Independent Voters Stampede to GOP, Dragging Down National Democrats, Governor Pat Quinn

10/26/2010 03:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • David Ormsby Public Relations Consultant, Ex-Press Secretary, Democratic Party of Illinois

Independent voters have turned even more sharply in recent days against Democratic candidates--if that was even possible--nationally and in Illinois, with Governor Pat Quinn looking more and more like a primary casualty here of independents' pitched forks.

The latest Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll released yesterday, October 25, found Republicans are harvesting more support from independent voters with 44% now saying they plan to hitch their political wagon with the GOP on Nov. 2. A September 27 poll found that the GOP had 38% of independents in their hip pocket.

Statistically, undecided independents have dwindled to 26%, but their intentions are now clear.

The political situation of President Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party has deteriorated to the point where there are now more than 100 House seats in play, according to NBC Nightly News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.

In fact, most political experts have already written off the Democrats' control of the U.S. House, leaving only the fate of the Senate in doubt.

The independents' march to the GOP is also playing out here in Illinois.

A new poll on the Illinois 2010 governor's race by the Chicago Tribune/WGN radio has GOP governor nominee Bill Brady leading incumbent Quinn 43%-39% percent, a reversal for Quinn who had lead Brady 39%-38% a few weeks ago. No more.

The Chicago Tribune's political reporter Rick Pearson writes, "...[T]he findings showed many trends breaking Brady's way as the candidates continue to campaign with only a week until Election Day."

One of those trends is--you guessed it--independent voters are breaking for Brady. Big time.

"Among independent voters, Brady's backing improved 10 percentage points in the new survey while Quinn's support remained about the same," Pearson writes.

Gulp. Not good news at Quinn H.Q.


One word--j-o-b-s. More than 15 million people are without jobs nationally and there are 663,191 jobless in Illinois, up from 340,000 in 2007, according to the latest published Illinois Department of Employment Security data. Throw in the underemployed and you have the explanation for why independents may deprive congressional Democrats and Governor Quinn of theirs.

Additionally, an oil-well-like gusher of campaign cash--$4.1 million--from the Republican Governors Association is flooding into Brady's coffers, and he, in turn, is pumping out a slew of negative advertising that is pulping Quinn's image among independent voters.

However, the Tribune's results are now seven days old and there are still seven days remaining in the campaign--that's like 5 dog years. Brady's lead is within the margin of error. And Democrats are leading in early voting returns, according to estimates.

Still, once undecided voters start galloping in one direction, they keep galloping. They almost never reverse course and charge in the opposite direction, sort of like a Wal-Mart door-buster mob on the day after Thanksgiving, clutching 75% discount coupons. The stampede goes in only one direction.

Election day is next Tuesday--but the outcome may have already been decided.

November 2, 2010 may be eventually recorded as Independents Day.