First, America as a whole:
WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans say Roland Burris should be blocked from taking a U.S. Senate seat and Illinois should hold a special election to fill the vacancy he was appointed to fill, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
Interest in the dispute is high — six in 10 are following it closely — and support for Burris is scant. By nearly 2-1, 51% to 27%, those surveyed say the Senate should block him from taking his seat. A similar majority, 52%, say Illinois should hold a special election as soon as possible to fill the office.
Mind you, this doesn't let Reid off of the hook: after all, the American people aren't really all that interested in Burris'
skin color "electability," which is of course the primary worry here for the Democrats. Hey, I'm not saying anything that a sitting Democratic Congressman hasn't, already. Go complain to him.
Moving along, the state GOP commissioned a poll surveying Illinois residents, and came up with these results:
• Illinois voters are sending a strong message to Democrats who control
every level of state government. An overwhelming majority (79%)
believes things in Illinois are headed off on the wrong track. Only
14% thinks things are going in the right direction. This very strong
negative sentiment cuts across party lines.
• Regardless of party affiliation, most Illinois voters (88%) have an
unfavorable opinion of Rod Blagojevich. Only 8% has a favorable
opinion of him.
• Two-thirds (66%) of the electorate favors the state legislature passing
a new law requiring a special election to fill Barack Obama’s
unexpired term as US Senator rather than letting the Governor pick
the next US Senator. Only 26% oppose a special election. This large
majority support for a special election is strongest among Republicans
(74%) but is also strong among Democrats (64%) and Independents
(65%). In the collar counties and downstate, the support for a special
election is huge (71% and 70% respectively).
In light of this set of developments, I encourage Senator Harry Reid to spend the next three weeks publicly keeping Roland Burris from his Senate seat, and then come to some sort of compromise where Burris is allowed in but not allowed to actually do anything; and I encourage the Illinois Democratic Party to rush through the impeachment proceedings, then get the new governor to issue his own pick for the Senate seat, thus causing a messy legal battle that might actually last past the 2010 election cycle.
Or, possibly, everybody on the Other Side could just go with this "Will Of The People" thing that they're always claiming to worship, and have a special election. While watching Democrats be so scared of the GOP's shadow is always fun, after a certain point they really need to screw their courage to the sticking place, and all that.