Do you know what the most terrifying thing is about this Politico article (“Blacks fret free-for-all for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat*”)? It’s the very last paragraph:
“There’s going to be a lot of people running no matter what,” [soon-to-be former Democratic Congresswoman Debbie] Halvorson said. “This is the chance of a lifetime. Open seats don’t come along very often.”
‘Open seats don’t come along very often.’ Tremble for the Republic, my friends. Not because she’s wrong, because she’s not: they don’t.
As to the race itself… well. IL-02 is a strongly Democratic but barely minority-majority district that is apparently going to shape up to have one entertaining train wreck of a primary (scheduled for February 26th, with the general election on April 9th). Halvorson has name recognition, and her opponents will largely be all squabbling over the minority vote. She could very easily win, particularly if the Illinois Democratic party decides that Halvorson is preferable to whoever ends up being the nominal frontrunner among African-American candidates. As to whether she’ll win… well. That’s the way that the smart money is betting, right?
You already know my opinion on that, no doubt, so let me summarize: the right candidate and an EFFECTIVE GOP organizational machine could take advantage of what will probably be a low-turnout special election where the Democratic candidate will likely be coming off of a hard-fought primary. It’s certainly not something that’s guaranteed, but if the Democrats are really determined to handicap themselves in the way that they seem so determined to do then it’d be almost sinful to not take advantage of the situation. But first we have to find that candidate, and get that organizational machine up and running. Particularly the latter: there are limits to what can be done online.
Moe Lane (crosspost)