The America First Response to Karl Rove
Voters continue to reject his Establishment machinations.
Ever since his win in the 2004 presidential election, Karl Rove has spent nearly two decades losing at everything, except for the notable task of making himself massively wealthy. How? Mostly by fleecing rich donors and blowing their capital in spectacularly poorly placed political bets, pining for a return to the days of Bush-style Republicanism.
Just weeks ago in Ohio, Rove lost once again despite his furious efforts to revive the establishment in the Buckeye State. Instead, outsider JD Vance triumphed, and the Hillbilly Elegy author Vance derided Rove as a “slimeball” who had “shipped a lot of American jobs overseas and got rich in the process, and also sent a lot of Americans to die in stupid conflicts.”
But Rove remains undeterred, still trying to turn back the clock to country club Republican globalism. So, now Karl the con sets his gaze upon the Illinois race for governor. He recently penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, labeling leading GOP gubernatorial candidate, State Senator Darren Bailey, as a “fringe” candidate who cannot compete in the general election vs. Governor JB Pritzker.
But Bailey’s policy prescriptions and worldview are hardly “fringe” within the Republican Party of the 2020s. The patriotic populism of the America First movement now dominates the voter base of the GOP, in fact. Bailey promotes foundational principles like law-and-order, tax cuts, eliminating so-called “sanctuary states,” and funding students instead of corrupt systems.
Regarding the general election and Bailey’s ability to reach Independents and persuadable Democrats in Illinois, recent history suggests that conservative Republicans can earn widespread support in this era of Biden’s failures. For example, very America First candidates swept every statewide office in Virginia last year, in a state the Democrats had carried by double digits just the year before in the 2020 presidential election.
In Illinois, JB Pritzker sits in a particularly vulnerable position for two reasons. The first is soaring inflation. Pritzker’s political pals Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi unleashed this crisis nationally, but it particularly punishes Illinoisans because of Pritzker’s high-tax mismanagement of the state. For example, gas prices right now average 68 cents per gallon higher than every neighboring state of Illinois. Gasoline is $0.84/gallon higher than next door Missouri.
Second, Illinois sees a massive uptick in violence under Pritzker’s governance. Chicago led America in the dubious categories of murders last year, with over 800 victims in JB’s hometown.
Consequently, trust-fund Pritzker will find it difficult to simply buy this election, as he did in 2018, by spending hundreds of millions of dollars of his inherited fortune. In a recent credible poll from Victory Research, only 51% of Illinoisans reported that Pritzker deserves re-election, a shockingly low number in a normally deeply blue state.
So, if a wave election year nationally does indeed unfold, with consumer confidence at an all-time low, then Illinois is very much in play. In addition, Biden’s popularity plunges in the Prairie State. Per Civiqs polling, Biden took office with a 57/34% approve/disapprove ratio among Illinoisans. But today, Biden is underwater 41/49%, a stunning net reversal of -31%.
As Karl Rove attempts to demonize Bailey, perhaps he should also level with the American voters about his donors, incentives, and conflicts. Chicago hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin has long contributed to Rove’s PACs, and Griffin presently provides a gargantuan $50 million in donations to Bailey’s opponent in the GOP primary, a longtime Democrat, Richard Irvin. Currently, Bailey leads this puppet candidate Irvin by an almost 2/1 margin in polling from highly the regarded Trafalgar Group.
The always erudite Conrad Black correctly assessed Karl Rove’s waning influence over voters, especially on the GOP side. “The Mitch McConnell-Peggy Noonan-Karl Rove dream of a return to the pre-Trump party of post-Reagan amiable Democrat lookalike losers, the McRomBushes, is not going to happen.”
In Illinois and other blue states, only a strong conservative approach to law-and-order and lowering crushing inflation can break the Democrat stronghold on statewide offices. In spite of conflicted Karl Rove, the America First movement will unabashedly continue making that case to earn the vote of every citizen, from inner cities to rural hamlets.