State Treasurer Judy Baah Topinka has sent word through her faithful courier, Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times, that Baah Topinka will announce for governor on Wednesday. Prevailing political wisdom has it that Baah Topinka will win in November, 2006 because of Democratic crossovers. Which leads to the question: what crossovers? If youre a liberal Democratwhich is just about the only kind there is these daysyou will support Rod Blagojevich. True, there has been friction early in his term but now whats not to like for liberals?
He can point to his plan to give health coverage to 250,000 children, not raise taxes and has implemented a plan to spur embryonic stem cell research with an executive order. Why would liberals go elsewhere since they support these programs? He is for abortion rights and gay rights. Why would liberals go elsewhere on these items? Judy Baah Topinka supports abortion rights and gay rights: why would one who wants a governor to espouse these things support Baah Topinka when Blagojevich already supports them? The only Democrat I know who has said that there will be crossovers for Baah Topinka is my friend Frank Coconate, the rebel leader of the Northwest Side Democratic Organization. But Coconate wont support Baah Topinka since his future is rooted in independent Democratic politics and by his own admission he has never voted for a Republican in his life.
Liberals wont cross over in the primary to support Baah Topinka because they will be busy either supporting Blagojevich or Eisendrath in the primary. Baah Topinka is a folksy, colorful campaigner but she will have to compete with Jim Oberweis for conservative Republican primary voters, Oberweis ranking higher in the polls than any other GOPer right now and who can beat Baah Topinka . Whether Oberweis can be Blagojevich head to head I dont know (I think Bill Brady could) but I think hes got a shot. You wont find this analysis from Sweet but you can take it to the bank that Baah Topinka will not win the primary. Liberal Republicans are like High Church Unitarians: self-contradictory.