October 20, 2005

Despite high poll numbers, Topinka expected to bow out of Governor's race

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka set an end-of-week deadline to reveal her decision on running for governor -- but as of today, the answer is no.

Topinka, 61, the only Republican statewide officeholder, instead is looking at a bid for a fourth term as treasurer, where she can still be a major player in state policy.

Polls show Topinka leads a crowded Republican gubernational primary field. And she is well-positioned to win the Illinois GOP nomination for governor.

But a primary could leave her broke. Topinka would start a general election campaign against Gov. Blagojevich staring at his war chest, expected to swell to $20 million by next year. Blagojevich will be able to save money because he faces no substantial primary challenger.

Topinka's was on top of a poll of Republicans for their pick to run for governor.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Judy Baar Topinka is the leading contender in the race for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination in Illinois, according to a poll by Market Shares Corp. released by the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. 44 per cent of Republican voters in the Prairie State would back the state treasurer in the party’s primary.

Investment manager James Oberweis is second with 15 per cent, followed by state senators Bill Brady and Steve Rauschenberger with seven per cent each, and businessman Ronald Gidwitz with four per cent. The Republican gubernatorial primary is scheduled for Mar. 21, 2006. The general election will take place in November 2006.

Rod Blagojevich—a Democrat—has acted as governor in Illinois since January 2003. The former U.S. congressman defeated Republican Jim Ryan in the November 2002 election with 52 per cent of the vote.

Since 1949, Illinois has had five Republican and five Democratic heads of government.

Polling Data

Who would you vote for in the Republican gubernatorial primary?

Judy Baar Topinka

James Oberweis

Bill Brady

Steve Rauschenberger

Ron Gidwitz

Source: Market Shares Corp. / The Chicago Tribune / WGN-TVMethodology: Interviews to 450 likely Republican primary voters, conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, 2005. Margin of error is 5 per cent.
I've long felt that Topinka wouldn't go for Governor. She has a lot of baggage and subtle signs led me to believe she's not inclined to put herself through it.

If Topinka bows out, how then would the remaining Republican candidates match up against Blagojevich, who is enduring some truly awful poll numbers these days?


At 10/21/2005 5:59 PM, Blogger indy said...

Could Dan Hynes run as an independent? I know he wouldn't.
Well it looks like the statewide is as wrapped up as the local clowns in the legislature.
What ever happened to free elections?
When you want the stupid Republicans to run a decent race they never do!

At 10/22/2005 12:51 AM, Blogger Cousin Dupree said...

Who'd want a Republican to run a decent race?

No matter what your view of any particular Dem candidate, 95% of the time, we're all better off with them in office rather than a Republican, if for no other reason than they can be expected to support the larger agenda of the Democratic agenda.

At 10/22/2005 8:47 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Topinka is likely afraid of the James Carville influence on the Blago campaign. Blago has big bucks and has brought in the best.

His poll numbers rise along with the money he raises these days to pay the big consulting bill to Carville - and for him it's money well spent.

Judy is no fool. She knows better than we all do what is cooking with Blago and she will run the other direction and wait for a better day to fight.

At 10/22/2005 5:22 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Keep in mind Maybesomeday Carville had a Bill Clinton. Rod Blagoavitch is noooo Bill Clintion!


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