Illinois Greening: the Green Party is Positioned to Make a Significant Impact in Midterm Elections

The US Senate race in Illinois perfectly illustrates the dysfunctionality of Democratic-Republican party politics and government. While Republican Mark Kirk continues to paint Democrat Alexi Giannoulias as a "mob banker" and Giannoulias continues to highlight every instance in which Kirk has "misremembered" the details of his military career, Illinois voters have begun to seek out viable alternatives. In a new survey from Public Policy Polling, the Democrat and Republican together only garner the support of 61% of respondents, with 14% in favor of Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones and 24% undecided. From the PPP blog:
Our newest poll in the state finds the unpopular Mark Kirk and the unpopular Alexi Giannoulias combining for a paltry 61% of the vote with 14% of voters going to Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones and 24% undecided. . . . The beneficiary of the voter disgust with both Giannoulias and Kirk is Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones. Despite being viewed favorably by only 2% of voters in the state he's pulling 14% in the horse race. Posing a particular problem for Giannoulias is that Jones is getting a remarkable 26% of the black vote right now.
These results have already begun to generate positive press for Jones. Charles Thomas writes for a local ABC News affiliate in Illinois:

According to an independent poll released today, the major party candidates in the race, Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, are losing support, perhaps opening the door to some unexpected contenders.

One is LeAlan Jones, the assistant football coach at Simeon High School. He has focused on helping young people as a journalist and television producer, and now as Green Party candidate to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate.

"These issues that I'm talking about are not new," said Jones. "These are issues I've been consistent with over the last 18 years even though I'm only a 31-year-old.". . . "You have two candidates that are talking about each other as opposed to the issues that matter to the people," said Jones. . . .

The fact that LeAlan Jones polled 14 percent would seem to make him eligible to be included in debates. [Emphasis added.]

Given that the Illinois Green Party just officially kicked off its 2010 campaign last Saturday, Jones is off to a promising start. Though it has a number of primary planks, Jones's platform remains somewhat sparse by design. On the issues page of his website, we read:
My platform is your platform. Over the coming months, I plan to hold listening sessions in every county in Illinois and expand this platform so that it represents the collective wisdom, passion and vision of those determined to make America and Illinois as good as they can be.
Perhaps he will take a page out of a fellow Green's playbook. The Green Party's gubernatorial candidate in Illinois, Rich Whitney, has already generated a number of positive stories in local news outlets while traveling the state by train and bicycle to call attention to the importance of "sustainable transportation." By building off of one another's successes and capitalizing on the failings and weaknesses of the major party candidates, the Green Party's candidates have a chance to make some real gains in Illinois this November.


Ross Levin said...

If you look to the right of that statement, there's a fairly comprehensive overview of the issues.

d.eris said...

Yes, I saw that, but if you click through, a lot of the issue planks are not thoroughly developed, leaving room for input and extrapolation.

Ross Levin said...

Absolutely. That's not too rare on political websites, though.