It is understandable President Obama winning reelection in his home state. However, voting in the state races does not make sense. Michael Madigan and the corrupt Chicago machine have controlled this State for decades and have caused the financial destruction we are now facing. It defies common sense to hand even more power to the person who had a major role in creating this mess.
Illinois leads in many categories that are not good for it’s citizens. It has the worst credit rating, the worst debt per capita, the worlds highest corporate tax rate, some of the highest property taxes in the country, and the most corruption. Yet the voters of Illinois gave Speaker Michael Madigan a veto proof majority in the house with 7 Democratic pick ups and Senate President John Cullerton a veto proof majority in the Senate with 4 Democratic pickups. Madigan and the Democrats now have full control of the state of Illinois making the Republican minority and even Governor Quinn virtually irrelevant.
The Madigan maps were a huge factor in these races although not the entire reason. Madigan drew the maps to try and regain the seats they lost in 2010. This gave the Democratic candidates a running start but was not insurmountable for many of the GOP candidates, as polling was showing in the final month; up until election day that is.
There will be much more analysis of the voter turnout data in the coming weeks that will help explain how the GOP suffered such devastating losses. The why will be harder to explain, but from early indications the GOP appeared to show a total lack of leadership. There was no real visits by Romney, except his cash and dash stops. The GOP did a Fire Madigan campaign, but then really didn’t tie all the Democratic candidates to Madigan effectively. The one exception to this was David McSweeney who handily defeated Madigan supported candidate Dee Beaubien. This exception was a result of the McSweeney campaign instead of GOP efforts.
Overall, there is a large leadership vacuum in the GOP. This goes from the top starting with Pat Brady, Tom Cross, Christine Radagno, the Central Committee down to many of the County GOP and Township Chairmen. Precincts were left unwalked, candidates did not work together, and the county chairs did not take charge of either; nor did they run effective GOTV campaigns or election integrity campaigns at the county level. Of course there are exceptions, but overall this was the reality.
Grassroots leaders were stepping up across the state to do the jobs the GOP was neglecting. But without the same resources, they were at a distinct disadvantage. Here are 2 quick examples. Grassroots teams walked 39 of the 80 precincts in one township because the GOP did not. In another, the GOP committeemen pulled literature out of already filled bags because they didn’t want to support one of the candidates. There are more examples from across the state, but these 2 highlight the leadership problems.
If the GOP is serious about returning to power in 2014 and beyond, many current leaders need to resign and be replaced with leaders who want to work and not just be placeholders. The party rebuilding process must start immediately.