Friday, August 11, 2006

The Green Report: A Look at the March, 2006 Democratic State Treasurer Race

More excerpts from Dr. Paul Green’s analysis of the March primary election for Roosevelt University’s Institute of Politics—which contains the best info and analysis of the race.

Alexander Giannoulias, a newcomer endorsed by Barack Obama and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. easily defeated Knox county state’s attorney Paul Mangieri, pushed by House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democratic State Central Committee, for the Democratic state treasurer nomination. In the three Chicagoland voting sectors, Giannoulias with heavy financing won easily. Moral: a candidate not endorsed by a party organization but is well financed can be successful. Mangieri was not even competitive against his unendorsed foe.

Democratic State Treasurer: Chicago.

Giannoulias carried all but five Chicago wards: piling up his largest margins in the southside black wards. He also ran strong on the far northeast side where his family’s banking business is situated. Mangieri won five wards: 13th, 14th , 23rd and 19th all on the city’s southwest side and identified with powerful local politicians. But except for Madigan’s 13th no other winning ward gave him 60 percent of the vote. Green: “Come November, 2006, Giannoulias’ GOP opponent, State Senator Christine Radogno, may have an opportunity to make Chicago inroads on the city’s southwest and northwest sides (several northwest side wards gave Giannoulias less than 60 percent although he carried every ward. If Radogno could emulate State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s 2002 Chicago numbers (28 percent) she will be a tough candidate to beat.”

Democratic State Treasurer: Suburban 30.

Mangieri was killed in suburban Cook. He ran best in the southwest part of the county (Radogno’s home base), capturing at least 40 percent of the vote in several townships. Giannoulias ran strong almost everywhere else in the Suburban 30 due to Obama’s and Jackson’s endorsements and his own campaign featuring direct mail and television.

Democratic State Treasurer: Collars 5.

Mangieri was similarly shut out in the collars. Giannoulias’ winning percentages were very consistent ranging from 70.2 percent in Lake to 66.2 percent in Wikll. The other three counties were approximately between those two figures. Green: “My warning to all postoffice mail-carriers working in the collar counties: Stay strong because your backs will be tested this autumn as you carry direct mail campaign literature from both state treasurer candidates.”

Democratic State Treasurer: Downstate 96.

Giannoulias barely lost Downstate, carrying more counties than his Downstate opponent but able to get a 1000+ victory margin in only two—Rock Island and Winnebago. Almost all of his downstate county wins were north of I-72. Green: this should give him some concern as he prepares for November.

Mangieri had five 1000+ counties: Madison, Macoupin, Knox, St. Clair, Randolph. His powerbase was southwestern Illinois along with his home county, Knox. But the vote turnouts were so small that high percentage wins didn’t produce significant margins. But even a huge downstate turnout wouldn’t have changed the final primary results. Mangieri lost the race in Chicago and its suburbs. Green: Can “any future downstate politician seeking a statewide office be successful against a Chicago-based opponent”?

[For more information contact pgreen (at) roosevelt (dot) edu or fax (312) 341-4325. ]

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