With 99% of the vote counted here in Illinois, our Governor’s race is still in play. It looks like Quinn has about a 20,000 vote lead with 5 precincts left to go. I’m not sure which precincts they are, but apparently they add up to enough votes to make the office still up for grabs.
The sad thing to me is that around 1.7 million Illinois voters still voted for Quinn, a Democrat. Illinois is heading into bankruptcy, and they voted for the guy who wants to raise taxes even more. So, why? Why do so many people keep voting for these Chicago Democrats who are driving our state into the crapper?
I figure these Democrat voters fall into the usual categories:
1) True-believers. These people really think the Democrats have the right idea and that government can solve anything. Take more taxes, build more bureaucracy, take care of everyone. Sadly, they don’t understand economics well enough to know that it’s only the jobs that actually produce goods that contribute to the economy. All those government jobs just suck money from the system, which makes the whole thing unsustainable and doomed to failure.
2) Democrats by heritage. These people vote Democrat because they have always been Democrats. Their parents and their grandparents were Democrats. It’s never really occurred to them to question their vote because people they trust vote the same way.
3) Union Democrats. These people are long-time members of all the various unions. They’ve more or less been indoctrinated with the concept that if it weren’t for the unions, they would be working for $2/hr and missing half their fingers and toes due to industrial accidents. The union is their protector, and therefore when the union says to vote Democrat, most do so.
4) Democrats by whim. They vote Democrat because they think John Stewart is cool, or David Letterman is funny, or the candidate is cute, and on and on. People voted for Bill Clinton because he was on MTV.
5) Random Democrats. These are the people who are bombarded by the Get Out the Vote programs, and feel like they must vote. They have no idea who to vote for, so they just pick something. They have a 50/50 chance of picking the D.
Now, before you think I’m just picking on Democrats, let me say that there are Republican voters that fall into these same general categories, or their conservative equivalents.
1) True-believers. They believe in the Constitution, liberty, and American greatness. The difference between them and the Democrat version? The Dems are wrong.
2) Heritage is more or less the same, just the opposite party.
3) Replace Union with business owners. Business owners may encourage employees, not necessarily by telling them to vote a certain way, but by showing bias towards pro-business candidates. The big difference here is that even if a particular employer publicly endorses a candidate, there is rarely active pressure put on the employees to follow suit.
4) Whim does apply here as well, although there are probably fewer instances of it on the Republican side. After all, there are fewer R’s in movies and on TV, so they have less influence on these types of voters.
5) Random is truly random, and there are sure to be random R’s as well.
So far the playing field seems relatively even. What I left for last, however, is what we can call “Imaginary Democrats”. The Chicago political machine is famous for their Imaginary Democrats. These are dead people, illegal aliens, people who have moved out of state, people voting multiple times in different counties, college students voting at home and at school, people voting in the name of neighbors who they know are not planning to vote, and other fun tricks. Ballot boxes magically disappear and reappear, depending on how close the election is.
So, out of the 1.7 million voting for Quinn, how many were Imaginary, and how many just fall into the normal groups?
We’ve made huge progress in this mid-term election. We’ve got 2 years before the next big test. We need to address the 5 Democrat categories above by spreading the word and educating people. If they can understand the issues, they’ll possibly move to the Republican side. We need to address the “Imaginary Democrat” voters by starting now to scrub the voter registration lists across the state to weed them all out.
We’ve all been working hard, but we can’t stop now. Too much is at stake.