* Romney and Santorum almost didn’t make the Illinois ballot, making whatever happens tonight far and away the least interesting possible outcome:
One Romney source described Rutherford’s leadership as “a complete disaster” and said Romney’s campaign headquarters had to fly paid staffers to Illinois to collect signatures at Chicago-area train stations and walk precincts because the treasurer’s organization had failed to collect enough signatures.
The Romney high command, the source said, “was flabbergasted that an Illinois statewide official had no organization.”
The one thing we’re supposed to be good at….
* Even the ballots are surprised by the weather:
“It was an issue in the trimming of the ballots,” said Ken Griffin, managing partner at Liberty Systems LLC, one of two ballot vendors who use the same Addison printing company to produce ballots. “The knives they use to cut the ballots as they come off the press were just a little out of tolerance. If you saw it, you wouldn’t believe it was enough to cause a problem. We are thinking this warm weather might have had something to do with it too.”
* And the local race with the most national significance is… Ilya Sheyman? He made the Nation, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, Politico (“a battle for the party’s future”), The Hill (thanks to a Russ Feingold endorsement), the New York Times (“the race with the highest profile”), and Mother Jones, in large part because of his experience with MoveOn. Howard Dean is a big fan.
* Romney/Santorum promises to be kind of boring, but one thing to look for is if Romney beats Santorum in rural areas, where PPP has him slightly ahead.
* More bad news for Mitt Romney: “Before the issue was specified in the poll, only 20% of voters said they had a favorable opinion of Romney’s treatment of dogs; 29% said unfavorable. That compares to the president’s 44-14 spread on the issue.”
* Susan Crown explains to Carol Felsenthal why—unlike the Pritzkers and her Crown family relatives—she’s supporting Romney over the hometown candidate. The main reason? Israel.
* Voter turnout: extremely low.
* It’s a particularly crappy time to be a Republican in Illinois, beyond just the Romney/Santorum ballot debacle:
While Republicans may feel they have a great deal of choice when it comes to electing their presidential nominee in the fall, the Grand Old Party has virtually abandoned this area when it comes to state legislative races.
There may be a few good candidates out there, but without adequate funding or organizational support in November, they don’t stand much of a chance against the Democrats.
* How bad is it? Tom Swiss, in the most interesting city election, switched to the Democratic party for the honor of running against Derrick Smith, recently charged with accepting a bribe from a daycare center—which wasn’t an actual daycare center but the FBI.
* Laugh at Swiss all you want, but Da Mare was a Grand Old Partier once upon a time.
Photograph: Vox Efx (CC by 2.0)