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Vote Counts In Today’s Illinois Primary

March 20, 2012

My vote counts today in the Presidential race, but it won’t count in November.  That’s because I live in Illinois, a solidly blue state.

Today’s Republican Presidential primary is a choice between the conservative Santorum, the libertarian Paul, the semi-moderate Romney and whatever Mr. Gingrich is casting himself as these days.  While Newt is on the ballot in Illinois, he hasn’t spent time here and is concentrating on Louisiana, next on the primary calendar and a southern state he thinks he has a chance in.

Come November, no matter who the Republican nominee is (and I’ll bet you $10,000 that it’s Romney), Illinois will vote solidly for our favorite son incumbent President Barack Obama.  So today’s Repub primary is the closest thing we’ll have to a Presidential contest.

Rick Santorum’s ground game wasn’t complete in Illinois; he didn’t file delegate slates in several legislative districts, so even if he wins the popular vote Tuesday (a long shot at best), Mitt will undoubtedly win more delegates and add to his already commanding lead in the numbers that really count.

Ironically, no one I know in Illinois is excited about this Republican Presidential primary, even though the nomination is usually locked up by this late in the season and the state’s primary election usually doesn’t have much weight in selecting a Presidential candidate.

Romney’s big  $$$ have bought a multitude of TV ads, calling Santorum, among other things, “an economic lightweight,” while Rick counters by calling Mitt a “big government heavyweight.”  Does he really think voters believe that Mitt Romney is for big government?  Mitt couldn’t backpedal any faster on the Massachusetts healthcare plan.

Even Illinois Republican leadership, tattered as it is, sounds bored with the contest.  Former Gov. Jim Edgar (that’s three former governors ago, that last two are currently in Federal prison) is sitting out the contest, and former Republican congressional leader Bob Michel was quoted in Politico (speaking of Romney, the candidate he’s supporting), “He’s not overwhelming… what’s the spark? What’s the thing that gets him of and running?  No one knows.”  Illinois rising Republican star, Sen. Mark Kirk, who endorsed Romney early on, was felled by a stroke earlier this year and has remained out of the public eye.

I just might take a Democratic ballot at the polling place today.  There are many local Democratic primary races, especially some judgeships (yes, we elect judges in Illinois) that are tight contests.  As the Democrats are a virtual lock for most of these races in November, and a local judge has more direct effect on my life than the President, it might be in my best interest to vote in those Democratic races.

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