Usually I write my own stuff but in this case it would be like re-inventing a really good wheel. Over at Prairie State Blue a regular poster with the puzzling handle of bored now (but who am I to talk) has just contributed a second roundup of the three Democratic candidates* who are running ultimately for the prize of Denny Hastert’s now-abandoned Congressional seat. bored sounds anything but; his analysis is superb.

if the first posts in this series was designed to lay a foundation, this next group will be focused on looking at the fundamentals in this race. like blocking and tackling decide football games, the fundamentals decide elections. there are five fundamentals that are thought to be decisive in the outcome of elections:

1. the candidates
2. money
3. the environment (deciding factors that campaigns can’t change)
4. the climate (deciding factors that campaigns can influence)
5. their organizations

probably the biggest factor right now in this race is the political environment. and the most important environmental factor is the upcoming special election. the fact that the special election is a month away from the special primary focuses all attention on this question: who scales up fastest? the campaigns have six weeks to identify supporters and then educate them on voting twice for them on the same ballot (once for the general election and again for the special election). the campaigns already lost a week or so because they had to circulate petitions (again) for the special election. christmas and new year’s will cost them some more time. this is even more true for the laesch campaign (and possibly stein’s), since they are so dependent on volunteer expertise. the foster campaign staff will undoubtedly work the same amount during that week. (i worked on christmas day last year, so i sympathize.)

I do not know why bored doesn’t use capital letters. Even if you find it momentarily distracting, I would encourage you to read the whole post if you have an interest in this race–or in politics generally, for that matter.

*Joe Serra is not running in the special election, only the regular one, and seems devilishly difficult to get in touch with anyway.