There is no question that Blagojevich has a big lead over Topinka in our Sun-Times/NBC5 poll and every other one I've seen. No question he has loads more money, tons more TV advertising and frankly, a far better strategy.I've seen this point before in each of the last three governor's races: George Ryan in 1998 and Rod Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006 were the better campaigners and had the better strategies.
He's been pro-active, she reactive. And though you'd have to live on Mars to believe he's ended "business as usual," voters 18-39 have nonetheless bought into Blagojevich's energy and message.
Well, both George and Rod cheated. George Ryan, as we've seen, used government help on his campaigns and raised lots of questionable money. Rod is under multiple federal investigations for all the questionable money he's raised the past five years.
That money has allowed Rod to paper the airwaves with ads that demonize Judy Baar Topinka and attach him to George Ryan. He did the same thing to Jim Ryan in 2002.
It may have been a winning strategy for George Ryan in 1998 but nobody would say it looks like a winning strategy today with a trip to prison on the horizon. It won't be too many years before they say the same about Rod.
What is disappointing that someone as smart as Carol Marin buys into it -- equating a TV ad blitz with tainted money as a "better strategy." And she speaks of Rod's "energy."
Rod has displayed the energy of a 400 pound man the last few months. He is ducking the news media and barely leaves his house except to go to a fundraiser.
He's trying to buy another election and he could get away with it if the news media he is playing for a fool acts like one.