State GOP Predicts Big Smiles Wednesday Morning | NBC Chicago
State GOP Predicts Big Smiles Wednesday Morning
BY Phil Rogers & Mary Ann Ahern

The state GOP ticket gathered for an election eve rally in Wheaton on Monday night, predicting the voters will use them to send a message.

"On Wednesday, we're going to wake up with a big smile on our face," predicted gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady. "We're going to move Illinois from the joke of every monologue to the forefront of pride in this country."

Mark Kirk echoed the theme sounded by GOP candidates nationwide: that Republicans are in tune with the mood of the electorate.

"I want to cut spending," he said. "And Alexi Giannoulias felt that the stimulus didn't spend enough!"

Judy Baar Topinka, the previous Illinois Republican standard bearer, appeared Monday night as the candidate for comptroller.

"Our opponents are squishy," Topinka said. "Just what we need!"

Dan Rutherford, running to replace Giannoulias as treasurer, said he had seen a dark mood in the electorate statewide.

"The people of Illinois are mad," he said.

But a new poll seems to indicate that voter anger is hitting both parties.  Monday's Public Policy Poll gave Brady a five point lead. But that same poll gave Brady a 45 percent unfavorable rating. Gov. Pat Quinn's was at 54 percent.

"The Illinois races are pretty emblematic of the country as a whole," said Dean Debnam, the survey's president. "Voters don't like any of their choices, but they like the Democratic ones even less than the Republican ones."

After a four-city flyaround, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias finished out election eve at a Greek restaurant.  He gave an emotional tribute to his family for enduring "the difficult commercials."  He thanked Sen. Dick Durbin, telling him it would be his "highest honor" to serve as Illinois' junior senator.

Among the crowd of roughly 200 Democratic supporters were Durbin, candidate for Illinois Treasurer Robin Kelly and Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

At a separate event nearby and after visiting seven Illinois cities, Gov. Pat Quinn touted his "Put Illinois to Work" program amid chants of "j-o-b" from roughly 150 supporters.

"Are you ready to win with Quinn?" he called out to them.

Labor leaders promise they'll be out on the streets Tuesday morning urging people to hit the polls.