With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Big turnout in Chicago will be good for progressives.

Sanders supporters packed the Auditorium Theater last night. 
Despite inclement weather, it looks like a big voter turnout today in ChiTown. I hope so. Big turnout can only help progressives like Sanders, Foxx, Travis, Patel, Stratton, and others. A tightening race between Bernie and Hillary should also drive turnout and more down-ticket votes.

Early voting has been high and the excitement generated by last Friday's huge anti-Trump protest at UIC will likely drive new and younger voters to the campaigns and to the polls today.

The Tribune reports that early voting in Chicago surpassed 130,000 by Sunday night. That's about 37% more than the previous high for a primary, the 81,690 votes cast before Election Day in 2008, when Obama and Clinton were running against each other. Biggest increases are reported in both black and Latino wards. Only five of 50 Chicago wards have had lower early voting turnouts this year than in 2008. More on those wards later.

Last night's massive turnout at the Bernie Sanders rally while Hillary Clinton's rally was half filled, bodes well for the progressives. Whoever gets the most votes, if the race is close, Sanders will come out the winner.

Two names not on the ballot will also have a major impact today's races, Rahm Emanuel and Laquan McDonald. Rahm, because in the wake of the the McDonald killing/cover-up, the Byrd-Bennet affair, and his closing of 50 schools, mainly in the black community, he's become politically toxic, the turd in the Democratic Party's swimming pool. Neither Bill nor Hillary will get near him, even though he's an early Hillary endorser who owes his political career and wealth largely to the Clintons.

Rep. Ken Dunkin is running his Rauner-financed TV ads targeting Rahm and not even mentioning his opponent, Juliana Stratton. Smart? Maybe. But I don't think it will work. Everyone knows Dunkin is a tool of the governor whose hate-ability rating is right up there with Rahm's. Plus, Pres. Obama has openly endorsed Stratton. Bye bye Dunkin.

As for Laquan McDonald, the very mention of his name sends chills down the spines of the mayor and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. Check out today's Ward Room column by Carol Marin and Don Mosely. 
On South Stony Island Monday morning some signs reading “I love Laquan” and “Fire Anita” were seen being hauled away by a city Streets and Sanitation crew while other political signs were left standing. 
The shooting of the 17-year-old by a Chicago police officer in 2014 has in large part defined the race for Cook County State’s Attorney. It is also playing out in the Democratic presidential primary where the mere mention of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s name drew loud boos at Bernie Sanders’ Friday rally.

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