Anger Fuels Illinois Primary

Former Democratic frontrunners gird for Mass.-style rebuke
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 10:37 AM CST
Anger Fuels Illinois Primary
Rep. Mark Kirk.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Tomorrow Illinois holds the nation’s first primary for this year’s elections, and some are predicting the populist rage recently displayed in Massachusetts will be on display. “It’s a very angry electorate, a very volatile electorate,” a union official tells Politico. Even within the Democratic primary, frontrunner and State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has seen his lead shrink as opponents have attacked his establishment credentials and involvement in a shaky bank.

And Gov. Pat Quinn is seeing a robust challenge from the state's controller over his decidedly non-populist plan to hike income tax. Still, Nate Silver notes on FiveThirtyEight, the issues in the Senate race aren’t all they seem. Giannoulias still has a commanding lead over primary challenger David Hoffman, and his electability vs. likely GOP opponent Mark Kirk is appealing, even to miffed Democratic voters. And that bank “scandal” doesn’t exist. Attacks on Giannoluias are just “Bank! Rawwwwr! Bad! ” Which doesn’t mean they haven’t been working. (Read more Alexi Giannoulias stories.)

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