for this one and that many aldermen and precinct captains, with a few exceptions, sat this one out.

Despite the obscene amount of money (over $100 Million) spent by both candidates on this election, turnout in Chicago was down as much as 10% from four years ago. Rauner ended up spending about $30.50/vote while Quinn spent $17.31. Not exactly a grass-roots, populist campaign by either side.



In predominantly African-American wards, turnout was not only was down but the GOP margin was up. For instance, Rauner got 10% of the vote in Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle's 4th Ward. The final numbers show that only 36.4% of registered voters in Chicago hit the polls on Tuesday. Chicago's 15th Ward has the lowest turnout at 22.2%. Turnout was also way down in the 3rd, 6th, and 8th wards. And all of that despite repeated trips to Chicago to stump for Quinn/Vallas by Pres. Obama, Joe Biden, and Michelle.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST questions of the night: How did Gov. Pat Quinn drop nearly 100,000 votes Tuesday night in the city and suburban Cook compared to 2010 numbers? -- Natasha Korecki

Bottom line is Quinn/Vallas lost by about 5% of the vote. We can only wonder how badly an authentic progressive Democrat (not just two pension-busting white guys) might have spanked Rauner and left his overpriced campaign and the IL Republican Party buried neath the neighborhoods, schools and union halls of Chicago.

More on the battle ahead coming up as Rauner tries to reach an accommodation with Boss Madigan, who still owns a veto-proof majority in the legislature and as progressives try and run a different kind of campaign to unseat Rahm in February.

As S-T columnist Mark Brown put it: "If he chooses to make the rights of working people his first target, though, he can expect a long four years."

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