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Look for a 1980-Style Romney Win, says Mary Matalin

The veteran GOP strategist visits Chicago and touts Romney • Will Illinois Democrats make income tax hike permanent in lame-duck session? • Teachers Retirement System may "bleed out".

Republican political strategist Mary Matalin predicts a 1980 redux on Election Day, with Mitt Romney emerging victorious by 7 percentage points in the popular vote.

Matalin, 59, spoke Thursday evening at St. Xavier University in the Mount Greenwood community of Chicago alongside Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who believes the race will be much, much closer.

"Just 2 to 3 points, favoring the president," Brazile said.

Matalin and Brazile — who are close friends — went back and forth in a discussion of presidential politics and campaign war stories in SXU's Shannon Center before a crowd of 1,000 people. 

Matalin, a Calumet City native who says she may never have left Chicago had the steel mills survived, allowed that she might be kidding herself. Still, she's thinking "landslide" because she believes Romney's ground game is just better than Barack Obama's, even though the Democrats are micro targeting people via their friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Brazile stood in for Arianna Huffington, founder and editor of the Huffington Post, who was co-headliner of the evening but had to back out due to hip surgery. Brazile said she believes Romney already has lost Ohio.

State Tax Hike Fear: Scott Reeder, reporting in the advance email newsletter for his Reeder Report, writes that that Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, believes the Democrats in the General Assembly may make the temporary 67 percent income tax hike permanent in the lame duck session that starts Jan. 9.

Radogno told the Reeder Report:

“It would be absolutely in character for the Democratic majority to call something like this up for a vote.” 

Radogno said the ruling Democrats are spending money in a manner that would suggest they plan to make the tax hike permanent. She added she would not vote for an extension of the income tax increase either now or at the time it is set to partially expire at the end of 2014. 

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said via a spokeswoman that any notion of extending the tax-hike is "a flat-out lie."

Teachers Retirement System Could Bleed Out: IllinoisWatchdog.org is reporting that the financial prospects for the state's teachers retirement system are looking worse. The Teachers’ Retirement System is seeking $3.4 billion from the state for its portion of the pension costs for fiscal year 2014. That’s about $500 million more than the system sought from the state for the previous fiscal year.

Reports Illinois Watchdog's Jayette Bolinski:

TRS announced last week that it earned a mere .76-percent return on its investments, primarily because of a negative 11.71-percent rate of return on international stocks. Other investments, including real estate, bonds, private equity and hedge funds, had positive investment returns.

A year ago TRS reported a 23.6 percent return on its investments. TRS officials say long-term returns are what matters most, not year-to-year returns. They noted that TRS’ 20-year return on investment is 7.73 percent — a figure that is not nearly sufficient to make a dent in the debt, critics say.

During the summer, TRS revised downward its expected rate of return from 8.5 percent to 8 percent, under pressure from government accountability groups that say anticipated rates of return were unrealistic and too exaggerated.

This Patch on Politics post appears on the Patch network throughout Chicago and the suburbs.

Comments on this article are now closed.

Colin C. November 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
When do we finally wake up to reality and realize that, for the vast majority of elected officials, the most important priority is not the good of our Country but the need to get re-elected, and that takes a lot of money. Most get much of that money from people and institutions who have the resources and want something in return. They are the wealthy, the large financial and industrial corporations, and unions. And they are buying laws that favor them so that they can make and keep as much money as possible. As a result of their success in influencing the political process in the USA our distribution of wealth has changed dramatically in the last fifty years. The wealthy have gained much more, there are many more of us living below the poverty line; the middle class has probably lost the most, both in numbers and in wealth. Much of this is directly attributable to government policies that have been instituted in the last half century. It isn't the Republicans. It isn't the Democrats, it is our political system that has evolved to give great "behind the scenes" power to the wealthy. Neither of our two leading political parties have the interest of the American people at heart. They will simply do whatever they need to do, say whatever they need to say so that they can get elected and gain enough political power to pay back their donors. And we, who believe them, are the saps.
lou November 28, 2012 at 09:41 PM
well stones wether the birther thing is real or not we really dont know for sure,but one things for sure it dosent matter now.and when obama wants to level the playing field and redistribute wealth and have people dependent on government thats a form of socialism.obamaphones are real. it was a program for elderly to have 911 access on home phones,but some democrats decided they should expand the program to cell phones.and of course with any government program it is being abused.and who ends up paying for it, you and i. if u think it isnt real look at your most recent phone bill and u will see a charge u never seen before.i noticed it last month on my office bill.as far as obamacare goes theres some good things but the bad things weigh out the good.they wont call it death panels but if u think an elderly person is gonna get an organ he needs or an expensive operation under this plan your fooling your self.soon this program will get to b too expensive and they will find ways to cut costs. already the government is saying mammograms arent needed til your 50 when it was always 40. this kind of stuff will continue.as far as tarp goes and bailing out gm i didnt agree with it when bush did it and i still dont agree with it.government does not belong in private sector business.thats not what we elected them to do.all that was about was sucking up to the auto workers union.our gov shouldnt decide what companies are worth saving.the economy should b back to normal by now.
Stones November 28, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Lou, on some of these things, I guess we will have to wait and see. I don't believe any President will ever have the ability to change our way of government into socialism or anything else. As far as birthers, the birth certificates have long been released and certified by the Secretary of State for Hawaii. So we do know that answer, some jus prefer not to believe it. Obamacare won't change the way healthcare is provided, only access. It's healthcare insurance reform, not healthcare reform. It allows access to insurance to those that can't afford it and yes we are paying for it. But we already were through ER visits, public hospitals like Stroger and unpaid hospital bills which end up in our laps through higher costs. The mammogram change is based on research, not Obamacare. Too many unneccessary procedures performed with little or no benefit. Hopefully a better way is available to save all these women. I hate the thought of others suffering the way my mom did and several others I know. My true hope is the doom and gloom people have about the President is wrong and he turns out to be one of our greatest. That benefits all of us. The scary part is, if that were to happen, nearly half the country will still hate him.
lou November 29, 2012 at 02:16 AM
stones i didnt vote for him the first time,but when he got elected i too wanted him to b a great president.after all i love america. i thought now we have a black pres and there would b no reason for anyone to think they couldnt b what ever they wanted to b no matter what their skin color was.but,im sorry to say it seems like it had the opposite effect. instead of striving for a better life we have a lot more people wanting more hand outs.i too hope things will get better these next 4 years God bless us all. it dont look good
Deborah Horaz December 30, 2012 at 01:11 AM
M. M wrong

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