Joe Walsh may be a cable TV favorite, but the garrulous and contentious Tea Party freshman congressman from Chicago’s suburbs should be politically dead, dead, deadski, as Michael Keaton put it in Beetlejuice.
The fact that Walsh is very much alive heading into the final weeks of the campaign suggests a possible Election Day stunner on President Obama’s home turf: Despite the president’s own assured victory in Illinois, more Republican congressmen may survive than ever imagined after Democrats vividly shafted the GOP in redrawing congressional districts.
That’s nationally significant since, as Walsh told The Daily Beast in a uncharacteristically noncontroversial analysis, “Nancy Pelosi’s way back to the speaker’s gavel was through these districts [in Illinois]. It ain’t going to happen.”
The odds are slim that the Democrats can actually regain a House majority. But hopes for major gains, and possibly an improbable recapturing of the gavel, rest in part on Illinois as a prime opportunity.