ELECTION ROUNDUP

Politics1 reports some interesting developments in the 2004 congressional elections:

PELOSI, HOYER, OTHERS TO ENDORSE GEPHARDT. Former US House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) will unveil Wednesday a large list of Congressional endorsers of his Presidential candidacy. Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) headline the list.

Oddly, I’m not sure how much this will help. Even if having these endorsements is a net plus with the more liberal nominating electorate who tend to participate in the primaries, they would be a net minus in the general election. No Democrat is going to be able to win if perceived as a wild-eyed lefty; being tied to Nancy Pelosi doesn’t strike me as a good thing.

This is also interesting:

GOP HOPES DWINDLING IN ILLINOIS. First it was freshman US Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) — badly trailing in the polls — who announced a month ago that he would not seek re-election in 2004. Last week, former Governor Jim Edgar (R) — the White House’s top choice for the open seat — who bailed on the race. On Tuesday, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) announced she wouldn’t run for the Senate seat. “I am not fond of Washington. I prefer to live in Illinois … I have no desire to run, and I will not do so,” explained Topinka. With these three out of the contest — and with several heavyweight candidates on the Dem side — the GOP now is seemingly forced to turn to a group of second- and third-tier prospects to find a candidate. This seat now looks to be a likely Democratic pickup next year.

Hmm. The chief Democrat candidate is a 34-year-old state comptroller. Not exactly a first-tier candidate, either.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Eric Dunn says:

    Unfortunately, Illinois is leaning heavily Democratic. When Chicago can send Jesse Jackson’s son to Congress, you know you have a democratic malaise over there.

    So even a weak candidate can swing it over there. From what I’ve read the Republican Senator had a very hard time getting elected and had to spend millions of his own money to barely squeak into office.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Eric,

    It’s not surprising that JJ, Jr. won in Chicago; it’s heavily black and liberal. But the state as a whole has been one Republicans have been competitive, if somewhat underdogs, in for some time.

    That may well be changing. I’m just saying the lack of a “big name” GOP candidate doesn’t look to be that big a deal.

  3. Mike Peck says:

    Republicans in Illinois have self-destructed thanks to one of the more notably corrupt governors in our history (and that takes effort when 2 of our last 6 governors did jail time!).

    Right now Richie Daley effectively controls the state government with all but one statewide office held by machine lackeys and both houses of the legislature in Democrat hands. He could slate almost anyone for the Senate race and have an excellent chance of winning. Hynes looks like an attractive face from a good machine family. He’ll be a shoo-in against any likely Republican candidate.