Miller: It's tough outside the GOP or Dem box
Ever since I published a poll last month showing indicted former state Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, leading third party candidate Lance Tyson in the 10th Illinois House District race by a mind-boggling 47 percent to 9 percent, there’s been a lot of grumbling about how Chicago voters ought to know better. Smith was arrested and indicted, after all. It was all over the news. People should know that, for crying out loud.
At the time the poll was taken, however, Tyson hadn’t spent much, if any, money on his campaign. He isn’t a known quantity in the district. And he’s not a Democrat – at least, he’s not a Democrat on the ballot. Likely voters were given the choice between Smith and Tyson and told their party affiliations. Smith won the Democratic primary, Tyson belongs to the newly created “10th District Unity Party.”
Persuading voters to take a look at third party or Independent candidates is never easy. Go back to 1986, when some members of Lyndon LaRouche’s cultish organization won some statewide Democratic primary races here. Democrat Adlai Stevenson’s running mate was beaten by one of those candidates, and he had to form a third party to run for governor.
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