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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Cycle Begins

Yes, sports fans, the 2010 election cycle begins today, with primaries in Illinois, including selection of candidates for governor and U.S. Senator.
The gubernatorial race on the Democratic side features a close battle between incumbent Pat Quinn, who succeeded to the post from the lieutenant governorship when Rod Blagojevich was forced out of office, and state comptroller Dan Hynes. The Democratic senate primary has front-runner and state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias trying to hold off former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, with Chicago Urban League chief Cheryle Jackson also a factor.
Ideology isn’t much of a factor in these Democratic primaries, but negative campaigning is, with Hynes using an ad with negative comments about Quin from the late, revered Chicago mayor Harold Washington, and Giannoulias’ rivals blasting him for the financial collapse of a bank in which his family has been heavily involved.
GOP primaries, by contrast, are mostly about ideology, with even well-documented “moderates” racing to the right and the Tea Party/conservative Republican coalition fighting stiff odds to defeat RINO candidates. In the gubernatorial primary, the designated right-wing candidate is Andrew Andrzejewski, though most observers think former state Attorney General Pat Ryan and former state party chair Andy McKenna are the front runners.
And in the GOP senate primary, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk has had a big bulls-eye on his back from conservatives throughout this race, but after a campaign in which he has constantly tried to make himself acceptable to the Right, he is strongly favored to prevail over developer Patrick Hughes.
There are also a number of U.S. House primaries (notably the Kirk open seat, and GOP challenges to vulnerable Democratic Reps. Melissa Bean and Debbie Halvorson).
We’ll have full analysis of the results as they come in, for those of you not riveted to the Tube for the Lost Final Season Premiere.

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