Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Updated on November 2, 2004 at 5:00 pm

Keyes-Obama/ Blago/ Rep. Fritchey on TV/ Durkin's run in 2006/ Skinner the Winner

Those who might have seen my summary projection of the Obama Keyes Senate race on Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn’s blog: www.jeffberkowitz.blogspot.com [November 1, 2004] might have wondered if there was a method to my madness or did I just pluck the 38% margin of victory for Barack Obama out of a hat?

Nope, I am a “method,” actor, as regular viewers of my show “Public Affairs,” will know. Talking about Public Affairs, State Rep. John Fritchey (D- Chicago, 11th District), who many think is gearing up for a statewide run in 2006, is our featured guest this week in the suburban edition of our show [airing tonight in 24 suburbs at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 or Ch. 35 and will be airing at 8:30 pm on Wed. and Fri. on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 in 10 additional suburbs, see end of this blog entry for a detailed airing schedule of "Public Affairs."] and will be on the city of Chicago edition of the show, airing this coming Monday night at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]. It turns out Rep. Fritchey is big on a tax swap that will result in a net tax increase for Illinois. John discussed that with Hot Rod [our Governor] and not surprisingly, the Gov was not too enthused [as the kids might say] about that idea. Blago kind of said, “Read my lips- No new taxes, or at least no increase in the income tax or the general sales tax.”

Oh yes, back to Keyes-Obama. I am predicting Barack wins by 68 % to
30 % over Ambassador Keyes, our Maryland import. Or, is it Maryland export? Hard to know with the quixotic, protectionist views on trade of the sometime libertarian Alan Keyes. Yes, that could have been the ticket; the State Central Committee could have put a tariff on Maryland exports, as Mr. Keyes says he would do to protect American jobs. Keyes’ tariff views are not unlike the protectionist views of far left Democratic Senate primary candidate and Media Personality Nancy Skinner and to a lesser extent, the more nuanced, but somewhat protectionist, views of Keyes’ opponent of today, Barack Obama.

In any case, how do we get to 30% for Mr. Keyes? We do so by starting with the benchmark of Jim Durkin, who of course ran under the Republican banner for the Senate in 2002, with perhaps even less money that Keyes, much less flair, but much more conventional conservative views than Keyes. Indeed, Durkin might even be what the Daley-Trib Combine would call, with affection, if not affectation, a “pragmatic moderate conservative.” Of course, that Combine was not too thrilled with Durkin’s Pro-Life views, but liked the rest of the package, including his generally approving and even enthusiastic views with respect to gun control and gay rights, or as my Democratic friends keep reminding me I am supposed to say, “Human Rights.” And, BTW, Durkin has already put out some feelers for a run for Governor in 2006. Perhaps he thinks the state campaign fundraising laws will work better for him than the federal laws. But what will he do to raise his charisma level?

In any case, Durkin got 38% of the vote, so that is the starting base for Keyes. The Corinne Wood moderates, who put together about 27% for Corinne in the 2002 Republican primary for Governor, will surely prefer Obama or skipping the vote this time around. That group could be about a quarter of the Durkin 38% vote. The moderates didn’t much like Durkin’s abortion views, but he didn’t drive them over to Illinois’ senior senator, Dick Durbin, who of course has most of those folks’ views on abortion. That is, Jim Durkin didn’t give the impression to folks that machine guns and Uzis might be appropriate for Black Tie events and that Illinois should perhaps have a state religion to complement its state flower. So, Keyes loses 9% due to the Wood crowd drop-off, bringing Keyes to 29%.

Then, there are the Republicans who are not so much moderates but who think Keyes is, well, how to put this delicately, oh what the heck—simply crazy. Whether it is trade, reparations, glorifying life on the farm [after wanting to abolish the Department of Agriculture just a few years ago], allowing himself to be baited into calling Mary Cheney a selfish hedonist and saying the same quite happily about all other gays, analogizing pro-choicers to terrorists one day, Nazis the next; or just sounding more like, to paraphrase Barack, someone running for State Pastor as opposed to U. S. Senator—these folks simply view Keyes as off the playing field, or at least off any playing field that they might want to step on. A lot of those folks will have trouble not punching an R choice, or God Forbid, as they might put it, punching the D choice. Hard to know how large this group is. Could easily be 15%, but I put it, conservatively, at 5%. So, that brings Keyes down to 24% from the Durkin base.

Then, Keyes gets some votes of the very religious who may not care much for pols and voting, and who may not vote in other elections. These folks are intensely pro-Life, pro- traditional marriage, pro-home schooling, pro gun owner rights and somehow the Republican Party, even the conservative R base in Illinois, has not made them regular voters. I would put this group at 6%, raising the Keyes total to 30%.

Of course, I have covered my backside by saying that if that group of Rs who essentially thinks Keyes is crazy is 15%, not 5%, that could drive Keyes total down to 20%. But, I went with the 30% for Keyes, because Keyes, by and large, does not appear crazy to most people. For example, when he was on my show, there was almost a half hour straight of complete sanity by Alan Keyes [BTW, this show is streamed and can be seen by going to www.Keyes2004.com and hitting the multimedia or media icon and scrolling down to August 21, 2004, which is the date we taped the show].

That, of course, leads one to ask why the nuttiness, which cropped up with some regularity in the Keyes campaign, could not have been totally eliminated. But that is a separate blog entry.

In any case, I gave, as explained above, 30% to Keyes, 2% to be split between the Libertarian, Jerry Kohn, and the “independent,” candidate, leaving Obama with 68%. QED.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs, and an Executive Legal Recruiter, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com
The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
The City edition of Public Affairs airs throughout the City of Chicago every Monday night at 8:30 on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].

The “Public Affairs,” show with State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago, 11th Dist.) will air throughout the City of Chicago on this coming Monday night, Nov. 8, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.